When you live exclusively from your investments, the last thing you want to see is a market downturn. But for Steve Adcock – who retired in 2016 at age 35 — the current bear market and potential recession was not a cause for concern.
Despite seeing his net worth plummet by more than $200,000 — from $1.4 million to just under $1.2 million since last year — Adcock didn’t even consider the possibility. to return to a full-time job, or even to take a side hustle.
“Absolutely, absolutely not. It never occurred to me even a little bit,” says Adcock, who previously worked in information technology for 14 years. “It’s the worst-case scenario.”
Adcock and his wife Courtney, another early retiree, are limiting their spending and have a savings account with two years of expenses inside. Should the market downturn last longer than that, he is prepared to sell some investments from their retirement funds rather than return to work.
“I wouldn’t go back to work unless I absolutely had to. I would sell a lot [of stock]he says. “I probably wouldn’t [let my balance] drop more than $500,000, but I could let it go that low.”
As for keeping a cool head while the market slides, Adcock’s secret is simple: don’t spend too much time watching your money. He spends less than 30 minutes a month checking his account balances because he doesn’t plan to change his allowances.
On top of that, Adcock doesn’t like to spend a lot of time watching financial news. Following the market’s daily ups and downs is a recipe for emotional decision-making, he says, which is exactly what he doesn’t want to do.
“Staying away from serious financial news is one way to keep your feet on the ground,” he says. “It helps us make smarter decisions that aren’t just tied to financial emotions.”
In fact, Adcock says the only thing he would change about his investments during the current market downturn is that he would buy more stocks if he had income.
“For a lot of people who have full-time jobs and are making a lot of money, now is absolutely, absolutely the time to buy,” he says. “In the past four or five years, I don’t think there’s been a better time to buy than now. Stocks are selling, might as well take advantage.”
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