It’s been a tough year for investors. Stock values have plunged since the start of 2022, and now a lot of people are looking at losses in their portfolios.
If you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or even 50s and that money is earmarked for retirement, there’s really no reason to sweat it. That’s because your investments likely have plenty of time to recover well before your career is set to wrap up.
But if you’re sitting on a down portfolio in your 60s and retirement is right around the corner, you’re unfortunately in a less favorable boat. And you may have to delay retirement because of it.
If you opt to go that route, you’ll be in good company. Recent Quicken data reveals that 48% of people who planned to retire in 2022 are now reconsidering that idea or holding off.
But are your plans to retire in 2022 automatically doomed? Not necessarily.
You may still be able to move forward
Whether recent stock market events impact your retirement plans will hinge on the hit your portfolio has taken, as well as the extent to which you have other income sources at your disposal. If your IRA or 401(k) plan has only taken a modest hit because you shifted a lot of your money out of the stock market in anticipation of retirement, you may be fine to move forward with your plans to wrap up your career this year.
Similarly, your IRA or 401(k) may be just one of several retirement income sources you have available. It could be that you’re anticipating a generous monthly benefit from Social Security, or that you own a rental property that generates continuous income. In that case, you might be in a position where you can leave your nest egg alone and wait for its value to recover.
Of course, if you were counting on your IRA or 401(k) to fund your retirement and you’ll be looking at serious losses by cashing any portion of it out, then postponing retirement could make sense. But even in that scenario, you may have other options to look at, like a partial retirement where you cut your hours in half but bring home a large-enough paycheck to cover your expenses.
Don’t give up hope
Some people may ultimately have to put retirement plans on hold due to recent stock market events. But don’t automatically resign yourself to that same fate before looking at the big picture and crunching the numbers.
You might also end up in a position where you can move forward with retirement by making lifestyle compromises. Maybe you won’t be able to retire this year and take a trip to Europe. And maybe you won’t be able to afford the nightlife you were hoping to enjoy. But you might manage to pull off a retirement that frees up your days for low-cost leisure and a much-needed break from the grind of a full-time job. There’s a lot of value in that, even if it’s a lifestyle you have to maintain for a few years until your portfolio recovers.
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