In order to protect your retirement from a potential economic collapse, you must take a close look at your financial plan and make sure you have enough of a safety net in case the economy falters later this year or next year.
According to Northwestern Mutual’s 2023 Planning & & Progress Study, which looked at Americans’ mindsets and habits towards their financial resources, as many as two-thirds (67%) of American adults believe the economy would experience an economic slump later this year.
“Unpredictable periods offer opportunities to stress-test financial methods,” said Christian Mitchell, Northwestern Mutual’s chief client officer. Consumers are taking positive steps to get ready for whatever financial season may come because they want to know if their wealth structure methods and way of life will remain on track if the economy weakens.
One-third (33%) of those who predict an impending economic slump believe it will be short-lived, lasting a year or less, while one-fifth (19%) believe it will continue longer than two years. According to Northwestern Mutual, 3 out of 4 people who predict an economic crisis believe it will have a large or moderate impact on their short-term (78%) and long-term (75%) financial resources.
Spending less (64%), saving more money (50%), and deferring major purchases until the economy is more stable (41%) are the top 3 activities people are taking. According to Northwestern Mutual, even high net worth individuals—those whose total family investable assets exceed $1 million—are making expense cuts (50%) and delaying major purchases (38%).
In the second part of the year, the economy will experience a slowdown, according to Graham Capital Management vice president Michael Berkhahn.
According to Berkhahn, the stock market typically experiences losses of 32.5% during economic downturns, and it can take up to two years for prices to recover.
It can take an additional 14 months to catch up in retirement if you’re only taking out 4% of your assets annually, according to Berkhahn. According to him, if the economic slump is severe, like the Great Recession of 2008, it may even take longer.
According to Berkhahn, because economic crises are cyclical and can last up to 25 years, financiers may have to cope with one every 5 to 7 years.
Do a security check
“Recessions frequently occur. These things occur. Let’s now go over your plan and ensure security is built into it, says Chris Collins, a wealth management advisor at Collins Financial, a Northwestern Mutual Private Client Group company. Try not to let any immediate concerns affect your long-term plan.
“The fact that economic downturns occur is built into a strong retirement plan. Bake in what it would look like if there is a downturn in the economy within two years of retirement, advised Laura McHugh, vice president and customer adviser at Spinnaker Trust.
Develop your money position
“Make sure you build a financial position in a short-term bucket. If you anticipate needing $40,000 in the coming year, start saving for it now. You want to make some money so you don’t have to sell investments at a bad time, said Carolina Wealth Management co-founder Derek Pszenny.
McHugh agreed that the funds you need for the current year must remain in cash. Additionally, she added, having an extra six months of cost savings on hand is not a terrible idea given the ongoing inflationary climate.
Don’t risk the money you’ll need by taking risks, McHugh said. The fundamental rule is that you must keep the cash you need for the current year in money, regardless of the state of the economy.
Switch to high-quality stocks
Pszenny suggested selecting low volatility funds or funds that hold dividend-paying stocks. They employ a cushion for those dividends.
They will decline slightly less than the rest of the market, according to Pszenny, with 20% less volatility.
Pszenny advised moving 5% to 10% more of your equity portfolio into these funds to provide some defence.
To identify any weak spots in the rest of your portfolio, McHugh advised examining all of your equity holdings.
“Look at the stocks you own; during an economic crisis, there may be a lot of company collapses. The race is won by the slow and reliable. Look for high-quality items and brands, advised McHugh.
Shift to longer term bonds
If the economic downturn lasts longer than a year or you need additional protection, seek for more stable investments for the money you’ll need over the next years.
“The Fed often lowers interest rates during economic crises. The time has come to switch from short-term to medium-term bonds, according to Pszenny.
According to experts, belongings should be kept in more conservative, fixed-income containers for a period of 2 to 5 years.
Collins said, “You need to feel at peace knowing that your income needs are covered for many years.”