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How Long Will My Money Last?

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How Long Will My Money Last?

This title, including the article, is specifically curated on the probable longevity of your retirement savings. A sizeable nest egg is the saviour and offers a profound sense of security during retirement. And, it is the one question millions panic of, given the importance of financial stability needed to see us through retirement and beyond.

How long your money will actually last is quite debatable and, rests on the degree of our financial literacy and other external, unforeseen circumstances. With the increased cost of medical expenses and, uncertainty becoming all the more relevant, the possibility of exhausting savings rapidly worries retirees.

Apparently, the constant worrying about the duration your retirement money will last will have negative consequences on your daily performance with factors affecting your health too.

Factors Affecting Retirement Savings

Figuring out the exact number of years your retirement savings will last is tricky and is often half-baked. Several components like pensions, if any, social security account, returns, inflation, unexpected expenses and others drastically affect the longevity of your nest egg. Your standard of living and your lifespan also play a significant role in determining the savings for your retirement.

However, still, making a calculated analysis of your savings, taking your investments and annual expenses into account can give you more-than-a-draft of your financial status.

Ways to make your Nest Egg last Longer 

The 4% rule

Sticking to the 4% rule allows you to safeguard your retirement account from deteriorating early. The rule specifies how much you should withdraw from your retirement funds every year. The rule ensures steady income while also maintaining the balance through an incoming flow of money.

The rule should be followed every year with an inflation adjustment. This consists of dividends too and, is a safe bet to ensure a strong investment account. Life expectancy plays a great role here as several expenses, including medical costs, can increase with an increase in age.

Inflation in the 4% Rule

One thing to note in this case is, you need to increase the rate to keep the effects of inflation under control. You can choose to increase the rate by 2% every year or match it with the actual inflation rate.

But there are circumstances where the 4% rule doesn’t work in favour of the retiree. If your portfolio has high-risk investments, it can drain your account during a market downturn. Moreover, you have to be in control of your withdrawals and keep away from violating the rules. Drawing excessively cuts off the principal amount and, impacts the compound interest directly.

The dynamic withdrawal

There are some restrictions in the 4% rule, resulting in limited withdrawals. The money withdrawn every year is only adjusted by inflation. You cannot draw much beyond the limit. To combat this, a dynamic withdrawal option allows you to adjust your withdrawals to investment returns.

The income floor strategy

This works on preserving your stocks even during a market fall and, ensures savings for the long-term. You can set aside a specific amount to cover your monthly essentials through social security or annuity. A single annuity can be a large sum to enhance your income floor.

The Importance of Taxes

Taxes play a huge role in determining the size of your nest egg. There should be a place for marginal tax rate while calculating your retirement income. Check the following:

Standard taxable brokerage account

This tax will be charged every year on your income in case your savings are not in retirement accounts like 401(k), 403(b) or IRA. Tax is charged on dividends and interest earned and, also on capital gains. And, capital gains are taxed at a whopping 15%.

Pre-tax retirement account

This comprises of 401(k) and IRA accounts and, the amount you deposit in a year is excluded from tax. However, the amount you withdraw is taxable. Tax payment on capital gains on a yearly basis is also not required.

After-tax retirement account

It’s highly beneficial to have a 401(k) or a Roth IRA account. You’ll be free of taxes in retirement since you’ve already paid taxes on deposits. What’s more? Your withdrawals are 100% tax-free.

A Balanced Investment for a Bigger Retirement Nest Egg

A sure shot way to keep your retirement savings swelling is to create a powerful, diversified portfolio. Just like a well-balanced meal is important for our overall good health and energy, a well-balanced investment portfolio keeps you financially strong and secure during retirement. Your portfolio should have a good mix of:

  • Stocks
  • Stock Index Funds
  • Bonds
  • Certificates of Deposit
  • International Equities
  • Cash

The asset allocation works in your favour depending on your age and your risk tolerance capability. Also, a proportionate balance of equities and fixed income in your portfolio is important to keep pace with inflation. Investment returns always fluctuate with different market conditions. A well-allocated portfolio ensures protection against other significant losses and, your portfolio enjoys a smoother performance. This eventually helps your savings to increase big time for your retirement.

Changing and Rebalancing Your Portfolio

Changing asset allocation is usually required as you arrive closer to your investment goals. It is also important when there is a change in your financial situation, change in risk tolerance or even a change in financial goals.

If you are not in for changing your portfolio, you can consider rebalancing the same. This involves increasing the proportion of stocks when the stock market is happening. Rebalancing is what most savvy investors prefer to do. It’s about getting your portfolio back to its original shape in case of fluctuations in alignment. By doing this, you can get your asset categories to a more uniform level.

Rebalancing your portfolio is recommended every six to twelve months or better when there is substantial fluctuation in the relative weight of a particular asset class.

Whether it’s changing your portfolio or rebalancing it, it should be done infrequently to derive the best possible results.

The Order of Retirement Income Withdrawal

Withdrawing your retirement income should be from each category and, in a particular order. These include:

  • Bucket one should have enough cash to comfortably cover annual expenses
  • Bucket two should include fixed-investments and, a year’s worth of expenses should transfer to the cash basket. With this, you can cover upcoming expenses
  • The third bucket, filled with equities, should be withdrawn only during an overflow. At the end of the year, you can sell excess equities and refill your fixed income and cash buckets

You should have the patience and the perseverance to wait for a substantially long period before your equities overflow. Your fixed income and the cash buckets can hit an all-time low during such a phase. Don’t become a victim of your own emotions and sell away your investments at unfavourable times.

The Pay-Cut Rule

This rule is apparently useful during the bear market. When the market is low, it affects your portfolio value too and, the withdrawal rate increases. The rule secures your retirement income by instating you to cut down the annual withdrawal by a specific percentage. It provides the flexibility needed to ensure fluctuating market conditions.

The Prosperity Rule

This is the exact opposite of the pay-cut rule. You can enjoy a raise up to the time your portfolio enjoys a positive run in the market. The monthly withdrawal is increased in proportion to the increase in the consumer price index. You enjoy a higher level of retirement income with the ability to maintain your purchasing power.

Retirement Income – In a Nutshell

Under any circumstances, you need to take a disciplined approach and follow the rules to keep your investment portfolio in great shape and ensure a sizeable nest egg for a comfortable retirement. If you are new to this field, pause and take professional guidance. Learn new skills one after the other and, always make the right financial decisions to generate and maintain a lasting retirement income.

Before implementing your own retirement income plan, educate yourself thoroughly about the basics and advanced methodologies of investment and retirement income. You can also take professional advice from an expert who is familiar with the latest tools and techniques in this field.

Always plan your retirement income on the lines of the following questions:

  • What will my savings cover in my retirement?
  • How much do I need to save for my retirement?
  • How much should I save each year for my retirement?
  • How can I make my retirement savings last?

Devise an action plan for every question and consider all the necessary inputs to come up with practical, in-depth answers capable of initiating to lay the foundation for a strong nest egg.

Also, decide the best time to draw benefits from your social security account. As a matter of fact, waiting till you reach 70 is not always the best option.

Investing

Stocks slip from highs; investors wait on Fed

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Stocks slip from highs; investors wait on Fed 1

By Matt Scuffham

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Global stocks slipped from record levels on Tuesday, with investors cautious as the Federal Reserve kicked off its two-day policy meeting and U.S. lawmakers continued to debate a new stimulus plan.

Those concerns overshadowed impressive results from a slew of companies, including from General Electric and Johnson & Johnson, which had earlier pushed the S&P 500 to a record high.

“Investors don’t expect the Fed to give any reason to think they are getting closer to talking about when they will consider scaling back QE, but nervousness is brewing on Wall Street,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York.

Wall Street’s main indexes closed lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22.96 points, or 0.07%, to 30,937.04, the S&P 500 lost 5.74 points, or 0.15%, to 3,849.62 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 9.93 points, or 0.07%, to 13,626.07.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 49 nations, fell 1.99 points or 0.3%, to 666.09.

After a “buy everything” rally over several months supported by money-printing pandemic stimulus packages, near-zero interest rates and the start of COVID-19 vaccination programs, some investors are worried markets may be near “bubble” territory.

They point to rocketing prices of assets such as bitcoin or the soaring stock of short-squeezed videogame retailer GameStop.

“There is room for some consolidation,” said Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Swiss wealth manager Prime Partners.

Uncertainty over the timing and size of fiscal stimulus also tempered sentiment.

Disagreements have meant months of indecision in the United States, where new coronavirus cases have been above 175,000 a day and millions of people are out of work.

Democrats in the U.S. Senate will act alone to approve a fresh round of stimulus if Republicans do not support the measure, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

U.S. Treasury yields were narrowly mixed in choppy trading, after hitting three-week lows on the long end of the curve, as investors remained cautious about the stimulus and the slow global roll-out of coronavirus vaccines.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 2/32 in price to yield 1.0347%.

The U.S. dollar edged lower across the board as traders showed a preference for riskier currencies.

The dollar index fell 0.2%, with the euro up 0.21% to $1.2162.

European stocks advanced, shrugging off political upheaval in Italy, as strong earnings from wealth manager UBS and auto parts maker Autoliv added to a string of upbeat corporate updates.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed up 0.6%, with a rally in automakers, industrial companies and SAP helping the German DAX outperform.

Europe’s broad FTSEurofirst 300 index added 0.64%, at 1,573.47.

The IMF raised its forecast for global economic growth in 2021 and said the coronavirus-triggered downturn in 2020 would be nearly a full percentage point less severe than expected.

Italy’s FTSE MIB rose 1.2% after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte handed in his resignation to the head of state, hoping he would be given an opportunity to put together a new coalition and rebuild his parliamentary majority.1.2163

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 11.47 points or 1.58% in Asia overnight. South Korea and Hong Kong topped losers, each falling more than 2%. The sell-off also caused Japanese stocks to slip 1% and Chinese blue-chips to tumble 2%, their biggest one-day loss since Sept. 9.

All had touched milestone highs earlier this month.

Gold prices edged lower. Spot gold dropped 0.2% to $1,850.63 an ounce. U.S. gold futures settled down 0.2% at $1,850.90.

U.S. crude oil futures settled at $52.61 a barrel, down 16 cents or 0.30%. Brent crude futures settled at $55.91 a barrel, up 3 cents or 0.05%.

(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Dan Grebler, Mark Heinrich and Sonya Hepinstall)

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Current cryptocurrencies unlikely to last, Bank of England governor says

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Current cryptocurrencies unlikely to last, Bank of England governor says 2

By David Milliken

LONDON (Reuters) – No existing cryptocurrency has a structure that is likely to allow it to work as a means of payment over the long term, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey told an online forum hosted by the Davos-based World Economic Forum on Monday.

“Have we landed on what I would call the design, governance and arrangements for what I might call a lasting digital currency? No, I don’t think we’re there yet, honestly. I don’t think cryptocurrencies as originally formulated are it,” he said.

Bitcoin, the best-known cryptocurrency, hit a record high of $42,000 on Jan. 8 and sank as low as $28,800 last week, far greater volatility than is found with normal currencies.

“The whole question of people having assurance that their payments will be made in something with stable value … ultimately links bank to what we call fiat currency, which has a link to the state,” Bailey said.

The BoE, like the European Central Bank, is looking at the feasibility of issuing its own digital currency. This would allow people to make sterling electronic payments without involving banks, as is currently possible with banknotes, and would in theory help avoid the volatility that renders bitcoin impractical for commerce.

Bailey said the appropriate level of privacy for digital currencies was likely to be hotly debated and was potentially underrated as a challenge in setting one up.

“This is a big one that is coming on to the landscape, the whole question of a privacy standard for transactions made in any form of digital currency, and where the public interest lies,” he said.

(Reporting by David Milliken, editing by Tom Wilson and Alistair Smout)

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EU sustainable investment rules need better corporate data – banking report

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EU sustainable investment rules need better corporate data - banking report 3

By Simon Jessop and Kate Abnett

LONDON (Reuters) – European Union rules aimed at defining sustainable investments should help reduce “greenwashing” by businesses, but better quality corporate data is needed to ensure they work effectively, a banking report said on Tuesday.

The sustainable finance rules will classify investments that can be marketed as sustainable, a move aimed at steering much-needed cash into low-carbon projects to deliver the bloc’s climate goals.

From January to August 2020, 26 of the region’s biggest lenders tested the EU framework across a range of core banking processes, including retail banking, trade finance and lending to smaller companies.

As the main providers of finance to companies across the EU, the ability of the banking system to track and report on whether corporate activities are sustainable or not could prove crucial in assessing the rules’ success or otherwise.

The lenders broadly welcomed the regulations as they seek to align their businesses with the transition to a low-carbon economy, the report by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative and the European Banking Federation found.

However, they also raised a number of issues, many of which were data-related and could require a phasing in of reporting requirements.

While many large companies are already required to disclose certain environmental and social information by law, the bulk of smaller and mid-sized banking clients are not, hampering banks’ assessment of their alignment with the rules.

Concerns over the quality, detail and standardisation of data is also an issue when looking at banks’ lending overseas, something that would be made more complex as other regions launch their own regulations.

The banks who tested the EU rules called on regulators to seek global alignment of regulations, and for better tools to manage data from clients, such as a centralised EU database.

While under no compulsion to lend to activities that can be classed as sustainable, banks see sustainable finance as a growth area that is likely to take on more importance in coming years should policymakers tighten environmental legislation.

With more investors globally looking to become shareholders of companies with a good record on managing environmental risk, banks are also likely to look to reduce their exposure to environmentally or socially harmful activities over time.

The European Commission is expected to finish the section of the rules covering climate change in the coming months, before they take effect in 2022.

(Reporting by Simon Jessop and Kate Abnett; Editing by Pravin Char)

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