The final quarter of the 20th century (especially the second part of this period) has seen the US economy being hit by one of worst phases of recession since the period of Great Depression (in the 1930s). Stock markets have crashed during this period, with an implosion of housing values and rates of returns from bonds being drastically lowered. All these have adversely affected the retirement plans of individuals (those who are planning for retirement and those who have already retired). Hiring a competent financial planner who is also an expert retirement advisor is, hence, of utmost importance to keep the retirement plans stable. A financial advisor can help his/her clients assess the effect of the economic downturn on retirement plans, and take steps accordingly.
A retirement planner generally recommends conservative measures to help clients survive the hostile impact of recession on retirement plans. Generally, individuals have pre-determined retirement plans that they plan to follow. However, once a depression sets in the economy, they need to re-evaluate their retirement plans, and modify them according to the market conditions. Finding a financial planner comes in handy during this period, for expert assessment and advice on retirement planning. With numerous financial planners offering their services, individuals need to wonder about how to find a financial planner either.
Recessionary market conditions have several adverse effects on retirement planning. Some of such effects, as would be pointed out by any expert retirement advisor, are:
- a) Returns on stocks and bonds: The rates of return as well as the yields from them go down by significant amounts during a recession. During these periods, investment in high-risk financial instruments, hence, should be avoided. In order to keep plans for retirement stable, the contributions to retirement funds should be increased during a phase of depression,
- b) Timing one’s retirement: Faced with recessionary conditions, individuals may tend to push back their dates of retirement. This may not be a sensible decision, particularly if the recession lasts for a lengthy time-period. Instead, transferring funds and assets to fixed, secure investments, selling off housing property makes more financial sense. Retirement dates should not be pushed back either,
- c) Reduction in spending levels: Faced with acute recessionary forces, the US Federal Reserve has been forced to significantly cut down on the key interest rates. This has resulted in an upward spiral in prices of almost all products, denting any pre-determined retirement budgets one might have had. In such a situation, the only prudent option seems to be a significant reduction in consumption and spending levels. This would help to keep the retirement budgets more or less intact. Inflationary conditions, which are on the rise during these periods, can also be tackled in an effective manner in this way.
Retirement plans are, broadly speaking, significantly affected by a recession in the market. However, it is possible to minimize, if not totally eliminate, the impacts of depression on one’s retirement plan. For this, one needs to hire a top retirement planner, and follow the above-mentioned tips. A retirement advisor can surely help his/her client maintain a well-designed a prudent retirement budget.