As my husband and I approached our late 40s/early 50s, we decided it was time to solidify our previous hastily sketched plans for early retirement. We had worked hard for many years and skimped in places and were confident that we had done everything right to retire early and live our best early retirement lives. However, when we sat down with the numbers, we realized our dreams of an early retirement with travel and adventure were farther from reach than we thought. We both had well paying careers and didn’t feel that we had splurged so much that we should be this far behind. What happened? And, more importantly… How do we get back on track? Once panic-mode subsided, we sat down with some spreadsheets to see what had gone awry and figure out how (and if?) we could still retire early and be able to comfortably afford the things we wanted from retirement. Here’s what we did to right the (sinking?) ship...
There is no denying that this year – 2022 – has been a roller coaster for investors. With the geopolitical climate impacting markets, interest rates rising, unexpected high inflation and a possible recession looming… there is a lot to navigate. It’s mid-2022 and a perfect time to revisit what’s happened so far and how best to cope with the intimidating financial markets. Let’s start with the big action items that have impacted the markets in 2022…
Stock and bond markets plummeting in tandem, the war in the Ukraine, rises in interest rates, threats of a looming recession … You’re probably already well aware of the volume of news wearing us down. As I wrote to my clients, “the financial press has gone on a feeding frenzy in response, serving up heaping helpings of negativity upon negativity.” On many fronts, times are indeed disheartening, and we’re as worn out as you are by the weight of the world. That said, there are already way too many outlets cramming worst-case scenarios down our throats and crushing investment resolve. To offset a bitter pill overdose, following are a few more nutritious news sources to reinforce why we remain confident that capital markets will continue to prevail over time, and that long-term investors should just stick to their plan.
There’s been a lot of talk about recessions lately: Whether one is near, far, or perhaps already here. Whether we can or should try to avoid it. What it even means to be in a recession, and how it’s related to current market turmoil. To put market and recessionary concerns in perspective, it might help to describe six ways a recession resembles a bad mood. There are some intriguing similarities!
This time of year, I find that one of the most common questions my clients pose is what they should do with their tax refunds. With so many tempting options like finally taking that long-awaited vacation or taking on some home renovations that are long overdue, it may be difficult to stick to focusing on your long-term financial goals. So, given the push/pull of the economy and your well-deserved desire to enjoy the tax refund windfall today, how can you achieve some balance? And what’s the best way to use your tax refund to keep you on-track for the future? A few tips from the Globe and Mail’s article echo some of the advice you may have read here at Lowrie Financial’s blog in “What to Do with Excess Cash?”. These tax refund tips might be helpful to assist you in achieving that balance:
Chasing Investment Performance Results in Far More Losers than Winners Would you like to improve your investment game? Counterintuitively, you don’t necessarily need to master more fancy moves; it may be a more powerful play to simply reduce your biggest investment mistakes. It’s those false moves that usually cost you the most gained ground.
Most of us are asking important questions about this geopolitical crisis. By no means do our financial concerns detract from the greater, human toll. That said, if I can help you remain resolute as the world justifiably severs Russia’s access to capital markets and the global economy, perhaps we can both do our part to restore justice in Ukraine. So, let’s talk about geopolitics and investing during wartime. Here are my key takeaways:
Most investors understand or perhaps accept the fact that they are not able to time stock markets (sell out before they go down or buy in before they advance). The simple rationale is that stock markets are forward looking by anticipating or “pricing in” future expectations. While the screaming negative headlines may capture attention, stock markets are looking out to what may happen well into the future. It is easy to understand why we might be scared about the recent headline inflation numbers and concerned about rising interest. It is very important to keep this in context, which is what we will address today.
Instead of your excess wealth being distributed after you die, you may find even greater value in giving some of it away while you’re still around. Properly managed, making gifts and charitable donations while you’re alive can offer solid tax-saving benefits to you and your estate financial planning. In particular, targeted charitable giving can be a powerful tool for business owners and similar professionals who are approaching retirement and facing high-tax events, such as selling their business, or exercising highly appreciated stock options. As importantly, it can be incredibly rewarding to witness the results of your generosity. Don’t underestimate the value this intangible benefit can add to your life and legacy planning.
Yet another year of your careful financial planning process has been disrupted by the pandemic – or has it?
These uncertain times have impacted our work, life, mental health, and financial security. However, if you have been reading my blog posts this year (and even further back), you will likely know the key to weather market storms: setting goals, making plans, and maintaining a focus on ongoing financial planning, without jumping off course as a result of ever-volatile markets (and world events).
Let’s look back at some of the most popular blogs of 2021 featuring this independent financial advisor’s musings…