A twofer with this post.
First is an update on the market which has been dancing back and forth around its 200 day moving average (DMA). I said back in August that I thought a bear market had started and I still believe that to be the case. To the extent bear markets start slowly, this still meets that description on a couple of fronts with the S&P 500 having failed to make a new high in many months, the slope of the 200 DMA still being negative and how many years we are now from the 2009 low. I would also note the tendency for markets to change direction after the last couple of times that the US changed Presidents.
The market of course took back its 200 DMA as it has had a strong rally from the mid-February low. I won’t change my mind, I will simply prove out as being right or wrong about whether we are in the part of the bear before the large decline hits. More important than what I or anyone else thinks is that you stick to process because everyone has an opinion but no one knows what will happen. Anyone can and will get a couple of these calls right in their investing lifetime and will also get a couple wrong. After having reduced exposure last year, I have been adding some back in because that is the process. If you believe in your process, then you should not second guess it and if you don’t believe in it then you need to do things differently.
Changing subjects, I wanted to share an anecdote about retirement strategy. Long time readers may recall my wife’s involvement with United Animal Friends here in Prescott. She’s been a big cog in the wheel for ages and the organization has flourished. They are at the point where they are about to buy a house to board dogs (they are a foster based rescue and put overflow into boarding facilities which is expensive).
Part of the plan is to have a volunteer live there while other volunteers come and “work” during the day. The person or couple living there would do so rent and utility free except for cable/satellite TV.
It would be a lot of work without question but a great situation for a younger retiree or retired couple to simply save on rent for a few years or rent out a home they own for extra income.
I’ve written about this sort of thing a few times before. My neighbor with a backhoe and his wife did something similar when they were in their 50’s for a few years (they are in their 80’s now) as caretakers for an estate in Florida.
The bigger point is the growing likelihood that more and more Americans are going to have to take an innovative approach to their retirement beyond simply cashing dividend and Social Security checks. This is one example but there are countless others.
Someone who is close to 60, interested in retiring, and who thinks they are not where they should be financially should start exploring now. They should not wake up on day one of retirement and say “ok, now what am I going to do?”