Please forward this error screen to 77. 47 0 0 0 13 6. There have been a lot of predictions from professionals lately about what kind of returns we can expect on our investments, and it doesn’t look good. These a return on investment is best expressed as a-return predictions are based, in part, on diminished expectations for the U.
All of which presents a real predicament for those of us in the middle of our careers who have been assuming strong growth will carry us over the finish line. You see, the real benefit of starting to invest early, the reason people in their 20s are exhorted to open retirement accounts, has always been the power of compounding in the last 10 or so years of a 40 year horizon—the hockey stick uptick on a line graph. But in order to experience that exhilarating growth curve, you need to earn an average annual return in the high single digits, not the low single digits. If these predictions come true—and I hope that they won’t—it will be much more difficult to make money off of money in the future. This will impact just about everybody age 40 or older: current retirees and people living off fixed incomes, those hoping to retire in five to ten years, and those in mid-career who will need to rethink their strategy moving forward. The only real solution, as far as I can tell, is to save more and spend less.
You can try to earn more, but another strange feature of this recovery-that-doesn’t-feel-like-a-recovery is that while unemployment has dropped, wages have remained stagnant. Besides, depending on your tax bracket, you would have to earn a lot more to get to the same amount after taxes that you could put aside by saving. So while the investment pundits are making their predictions and coining their phrases, allow me to offer my own: we may now be entering the era of the New Frugal. My prediction is that if stock market returns become stagnant, we might continue to see a reduction in consumption and an increase in savings. What this all means for the economy as a whole I will leave to the experts to ponder. I’m going to be a heck of a lot more conservative about how much I spend.
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