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Top 7 Funniest things retirees say about their money

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People say a lot of funny things when it comes to their money and it seems like it doesn’t get any better with retirement. In my nearly 40 years as a financial advisor, here are the top seven funniest things I have heard retirees say about their money.

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#1 “My uncle (or father, hairdresser, etc.) said that the market is headed for a fall.”

It’s always tempting to want to believe what the people in our lives say on important matters. After all, they are the ones we know and trust. The simple fact is that nobody knows what the market is going to do tomorrow. It can never be predicted for sure, but there is a science to understanding the indicators that give us clues as to what is going to be the likely scenario.

When considering economic or investment advice, ask yourself if the person has conducted an in depth analysis that incorporates the major macroeconomic variables (inflation, interest rates, geopolitical trends, etc.).

 

#2 “I want to buy that stock because I like their products.”

Consumer buying trends do play a role in how much top line revenue a company makes, and this does impact how it performs in the stock market. However even if a company has great products, it doesn’t mean this is trickling down to its bottom line net profits (earnings).

Always conduct a thorough analysis that incorporates all fundamental drivers of a company earnings, not just its products.

 

#3 “I don’t want to get a mortgage or car loan because I don’t like making monthly payments.”

Fear of making monthly payments is essentially fear of uncertainty. It’s understandable to feel uncomfortable making a financial commitment.

Here’s where cash flow planning becomes very important. By putting together a financial plan that includes all your assets, liabilities, income, tax projects, etc., you can minimize the uncertainty which for many people increases their comfort level with taking on a long term financial obligation.

 

#4 “It will all work out in the end.”

Except when it doesn’t.

All investing entails risk and there are no guarantees that anything will work out in your favor. However as someone who is approaching retirement, or already retired, your time to recover is probably limited. Leaving your financial wellbeing up to chance at this stage of your life is too hefty a risk to take.

 

#5 “If I just buy a few thousand dollars of it, what can I lose?”

You can lose all of it. And if you’re trading on margin, you can lose even more than the initial amount you invested.

It may seem innocuous, but it’s actually my least favorite of the funniest things retirees say because many times this is someone’s way of giving themselves permission to throw caution to the wind. This is never a smart move. Your hard earned money is too valuable for even one cent of it to be thrown away needlessly. There’s no guarantee against losing any money invested in the market, but risks should be controlled and wisely taken.

 

#6 “The stock market is too high so it has to fall.”

Not necessarily true.

The stock market can never be predicted and at time has a mind of its own. The market being high isn’t the only reason it would fall - and usually not enough to sustain its fall in the long term. Reasons the market falls include a change in macroeconomic policies, news of an economically devastating event, extensive use of margin and debt by consumers, and company overvaluation.

 

#7 “I can’t invest now because it’s just so uncertain.”

Volatility is constant, ironically, in the market; but it shouldn’t be a reason to forego investing entirely. Fear of volatility can be addressed by determining your overall risk tolerance through a questionnaire process. Once you establish how much volatility you can take, you would go about designing a portfolio which contains assets that, overall, will tend to fall within that volatility range.  This should be monitored to ensure adhere to the plan, and adjusted in the case that any deviation from target ranges were to occur.

We are experts in managing the funniest things that retirees say (and do)

We are a wealth management firm located in Farmington, Connecticut. For more information about retirement or financial planning, please contact us.

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