As a renewed individual fast approaching my “senior years”, I have uncovered an ideal prescription for the current stock market disaster and related election year posturing—ignore both! I know my retirement investment portfolio is much smaller now than it was last week, but I don’t need the funds any time real soon so why worry myself sick about it? I cetainly don’t want to sell off in panic! My wife and I have already voted absentee (I won’t tell you who for) so I don’t need to trouble myself with inane presidential debates where each candidate points fingers at his opponent and promises almost everything to everbody–oh and each will solve the present financial crisis (neither specifies precisely how) in their spare time! This is a great country. We have enormous human resouces and in time we’ll solve our problems with American ingenuity whether Obama or McCain gets elected.
I am in far better spirits now that I’ve eliminated CNBC, Fox News and CNN from my daily agenda. (Let the all-knowing media talking heads inform someone else!) Besides the weather here has been beautiful–great for working in the yard or jogging in the park. If at some point I need to inform myself how poor I have become, I can always tune in later and limit my stress to that particular hour. Perhaps the market will have recovered at least partially by then anyway. For the immediate future I will limit TV viewing to the baseball playoffs, the world series, college football and an occasional three or four-star evening movie if it sounds promising.
One thing I ask of my fellow mature concerned citizens. Calling all Boomers and members of the Silent Generation! Once the dust begins to settle, it will be up to each one of us to help guide less experienced members of our families, neighborhoods, companies and communities back to a solid financial footing. Our perspective has been refined through 20, 30 or more years of responsible adult living.. At some point most of us have experienced life’s ups and downs. We have been there and done that! We know how to filter innovative political and private sector “solutions” through the hard lenses of reality. It is also our task to critique proposed remedies which go too far. To survive and prosper, our country must retain and nurture personal incentives for freedom of choice, entrepreneurship and personal responsibilityt. A message to politicians: we expect you to reign in excesses of greed and speculation but please don’t damge or destroy our entire free-enterprise economy!
Let’s get a dialogue going! I would like to hear from others on how you are managing financial-related stress. How do you propose to solve the country’s credit related disaster. I would especially like to hear from individuals nearing retirement who will need to access pension funds, IRA’s or 401(k)’s in the immediate or near-term future. How are you avoiding cracking under the stress? How do you take charge and overcome fear?