The Week on Wall Street
Positive jobs report sent stocks soaring last Friday, capping a solid week as evidence of a global economic recovery outweighed concerns over civil unrest and tensions with China.
FACT OF THE WEEK
World Oceans Day, June 8, is a day of global awareness and celebration for "the lungs of the earth," with oceans making up the majority of the oxygen we breathe. In 2002, the Ocean's Project started to globally promote and encourage all to dive in as part of their mission to protect 30% of lands and oceans by 2030. In 2008, the UN (United Nations) officially recognized June 8th as World Oceans Day.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 6.81%, while the S&P 500 advanced 4.91%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index lagged, climbing 3.42%. The MSCI EAFE Index, which tracks developed stock markets overseas, gained 5.52%.
Stocks March Higher
Despite multiple headwinds, stocks rode a wave of optimism over economic recovery and were encouraged by signs that a feared spike in COVID-19 had not occurred.
Firming oil prices and positive global manufacturing data helped boost stocks during the week. The market continued to be led by industry sectors that were most battered in the March decline, as price advances slowed in growth-oriented stocks, primarily technology names.
After a pause on Thursday, stocks surged on Friday when a jobs report surprisingly showed 2.5 million new jobs in May, with the unemployment rate falling to 13.3%. Wall Street expected a decline of over 8 million and an unemployment rate of 19.5%.
A Wall of Worry
While the markets continued to move higher last week, many investors are concerned that the recovery may hinder in response to the simmering tensions with China and the civil unrest that erupted last week.
China has been a longstanding source of market worry, but the civil unrest introduces a new challenge. For now, the market appears to have shrugged off these concerns.
This past Wednesday marked the best 50-day gain for the S&P 500 in the index's history. During a period that approximates the lifespan of a mosquito, stock market sentiment has swung from near-absolute despair in late March to positively bullish.
Often, the most impactful lessons in life tend to be those most recently learned. If the last three months have offered investors any experience, trying to time the market is a challenging proposition.
FINANCIAL STRATEGY OF THE WEEK
HOW WOMEN CAN PREPARE FOR RETIREMENT
The Social Security Administration (SSA) estimates that today's average 65-year-old woman will live to age 86½, compared to when our parents retired (change this to a time period, versus saying ‘when our parents retired,’ as we are all different ages), living to 75 amounted to a long life, and a pension often supplemented social Security. Given the new projections, it appears that a retirement of 20 years or longer might be in your future.
Are you prepared for a 20-year retirement?
How about a 30-year or even a 40-year retirement? It could happen according to the SSA's projections: around 33% of today's 65 year-olds will live past 90, with nearly 14% living to be older than 95.
Start with the right questions.
How can you draw retirement income from what you have saved? How might you create other income streams to complement Social Security? And what are some ways you can protect your retirement savings and other financial assets?
Enlist a financial professional.
The right person can give you some good ideas, especially one who understands the challenges women face in saving for retirement. These may include income inequality or time out of the workforce due to childcare or eldercare. It could also mean helping you maintain financial equilibrium in the wake of divorce or the death of a spouse.
If you are in your fifties, you have less time to make back any significant investment losses than you once did. So, protecting what you have could be a priority. At the same time, the possibility of a retirement lasting up to 30 or 40 years will require a good understanding of your risk tolerance and overall goals.
Consider extended care coverage.
Women have longer average life expectancies than men and may require significant periods of eldercare. Medicare is no substitute for extended care insurance; it only covers a few weeks of nursing home care, which may only apply under particular circumstances. Extended care coverage can provide financial relief if the need arises.
Claim Social Security benefits carefully.
If your career and health permit, delaying Social Security can be a wise move. If you wait until full retirement age to claim your benefits, you could receive larger Social Security payments. For every year you wait to claim Social Security, your monthly payments grow roughly 8%.
Retire with a strategy.
As you face retirement, a financial professional who understands your unique goals can help you design an approach that can serve you well for years to come.
As always, please contact my office with any questions or financial concerns you may have.