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March 9, 2009
Old 01-08-2018, 09:25 AM   #1
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March 9, 2009

How many here retired on or around this date? I mean really did anybody retire that month? Anyway, I was close. I retired on 6/30/2010. Of course this day being the low point of the Dow at 6547 before the tremendous rally that is still going on. I just feel fortunate to have retired into one of this greatest bull markets of all time.
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Old 01-08-2018, 09:48 AM   #2
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I retired from my megacorp job on July 7, 2008. I had plenty of time to watch my retirement money go down on CNBC that Fall and the next Spring. Fortunately, my DW was still working, so we didn't have to make withdrawals and were never in panic mode.
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Old 01-08-2018, 09:50 AM   #3
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I retired at the end of business on 10/31/2008, while the markets were still in free-fall. It was a little scary for the first few months when they kept falling for the next few months. But they did bounce back very nicely since then. And the falling markets did present a big buying opportunity in November of 2008 which greatly helped me at the start of my retirement.
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Old 01-08-2018, 09:52 AM   #4
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I clearly remember thinking I would not see another 12k dow for a very very long time, and wondered how my retirement date would change. It has changed, only sooner with higher income!
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Old 01-08-2018, 09:57 AM   #5
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I think it is VERY important to remember that you only lose out if you HAVE to take money from accounts during the drop. I heard so many people still working talk about how they got hammered and lost nearly everything during that time. Only if they were ignorant of markets and made changes to their holdings to Fixed investments AFTER the drop, and left it there.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:02 AM   #6
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I retired on 12/19/2008. The market had been tanking pretty badly. Didn't matter. The mega-corp gave me salary continuance for 2 years and we had cash to weather the storm. Also, the company pension was there to tap into (it is based on a formula, not the market), and we are not big spenders. It all worked out just fine...
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:48 AM   #7
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I remember those bleak days and watching the TV. All the pundits were predicting gloom and doom, housing would probably never recover, the stock market was done and over with, the new economic realities meant that China and developing countries would get all the goodies from now on. We Americans would struggle to maintain some of our middle class standards, like many of the European countries are doing. People were panicked into selling decades worth of investments at low prices . On and on it went. I had some spare cash and bought a bit more of my favorite S&P 500 Index fund. Then I went back to work, day after day after day.

Today, the market is up over 3 times the low.

That's why I have stopped listening the the news, the press commentary shows, and the assorted experts. Instead I think for myself. I suppose that means I am one of the dangerous radicals that infest this site.
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Old 01-08-2018, 12:01 PM   #8
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March 9, 2009 was the low point for my portfolio during that crash, also. I didn't retire until November 9, 2009, but even by that time I still wasn't at all sure we were out of the woods. It seemed like maybe the crash had just temporarily eased off in preparation for an even bigger crash. However I mentally flipped the bird to the market and retired anyway.
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Old 01-08-2018, 12:19 PM   #9
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I think I hit the worst of times..... FIRE'd in mid 2006. That was long enough before the Great Recession to become comfortable that all was under control and then, BAAM!, took it right in the chops with a one third portfolio reduction!

After fortunately deciding to hold my AA and press on, the biggest decision was what to do with spending. We decided to continue all our plans and didn't reduce spending a bit. Thankfully, no regrets over that as the portfolio recovered and we enjoyed the travel and other activities we considered cutting.
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Old 01-08-2018, 12:38 PM   #10
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I think I hit the worst of times..... FIRE'd in mid 2006. That was long enough before the Great Recession to become comfortable that all was under control and then, BAAM!, took it right in the chops with a one third portfolio reduction!

After fortunately deciding to hold my AA and press on, the biggest decision was what to do with spending. We decided to continue all our plans and didn't reduce spending a bit. Thankfully, no regrets over that as the portfolio recovered and we enjoyed the travel and other activities we considered cutting.
Yeah! I remember 2006. I was 100% equities and my investments were doing really well, especially small cap and emerging markets IIRC. I thought I was great at investing at that time, but later learned it was just the market, not me.

What a shock 2009 must have been for you as a relatively new retiree.
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Old 01-08-2018, 01:31 PM   #11
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I think I hit the worst of times..... FIRE'd in mid 2006. That was long enough before the Great Recession to become comfortable that all was under control and then, BAAM!, took it right in the chops with a one third portfolio what to do with spending. We decided to continue all our plans and didn't reduce spending a bit.


Me too. Retired in April 2006, my husband had just died in January 2006. Thankfully, I had discovered this forum right about then. With information from this forum and handholding from my advisor, I held on. Thank you forum members!
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Old 01-08-2018, 01:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post

What a shock 2009 must have been for you as a relatively new retiree.
I just recently got over the twitching and cringing it caused me!
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Old 01-08-2018, 01:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
I remember those bleak days and watching the TV. All the pundits were predicting gloom and doom, housing would probably never recover, the stock market was done and over with, the new economic realities meant that China and developing countries would get all the goodies from now on. We Americans would struggle to maintain some of our middle class standards, like many of the European countries are doing. People were panicked into selling decades worth of investments at low prices . On and on it went. I had some spare cash and bought a bit more of my favorite S&P 500 Index fund. Then I went back to work, day after day after day.

Today, the market is up over 3 times the low.

That's why I have stopped listening the the news, the press commentary shows, and the assorted experts. Instead I think for myself. I suppose that means I am one of the dangerous radicals that infest this site.
+1
Seems to me that two of the most important things one can learn in life is first, to stop listening to all of the opinions you see in the "news," and now that includes all those memes and "quotes" popping up in social media. And second, to be able to see whatever the current situation is in an historical perspective.

During and after the election my millennial son, seeing all the hatred, division and anger in the country, feared we might be on the verge of anarchy or dictatorship or the country breaking apart. He told me he thought this was the worst it has ever been. I had given him the book "1968" and told him to finish reading it, and asked him to think about the great depression of the 30s, the rise of the KKK, about how things looked in 1942, when it looked like we could actually loose the war, in the 50s during the McCarthy era, during the 60s when we came so close to nuclear war.

I told him that now was not the time to dwell on current events, keep informed if you want, but no need to dwell on the negatives. Now was the time to concentrate on his career and his continued learning, and if he had to worry, worry about the things in his life over which he actually had control, his job, life, music. And to have some fun. That this time he is in now, whatever happens, will simply look like a blip in history and that nothing is as bad as it seems at the time. Our country and institutions are strong and resilient.

Happy to say he seems to be listening, now most of our conversations center on his job, career, music and life. Just a few years out of college and he has saved a lot, invested in index funds in his 401k and IRA and looking forward to the future.

I am still amazed today how many people, on both the political left and right, much older than my son, in their 50s and 60s still are unable to keep a perspective on what they see and hear in the news. And maybe some of their excessive spending habits and inability to invest are predicated on their belief that the future looks bleak. I dunno, maybe I'm just rambling....
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:02 PM   #14
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My last day of employment was 2/26/2009 - pretty darn close to the bottom of the market. I was not worried at all knowing my 401K/IRA was heavily invested in equities and that I did not need the money at the time.

Fast forward to 2018 and I still have yet to touch my IRA and it has tripled in value. I stayed the course and did not make any allocation changes in the last nine years. Sure, it is over invested in stocks which now needs some attention to balance in a more conservative nature.

Bottom Line - stay the course with your investment decisions and avoid knee-jerk reactions to Mr Market.
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:49 PM   #15
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Mine was 1/21/2009. Two days later we were on a 14 day tour of South America. I held the course, and even though DW was concerned, I told her in the long run the market will recover.
I am now a happy member of the two comma club.
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Old 01-08-2018, 03:09 PM   #16
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I retired 3/31/2007. March of 2009 was a jolt to the system for sure. Thank goodness markets rebounded nicely in a short period of time.
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Old 01-08-2018, 07:04 PM   #17
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I think it is VERY important to remember that you only lose out if you HAVE to take money from accounts during the drop.

AND even then, you only lose out on the money you have to take. So if your portfolio tanks 20% and then recovers, but you had to withdraw 8% in the meantime, then you really only lost 1.6%. Right?
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Old 01-08-2018, 08:50 PM   #18
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Retired March 08, scary for a while but doing better than ever these days.
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Old 01-09-2018, 05:17 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
I remember those bleak days and watching the TV. All the pundits were predicting gloom and doom, housing would probably never recover, the stock market was done and over with, the new economic realities meant that China and developing countries would get all the goodies from now on. We Americans would struggle to maintain some of our middle class standards, like many of the European countries are doing. People were panicked into selling decades worth of investments at low prices . On and on it went. I had some spare cash and bought a bit more of my favorite S&P 500 Index fund. Then I went back to work, day after day after day.

Today, the market is up over 3 times the low.

That's why I have stopped listening the the news, the press commentary shows, and the assorted experts. Instead I think for myself. I suppose that means I am one of the dangerous radicals that infest this site.
+2. It was a painful time, but staying on the roller coaster was the thing to do and it paid off.
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Old 01-09-2018, 06:03 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by CaliforniaMan View Post
+1
Seems to me that two of the most important things one can learn in life is first, to stop listening to all of the opinions you see in the "news," and now that includes all those memes and "quotes" popping up in social media. And second, to be able to see whatever the current situation is in an historical perspective.

During and after the election my millennial son, seeing all the hatred, division and anger in the country, feared we might be on the verge of anarchy or dictatorship or the country breaking apart. He told me he thought this was the worst it has ever been. I had given him the book "1968" and told him to finish reading it, and asked him to think about the great depression of the 30s, the rise of the KKK, about how things looked in 1942, when it looked like we could actually loose the war, in the 50s during the McCarthy era, during the 60s when we came so close to nuclear war.

I told him that now was not the time to dwell on current events, keep informed if you want, but no need to dwell on the negatives. Now was the time to concentrate on his career and his continued learning, and if he had to worry, worry about the things in his life over which he actually had control, his job, life, music. And to have some fun. That this time he is in now, whatever happens, will simply look like a blip in history and that nothing is as bad as it seems at the time. Our country and institutions are strong and resilient.

Happy to say he seems to be listening, now most of our conversations center on his job, career, music and life. Just a few years out of college and he has saved a lot, invested in index funds in his 401k and IRA and looking forward to the future.

I am still amazed today how many people, on both the political left and right, much older than my son, in their 50s and 60s still are unable to keep a perspective on what they see and hear in the news. And maybe some of their excessive spending habits and inability to invest are predicated on their belief that the future looks bleak. I dunno, maybe I'm just rambling....
Good advice and well stated.
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