Retiring During a Recession

Learn more about retiring a recession from Elder Law Queens, Lori Somekh.

Whether you’re planning to retire before the end of the year or you’re worried about how the looming recession might affect your retirement in the coming year, don’t panic. While you don’t necessarily have to worry about being laid off, there might be some concerning moments regarding your involvement in the stock market. Even though a recession is going to be a bit unnerving, as long as you have a good financial plan, you can avoid some of the stress. 

What Causes a Recession? 

As a country, we’re no strangers to recession. We even had one in the early months of 2020, but it didn’t get much media coverage since we were dealing with more pressing issues. However, the two-month-long recession was the most serious since the Great Depression. In those two short months, the GDP fell 19.2 percent, and unemployment shot to nearly 15 percent. 

So, what causes a recession? A recession occurs when the demand for goods surpasses a country’s ability to produce them. This snowballs into high prices for goods (that pesky supply and demand), which means businesses have to spend more, reducing earnings and might result in lay-offs or a cut in employee pay. Suddenly employees aren’t making enough to cover rising costs, and, well, we’re familiar with the rest. 

If you’re retiring, this snowball effect of economic uncertainty and chaos can be concerning. However, a recession during your season of retirement doesn’t have to mean doom and gloom for your financial portfolio. 

What Can You Do to Protect Your Assets? 

If you’re about to retire or it’s in the near-ish future, there are some things you can do to protect your assets to reduce personal economic hardship, even if a recession occurs. Here are some ways you should prepare: 

  • Save Your Money: While losing your job right before retirement seems unlikely, it’s not impossible. Having an emergency fund is crucial as a recession approaches. Most financial planners recommend having at least six months’ worth of expenses in your emergency fund. But remember, something is better than nothing. 
  • Pay Your Debt: Building an emergency fund might be hard if you’re also trying to pay off debt, but if you’re able to, paying off any existing debt will help your financial situation tremendously. It’ll also improve your credit which might help your borrowing potential later. 
  • Stash Away Some Cash: We’ve all heard horror stories about mattresses with squirreled away cash getting thrown away, so we’re not suggesting that. However, if you start taking cash out of your savings or checking account, make sure you keep it somewhere safe. Make sure safe codes are added to your will, so your money is readily accessible to any beneficiaries. 
  • Be Cautious about Investing: Now is not the time to start investing, and it’s not the time to panic and cut your losses. While riding out the recession with your investments falling in value might seem daunting, you could be losing hundreds or thousands of dollars if an investment falls and you cash out. 

How Somekh & Associates Can Help? 

If you’re wondering whether or not you need to start preparing your assets for a potential recession, Somekh & Associates can help. It’s always better to have your estate and financial documents professionally drafted and organized, especially as we enter an uncertain economic climate. 
Visit our website or contact us at (718) 740-3300 to schedule a free consultation with our New York estate planning attorneys.

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