Of Course The Stock Market Crashes. I Just Announced I Retired!

Didn’t I always tell you guys that if I ever invested in the stock market or really retired the market would crash? These last two days of big losses are really nothing to laugh at but I just find it so apropos to my own life. Just when I thought I was out, they drag me back in.

This time, however, my friends, I’m not worried because I finally followed the good advice of Jane Bryant Quinn. Quinn, up until a few months ago, wrote the retirement column for AARP. Quinn, IMHO is the supreme expert in retirement planning and setting yourself up so that your money will last you through retirement.

Up until I read Quinn’s new book, “How To Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide” (click here) I truly did not know what to do. And I was 68 years old at the time. Sure lots of people along the way attempted to give me financial advice. The few two times I listened to an expert, turned out to be a disaster. I lost money. BIG money.

In Quinn’s latest book, which has now been fully updated to reflect all the retirement changes as per 2020, she advises setting up a system of baskets; minimally at least three baskets (which is what I have). In one basket should be your Wall Street investment money (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc) This is the money you gamble with in the stock market. This is the money that if you lost it all, your life wouldn’t end. This is the money you can leave long term so that if the stock market did take a dive you can wait the 2 to 5 years for it to come back. The next basket should be semi-invested in almost sure things but at a lower rate of return (i.e. money market)  This is the money that will tide you over while you wait the 2 to 5 years for your primary basket to recover.

The third basket should be filled with enough basic money to tide you over till death should the first two baskets fail. This last basket should be in a guaranteed rate of return and IMHO that would be FDIC. I have my money in this basket invested in a CD that pays 2.5% but before you scoff at that, know that people now will be scrambling for security and usually that entails Treasury Bonds. They’re not paying too well right now. I know a bunch of people who would love to be getting 2.5% on their money. Ain’t gonna happen.

I was so happy that I found someone who wrote clearly and efficiently that finally I was able to understand the complicated world of investment and retirement. In fact, I was so happy about Jane’s advice, that despite her retirement to Rome, I still wrote to her now defunct email address back In January through AARP.  And guess what? Jane wrote back to me.

Here’s my original email:

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And here is Jane Bryant Quinn’s reply:

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The stock market went gone down 1030 points on Monday. Today, Tuesday, the market closed down another 880 points. Maybe this is a correction. And just maybe this is all due to the coronavirus. We have to wait and see. In the interim, my Wall Street investments lost all their 2020 gains as of yesterday. Today, my loss is tapping into last years gains. Not good. But I have my other two buckets and as Quinn advised, I’ll be OK till this madness is over.

In the interim, I covered those two splurges I spent on myself the other day (the ring and the handbag) with cash and paid for them outright. I was going to put them on zero interest but decided against that. This is NO time whatsoever to take on any kind of debt.

Subsequently hubby and I are back to fighting over rich vs low income again. I don’t think it odd that hubs and I attended a low country style shrimp boil the other day and met some more locals. They fled the high cost of living states (like NY and NJ) and swear low income is the way to go.

They bought double lots in questionable neighborhoods (which are now on the rise) and built custom homes and have boats and RVs and Mustang convertibles sitting in their driveways. What they don’t have are higher taxes, higher energy and utility bills and a higher cost of living expenses if they took up residences in the richer neighborhoods.

Ugh.

As usual, of course, I’ll do my due diligence and sharpen up my financial balancing act. Things don’t happen by coincidence. I think our lives are all predetermined.

In the interim, I’ll keep this blog up BUT all things from the before time, which was yesterday, is old news. I have to create a new mission statement and adjust the “About Me” page. See how things change in an instant? I’m not the person I was in the before time. Today is a new day with new challenges and if we are to survive in this world, we have to be able to change and adjust in the same instant.

I will be back from time to time to share with you my feelings and observations. Thanks to all of you who have left me such wonderful comments and well wishes. I highly recommend Quinn’s book. You can rent it for free from the library, which is what I do whenever I need to re-read it. Or buy a low cost ebook copy from Amazon.

Stay safe and healthy amigos.
Hold onto your hats. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

20 comments

  1. We must be on the same train..lol. The stock market is on sale! Time to buy more shares! I’ll have to read Quinn’s book, but we have several buckets set up already. We had a 37% gain since Jan. 1st so I suppose it could be both a correction and the coronavirus. Fear makes people flee.

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    • Hi Sharon. I’m buying more too! I had more in a mutual fund but switching partially into the S&P. I’m rebalancing but only with my Wall Street bucket.
      The virus is going to be a big concern.
      Time will tell.
      Geeze, it’s always something.

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  2. Buy eggs when they are on sale! A bumpy ride is good for the overall health of the economy Guess your shutting down the blog didn’t last long.

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  3. I bought Quinn’s book on your recommendation! Thank you! I also put my IRA in a 3 year CD at 3 percent at the local bank about a month ago…. so glad. I am debating about taking early retirement much earlier. I could actually retire in March, at a lower pension. Some things at work recently are making me question staying five more years.

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    • Hi Cindy. Congratulations! That’s a great rate on the CD. So happy for you.
      Work out the retirement numbers and see what is right for you. Then do it.
      Keep me posted.

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  4. Yay! Glad you are going to still blog sometimes. Thanks for the book recommendation. I will see if I can get from our library. We are 4.5 years from retirement now.

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  5. I also forgot to say that our daughter is expecting #2 and they will have another girl. So 2 granddaughters like you. Our older granddaughter is almost 4 now. Time flies!

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  6. Hi Cindi! I’ve been reading you for a while – as in since like 3 blogs ago. I read you for several reasons: 1) you provide interesting info and links to good/different retirement articles & info; 2) I’m a bit of a voyeur and enjoy looking into other’s lives; 3) I am entertained by your periodic political rants; and most importantly to me 4) you throw in a good plot twist often enough to make this blog a “can’t miss” read. Please keep writing!

    That being said, the living rich vs. low income I think is a misnomer. Its not low income – its simple living. We’ve been doing it for years. You have too, but there always seems to be some sort of negative connotation to living frugally instead of “rich” in your eyes. I always feel like you are both proud and yet resentful. You constantly compare yourself to others lives, which we all do to some extent, but it seems as though a little bit of envy sneaks in to your writing and for the life of me I can’t imagine why. You retired at 50 years old! Almost nobody can do that. That is an amazing thing. I’d do it in a minute but medical coverage is too important for me to retire early. I have another year before I am eligible for retiree medical (55) which will bridge me and my family to medicare – but according to my annual retirement account report from my company I have 8 more years to work in order to retire on anywhere from $83,000 – $103,000 a year (Includes, SS, 401k & Pension). I don’t want to work 8 more years so once our home is paid off we will likely be choosing a simpler, less expensive life over extra years of work and more more money.

    All this, to say you are in an enviable position and never forget it. Simple is better than luxury or in your words, “low income” is better than “rich”.

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    • Hi DeeCee. Thank you so much for reading my blogs for all these years. That says a lot.
      Your retirement figures are astounding. Congrats on that!
      I don’t know so much if what I feel is jealousy or the impetus to just do better. I’m a goal oriented person and very competitive. Even if only in my own mind.
      Thanks again for your kind words. 💕

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  7. So glad you’re posting ! And, since I’ve been reading your blogs forever I’m happy to have you share your insights.

    As for your retirement, you and DH will figure it out, like you always do. I was shocked at how high the cost of keeping up a paid for home is in NY !

    We live in a very far area Miami (West Kendall) but it’s still Miami so it’s pretty high COL, but in comparison to my friends up North we’re doing great.

    There’s no state or county income tax on retirement income so that makes FL attractive to retirees.

    I personally can’t stand the humidity here in the summer but it is what it is. Every time I look into moving somewhere not as hot, the COL is higher.

    Glad you’re back!

    Liked by 1 person

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