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With the Federal Reserve raising interest rates to their highest level in decades to fight inflation (which is already at 8.2%), economic turmoil in Europe, continued political tensions with China, and ongoing COVID concerns—the global economy is up in the air.

Not to mention that after a 12-year bull run, many economists believe we may finally be heading into the long-predicted recession the U.S. government has tried so hard to stall.

If you’re anything like most retirees or pre-retirees, you’re probably feeling just a tad bit anxious about the resilience of your portfolio and the durability of your retirement savings in these trying times.

Faced with all this market uncertainty, here are some things to consider when managing your money and investments in 2023 and beyond.

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1. Parking Cash in High-yield Savings Accounts, CDs, and Bonds

If you’re not too keen on dipping your toes into the freefalling stock market, then you we would be well advised to take advantage of these historically high interest rates while they last. 

After all, when the Fed raises interest rates, your savings accounts will automatically put more money back in your pocket. As of Q4 2022, the best high-yield savings accounts are offering 2.5–3.11% in annual APYs, according to NerdWallet.

But with inflation above 8%, earning even 3.11% annually still leaves you in the red. Fortunately, there are plenty of other options that offer higher interest rates than your current go-to savings account, including but not limited to:

  • Certificates of deposit (CDs) – A CD is an FDIC-insured savings account that offers a fixed interest rate typically higher than what your bank will offer you for a fixed period of time. Most CD term lengths are 5–10 years. The tradeoff? Your cash is locked in until the CD term expires.
  • Series I bonds – While there are many different types of government bonds, U.S. Treasury-issued Series I bonds carry the least risk. Investors can buy up to $10,000 worth of fixed-rate I bonds annually with terms of up to 30 years. The nice thing about I bonds is that the Treasury will also pay an additional “inflation rate” twice per year. 
  • Corporate bonds – Just about every household brand you can think of issues corporate bonds, which typically offer higher interest rates than government bonds, but at the cost of higher risk. After all, if the company goes bankrupt, your corporate bonds could wind up worthless since corporate bonds aren’t FDIC-insured.

2. Dollar-cost Averaging (DCA) Into the Market as it Goes Up and Down

If you’ve ever dabbled in day trading or swing trading, you may have come to realize that dollar-cost averaging (DCA) is the easiest way to “fire and forget” when it comes to your investments.

“If you like spending six to eight hours per week working on investments, do it. If you don’t, then dollar-cost average into index funds,” Warren Buffet famously remarked.

DCA refers to the practice of allocating a fixed amount of money monthly (or weekly, since it’s up to you) into a specific basket of stocks, ETFs, REITs, and/or index funds. It doesn’t matter what the market is doing or where it’s going: the name of the game is to stick to the plan and invest the same amount, spread across the same portfolio, every single time.

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What stocks should you invest in? Buffett recommends not stock-picking at all, but dollar-cost averaging into a portfolio of index funds to increase diversification and lower risk.

If you do want to invest in specific stocks, then you have to do your own due diligence. Well-established, profitable companies with growth potential (like “blue-chip” Fortune 500s) are going to be relatively safer than untested startups with a lot of VC funding or companies that are shooting up for no reason (like Gamestop and Bed, Bath & Beyond did back in 2021). 

If you aren’t already familiar with them, look into ETFs, REITs, and index/mutual funds to see what makes the most sense for your portfolio.

3. Buying/Renting Out Real Estate for Appreciation and Passive Income

Did you know that investing in real estate has historically been one of the most dependable ways to build generational wealth? Over a century ago, billionaire steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie estimated that 90% of the world’s millionaires achieved their wealth through owning properties. 

If you’re retired or about to retire, chances are you already own your own home or you have the means to purchase a property if you wanted to.

Of course, knowing what type of property to buy, where to look for it, and who to rent it to is easier said than done. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • While the U.S. real estate market has plateaued a bit in 2022, with some of the top metro areas in 2021 either losing value or slowing down significantly, there is still plenty of opportunity if you follow the news. 
  • Properties in growing metros like Dallas, Austin, and Miami may appreciate in 2023, retain their current value, or only go down slightly. The long-term implications of evolving remote and hybrid workplace habits mean that former “secondary” markets will continue attracting new residents and businesses due to their lower cost of living.
  • Many experts believe that the U.S. housing market will go down more in 2023, especially if the predicted recession sets in. Others believe the housing market won’t crash the way it did in 2008 because today’s lenders are incredibly picky with mortgage approvals.

Whatever the case, if you’re interested in investing in real estate, it pays to arm yourself with the right team of agents, lenders, and advisors. You could do all the research on your own, but you might not know what you don’t know.

4. What About Crypto, Blockchain Companies, and High-flying Startups?

Most financial advisors agree that everyone from college students to pre-retirees should allocate around 10% or less of their portfolio to “fun money” investments. After all, we’re only human.

What are “fun money” investments? Basically, any security or investment that could be considered higher-risk or untraditional. Over the past few years, some of the most popular high-flying investments included:

  • “Hyped” but untested startups with VC funding and zero profitability
  • Private equity crowdfunding (anything from startups to real estate)
  • Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain companies behind them
  • Decentralized finance (DeFi) startups
  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)

While you can certainly allocate some of your spare cash to these types of investments, never bet more than you can afford to lose. There are too many nightmare stories of gullible people who bet their mortgage money or kid’s tuition on an all-in gamble and lived to regret it.

Before allocating money to higher-risk investments, you should speak with your financial advisor to determine, based on your monthly spending, what percentage of your portfolio you can safely allocate to these types of investments without compromising your passive income in retirement.

Content on this site is for reference and information purposes only. Do not rely solely on this content, as it is not a substitute for advice from a financial advisor or accounting professional. Aging.com assumes no liability for inaccuracies.

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