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Market Tanking

By Terry Savage on September 25, 2022 | Investments

My husband and I have been retired for three years. We live on our social security and withdrawals from our IRA accounts. We own our home and a small cottage, but we do not have much “chicken money” as you refer to. Our money is in mutual funds and stocks at Merrill Lynch. We had a little over one million in holdings a year ago, and as of today we have $800,000 due to the falling markets. Everything seems to indicate that the markets are only going to get worse. Should we try to ride this out, or would it be better to take some money out of Merrill Lynch ($50,000 or more?) and purchase I-bonds? I would TRULY appreciate some guidance as this is such a scary time.

Terry Says

Whew — I wish you had listened to me before, when I suggested to all that they need a substantial amount — perhaps 30% if retired — in “chicken money.”
I think the market could go even lower. If you will panic at that loss, then sell perhaps $50,000 now to take care of your needs for the next two years. Savings bonds are a 5-year commitment, so you need to have this in a money market account that you can access. Then tell yourself to stop worrying. America will survive and prosper — and so will you. It takes determination — and enough chicken money– to stop the panic feelings. Sell from your bond portfolio mostly to raise the cash.

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