Bad weather outside, rainy, dark, dismal—I’m thinking about economics. A retired friend asked about QE3, the acronym for Quantitive Easing 3—the Federal Reserve’s (Fed’s) newest effort to boost the economy. There have been two related efforts in the past few years, hence this new one is number 3. “I don’t understand it—is there anything in it for me?” he asked.
Last week we added Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) to a retirement portfolio, and this week we add international investments. The completed portfolio will now have domestic stocks, domestic bonds, REITs, and international stocks. Just these four investments can carry a retiree a long way into efficient, reasonably stable returns.
Why international investments? Diversification and growth are the best answers. Fifty years ago the United States dominated the world of investment opportunities, but today many countries have growing economies, well-run innovative companies, and good opportunities for investing. Continue reading
Warren was recently interviewed for a short piece in Investment News about empowering individuals to manage their own investments.
Read the full article here. Free registration required, but if you don’t want to register, you can bypass registration by clicking here to Google search for “Warren Flick Investment News” and then clicking on the first result.
The last post related how emergencies can put a retiree’s living standards at risk. Now the discussion turns to thinking and working through emergencies in ways that manage the risk appropriately.
If retirees pay regular living expenses from their investment portfolios, and then spend some of those investments to resolve emergencies, they put future withdrawals at risk. It’s different in middle life when living expenses are paid from salaries or wages, and savings are commonly used for emergencies.
Some Financial Approaches
One solution is to set aside a portion of a retirement portfolio for emergencies. A retiree with a $500,000 portfolio could set aside $100,000 for emergencies, using only $400,000 for ordinary living. If the withdrawal rate is 4 percent, the retiree would withdraw $16,000 annually for ordinary expenses. The $100,000 emergency fund would be left alone.
In addition, retirees have other options:
An idealized retirement story might sound like this: Saving for years, retiring from work, then taking planned withdrawals on through retirement. It sounds orderly and easy, yet many retirees know it is anything but.
Emergencies arise, not only in a retiree’s life, but also in the lives of loved ones. Ordinary life includes a leaky roof, a needy middle-aged son or daughter, or a troubled grandchild. If retirees have savings, even if they rely on them for monthly living, there is the ever-present urge to liquidate savings and put some money on the problem.
An Ugly Trick
There is an ugly trick with the urge to be generous, and it’s subtle.