Sunday, December 15, 2013

Uncharted Territory

Since retiring in October 2007, I've been working at a number of part time jobs that paid in total 20% to 100% of our retirement expenses.  I did this for two reasons. First, I wanted to try "jobs I loved" to test the possibility of a second career.  (The answer was none.)   Second, I wanted to reduce our withdrawal rate from savings during the Great Recession and preserve capital.  (This worked, but probably wasn't necessary given the stock market recovery through December 2013.)

In 2014, we will be living entirely off our savings and investment accounts.  (We won't be using our retirement accounts yet since I won't have penalty-free withdrawals for another 3.5 years when I turn 59-1/2.) We've been doing a test run since May 2013 when I ended my last part time job.  (My spouse still does a 1-day election polling job, but it pays less than $200, so I am excluding that.)  So far, the test run has worked out well, but the stock market has been very accommodating.

So we move into 2014 with a bit of uncertainty.   I have resigned from all my part time jobs.  Stock market gains are likely to be lower, or maybe, even negative.   Our family size has increased since we adopted a second child in 2013.  The economic recovery is still very slow and fragile.

For me, this will be uncharted territory.   I think we are better prepared than we were in 2007.  Back then, I only expected stock market and my company stock to keep rising.  Now, I know that both can drop significantly in the short term.

For more on  New Beginnings, check back every Sunday for a new segment.

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2013 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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