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Old 09-19-2009, 07:13 PM   #21
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I was retired, I am retired, and I plan on being retired, so, nothing.
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Old 09-19-2009, 07:23 PM   #22
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Seeing my job possibly in danger, I tried to reduce expenses a little and pulled a couple years worth of cash out of my HELOC and just deposited it in CD paying more than the HELOC cost of funds. Left my asset allocation and investments alone. I did lose my job, but unexpectedly found a new one fairly quickly so I didn't need to use any of the HELOC funds. As the CDs mature, I'm paying the HELOC back down. I did a little bit of housecleaning when I rolled my 401k from ex-employer into my IRA, but that was mostly to capture price breaks and admiral shares. Basic allocation is unchanged and basic strategy is unchanged.
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Old 09-19-2009, 07:35 PM   #23
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I had never held CDs before. When I saw what happened with the money market funds (risk of breaking the buck), I moved about half of my short-term cash into the bank from brokerage and into bank CDs. I also increased the cash in the bank account. This was in anticipation of some short-term disruptions that thankfully never occurred.

I also shored up my short-term cash as I could - I had a couple of brief opportunities before things really dropped.

After than, I just sat back and watched the show!

Well, actually, I did rebalance a three times on the way down and once so far on the way up.

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Old 09-19-2009, 07:37 PM   #24
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I retired in January of 2008 so it was a real trial by fire . I had been through some other tough cycles but this was the worst . I cut back on travel ,gifts and donations . Now that I am only $140,000 under that Oct 2007 peak I've loosened the travel strings and I am breathing a sigh of relief .The gifts I'm going to stay at the cut back rate because I've seen that most people did not notice the difference . Like Nords I am taking advantage of the recession to do some remodeling . I have found that they now show up on time and play let's make a deal on the price .
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Old 09-19-2009, 07:37 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Dawg52 View Post
I just got a price to repair/replace fascia boards and paint the trim work on my house. I was shocked at the price. About 70% higher than I guesstimated. I'm probably out of touch on the repair work but I know I'm not on the painting as I had my mother's house painted 2 years ago and it's basically the same size house. The recession must not be affecting prices in my area.

Oh well, time to move on to another quote.
I got an estimate to replace a landscape timber retaining wall at the back of our property. Maybe 60 feet long and around 3 feet high. The estimate was about $7000. WTF!

Paid $650 to have the old timbers hauled away. Bought the timbers for less than $500. Did trips up the hill for class five and gravel at about 8 bucks a truck load. Paid young relatives to help put in the wall. Total cost about $1500.
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Old 09-19-2009, 08:03 PM   #26
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I got an estimate to replace my driveway. Seven grand. I will just drive on the old broken one until I can find someone to do it cheaper. I tied up $$$$$$ in Cd's in 07, 5% for five years. Not bad when Cd's now are only paying around 2%. I still work but can see the light. old trig
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Old 09-19-2009, 08:11 PM   #27
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I didn't really do anything.

I did buy stock on one of those 500-point-down days. I was in the administration office, and a very nice young soul (23?? ) had cnn on with a red, flashing "banner of doom".

Hmmm - I asked her to get a quote on this and that, said "I'm going shopping" and bought 100 shares of a stock I had had my eye on. If I had had more loose cash, I would have done more.

I'm entirely indexed except for 2 things, so that was my excitement. (It is up $12 per share now.)

ta,
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Old 09-19-2009, 08:16 PM   #28
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I just crawled under my desk and assumed the fetal position. When the market turned my wife called me with "it's ok to come out now, hon".
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Old 09-19-2009, 08:28 PM   #29
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I retired in October 2007, I'm still retired. We watched our budget in 08 and stayed away from any big purchases. We still went on vacation and I'm still a member at a very nice golf club. This year we had our deck redone and I am planning on helping my adult sons out alittle bit to help them get ahead. If the market was still at 7000 I would probably not have had the deck redone.

So I guess that we tightned up alittle when the net worth was dropping on paper, and now that it is rebounding somewhat, we are spending alittle more. But I'm also 52 now so only 10 years away from SS and two years closer to death.
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Old 09-19-2009, 09:05 PM   #30
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I rebalanced in February/March 2007 as the stock portion of my portfolio exceeded the 65% upper limit of my 10% band. I did nothing over the next two years other than worry if the end of the world was at hand. In March of 2009 I started thinking that it was almost time to start buying equities since I was rapidly approaching the 55% lower limit of my allocation for equities. Just about when I was wondering if I really had the guts to do it the market starting going up... saved by the bell. I'm currently at about 62% equities and if I get to 65% rinse and repeat.
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Old 09-19-2009, 11:42 PM   #31
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I rebalanced over several months, setting up automatic purchases in Vanguard so I didn't have to think about it. I am back to my target asset allocation just this week.
I had been sort of planning to buy a new car, but decided instead to keep the old beater(s). As of today they are both still running so I guess that turned out to be a good move anyway.
I stuck to my regular budget through the whole thing. I thought I was cutting back on discretionary purchases (the market drop freaked me out), but seem to have spent all my budget anyway.
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Old 09-20-2009, 12:06 AM   #32
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How did I react? With CNBC on in the background, I moved the living room furniture closer to the center of the room. Then I ran around it in circles as fast as I could, yelling "Oh my Gawd! Oh my Gawd!!"

Seeing that my impassioned outburst had absolutely no effect on CNBC... I quietly turned off the TV, moved the furniture back, and went back to remodeling my kitchen.

In year 8 of an early-E/R. Pretty big cash buffer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ejman View Post
.......In March of 2009 I started thinking that it was almost time to start buying equities since I was rapidly approaching the 55% lower limit of my allocation for equities. Just about when I was wondering if I really had the guts to do it the market starting going up... saved by the bell.......
That PO'd me a bit, after the fact. Back in March, I dropped below my 55% lower trigger, didn't notice, wasn't paying attention, then just caught how low the S&P was. Didn't have enough time before the market closed that day to get the specifics together to rebalance. No worry, got a plan together that night for the next time, figured it would come in the few days after that, or weeks after. Never did. That exact day that I didn't have my act together was the market low. Oh well...
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:31 AM   #33
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I'm nearing the end of the accumulation phase.

The first thing I did was calculate how many extra years it would take to reach our number - at one stage retirement looked like being deferred from 2013 to 2016 or 2017.

The second thing was to see how long we could last without having to sell assets if we both lost our jobs - the answer was measured in years so I decided there was no need to do anything other than try to pick the bottom and move cash to equities or real estate.

The third decision was to make sure I kept my properties tenanted even if I had to cut rent to keep a tenant (which I did). Keeping the rent coming in meant I did not have to dip into my own pocket to meet mortgage payments.

I started buying in November 2008 with the intention of running down my cash over a period of about six months. This proved to be a good decision.

I then got lucky - I changed jobs and received a substantial lump sum from my long service payment. The first installment was received at the end of January and I more or less immediately invested all of it in equities over a 2-3 month period. The second installment came through a few months later and was also invested in equities over a short period of time.

This was aggressive but so far has more or less got us back to the original retirement target date at the end of 2013.
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:00 AM   #34
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51, 3 years retired (paid-off house, no pension, divorced), 100% in dividend paying individual stocks.

No changes to investing, travel, or spending plans. Market value of stocks shot down, then up (couldn't care less), while earnings and dividends kept increasing, although slower than before the recession (much more important to me). My main reaction to the crisis was when the increasing tension in the financial sector in the spring and summer of 2008 made analyzing the assets of anything there difficult I traded in all financial stocks for ADP, SYY, PG, JNJ, KO, etc.
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:44 AM   #35
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Hey Dawg, are you moving everything to CD's now. (heh)
20% stocks
30% bonds
50% cd's

The stocks are mainly dividend stocks. I'm satisfied with my AA now. First of the year I was roughly 50/50.

I wish I could have regained all my losses like some here, but didn't have the b*lls to double down or ride it out any longer. Just happy to be closer to my original 'number'.
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:46 AM   #36
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We didn't change anything investment-wise. On a whim, I applied for a job and got it. Been there a year now. The bulk of the extra income is going to savings but I did buy a new toy (motorcycle) that has been a lot of fun - 6,300 miles since December and a few nice restaurant meals that we probably wouldn't have done otherwise.

I'll stay at the job until at least next spring since in the winter we don't go outside much anyway so I may as well do something productive.
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:16 AM   #37
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Mainly doing alot to repairs/maintenance I would normally contract out. Stained one house myself ... a 3k job done for half (with a rented lift and sprayer). Now finishing up painting our house; a 8k job I'll do for 2k.

Also found a laid off plumber who charges HALF what my existing plumber charges. Sent him on two rental jobs and smiled at the bill! That hasn't happened in a long time.
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:28 AM   #38
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Well, since we are Retired ( @ age 55 and now 62)? We weathered 08' quite well..
1. We have a Investment port of 20/80 an provides more than enough income & growth
2. We keep 2-3 yrs of COH to pay the bills in MMKt,CD's and ST Bonds
3. We live with-in our means most of the time- Modest Home , Used cars, etc..
4. We use Alot of Coupons and Discount Membership plans ( saves us ave of $5k yr) and gives us Alot more Things to eat an Do on the Cheap we otherwise wouldn't.

And While working Yrs? We never had more than about 50% in Stocks, that forced us to Live more with-in our means and Save more and when we hit in our late 40's and the kids were on their way, we dropped to a 30/70 mix portfolio..

We didn't make much last yr, only about 4% on our Investments, but our Pensions an New SS income is far more than we need anyway..Just Reinvesting our savings for the future days when we may need More Income..to hire a Live In to take care of us or NH costs, etc..

Or, if we die before then? More $ for the Kids and Some Chariities!

But, we're still looking for that 'Caccoon' retirement Village.. we want to stay at the Age and Physical status we are now at for another 100 yrs.. Life is Good..so far..

LOL..;-)

20/20 hindsight on Investing? Don't own more than 50% in equities an after age 40? More into Bonds.....

Kids? VWELX & VWINX isn't a Bad Place to start..then add some more Bal. Funds like OAKBX, FPACX, PRPFX and when you get 'really old-like 50's? LOL, add a HSTRX.
and just load them up with your Nickels and Dimes and let them take care of things..

Worked for Us and many of our Friends..!
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:29 AM   #39
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I worried a little about my job but not hers. It wouldn't have crimped our lifestyle if I lost mine but I would have been pissed off about not having the extra monthly cash to buy at market lows.
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:40 AM   #40
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I wish I could have regained all my losses like some here, but didn't have the b*lls to double down or ride it out any longer. Just happy to be closer to my original 'number'.


The only way I regained a chunk of my portfolio was to stay at 70% equities and ride it up . I have now rebalanced down to 65% and that is where I will stay . I've read that the number should match your comfort level not your age and that is my comfort level .
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