By Craig Erwin, Ph. D.
It’s always the best and worst of times. The news can depress or excite you or both. Paying too much attention to the news can probably make you sick. Allowing the news to drive your decisions can result in disastrous decisions. For instance, when the news is awful, you might conclude that it makes no sense to save for the future, have children, or even get out of bed. On a good news day, in contrast, you might decide to buy a new car and take a tropical vacation. This would be a terrible way to plan for the future and make important decisions.
The truth is that the news is always good and bad. How you interpret it probably has more to do with your emotional or mental state than with the news. You can always find news stories that make you believe the world is coming to an end. You can also find stories that make you feel like flying to Paris and falling in love. So, consider the news as entertainment, not a guide for living.
When it comes to preparing for retirement, it is definitely best to ignore the news, especially the financial and economic news. The financial and economic news is provided by journalists who are trying to attract eyeballs and sell ads, not by helpful and caring friends who want what’s best for you. Journalists sensationalize. Journalists pander. If they sense that a lot of investors are nervous, they write articles about how bad things might get. That doesn’t mean that the journalist knows what will happen next any more than you do. Remember that it is darkest just before the dawn.
You need to plan for your financial future regardless of what happens in politics, economics, and finance. Regardless of whether a stock market crash, recession, or record-setting bull market is coming, you need to save and invest. And you need to save and invest without ceasing in good times and bad, no matter how horrible or terrific the future looks. The market and the economy will take care of themselves. You need to take care of yourself (and ignore the market and the economy).
So, don’t worry about whether the stock market or the economy are ready to crash or soar or whether it’s the right or wrong time to start investing. It doesn’t matter. Just start saving aggressively and investing the money in the stock market (preferably a stock index fund) and just keep doing it, come hell or high water. When you reach retirement age, you will be very glad you did.
For more information on how to get started saving and investing, click on the following links. https://womenretire.com/the-best-way-for-most-of-us-to-accumulate-wealth-dollar-cost-averaging/