Despite a few bumps along the way, the stock market is nearing its 10th year in a bull market. The current bull market started in March 2009, and the S&P 500 has increased more than 320 percent in that time.1 While there are different methods for measuring bull markets, most agree that we’re in one of the longest bull markets of all time, if not the longest.

All good things must come to an end, however. It’s a question of when, not if, the market will correct and take a downturn. The warning signs may already be here. On Oct. 10, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 800 points on a range of fears, including increasing interest rates, tariff impacts and expected hits to corporate earnings.2

There’s no way to predict when exactly a correction will happen. However, there are steps you can take to prepare yourself and weather the storm. With clear thinking and a focused strategy, you can protect your assets and retirement. Below are a few tips to keep in mind:

 

Don’t panic.

 

If you’re nearing retirement or even in retirement, your first instinct may be to abandon stocks and move into so-called safe investments. Before you do that, take a deep breath and consider your options.

You likely have a long-term strategy in place. That strategy isn’t invalid just because the market took a downturn. You may want to talk to your financial professional and see if it makes sense to adjust to a more conservative approach. However, that likely doesn’t mean dumping all stocks or other assets that have risk exposure.

 

Trim your budget.

 

It’s always a good idea to exercise spending discipline, but it’s even more important during a correction or downturn. If you’re still working, your savings could allow you to contribute more to your IRA or 401(k). If you’re newly retired, a cut in spending could allow you to take less in distributions from your qualified accounts, which may help you weather the downturn more successfully.

Take a look at your budget and identify areas for cuts. Perhaps you could take less vacation time this year or cook more often. You could also look for bigger potential savings by downsizing to a smaller home or even taking on a part-time or seasonal job.

 

Consider protection tools.

 

Finally, you may want to talk to your financial professional about tools that can help you minimize risk and protect your retirement income. For example, annuities offer a wide range of protection options. Fixed indexed annuities give you participation in market upside without the exposure to volatility and risk. Fixed deferred annuities pay you a set interest rate with no market exposure.

You can also use annuities to protect your income. For instance, a single premium immediate annuity (SPIA) lets you convert a portion of your assets into a guaranteed* lifetime income stream that’s immune from market volatility.

 

Ready to protect your retirement from risk? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Crescent City Retirement. We can help you analyze your needs and implement a strategy. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.

 

1https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/08/29/were-in-the-longest-bull-market-in-history-what-sh.aspx

2https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/10/why-this-market-selloff-isnt-like-the-correction-earlier-this-year.html

 

*Guarantees, including optional benefits, are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuer, and may contain limitations, including surrender charges, which may affect policy values.

 

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18155 – 2018/10/17