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Should strategy change to prepare for a recession?

Should strategy change to prepare for a recession?

July 01, 2022

I saw the question: "How should a person's investing, retirement, and personal savings strategy change to prepare for a potential recession?"

Here are a few quick tips:

Going into a recession may be an excellent time for investors to consider a Roth conversion. With markets down as much as they are, converting funds from a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. You will want to talk with your tax advisor before you do this, as there can be considerable tax implications, but for those expecting to be in a lower tax bracket due to the recession, this could be a great move. Moving funds while the market is down during a correction may allow you to convert a larger percentage of your portfolio than you would at a market high. This opportunity can be even more significant for small business owners. Business owners with net operating losses during a recession will want to seriously consider this type of conversion, as these losses may put them in a much lower tax bracket than usual.

Recessions are a challenging time to start retirement. Delaying retirement seems to be one of the best options. It is very common for people to spend way more than anticipated during their first couple of years of retirement. Because the market is down, every distribution you take is a larger percentage of your portfolio than it was even six months ago. Overspending during a recession can dramatically impact your portfolio's ability to provide income in later years. If you're already retired, now it's a perfect time to sit down with your advisor and ask, "is my performance in line with what we expected, and do I need to change any spending?" You may find that you are totally fine; others may find out that they will need to delay large vacations, major purchases, or home repairs.

When it comes to savings, the best thing you can do is regularly compare your monthly spending to your budget. You want to avoid being surprised by how much costs have increased. If you keep close tabs on it, you're much less likely to begin to eat into your savings, or worse, begin to accrue debt, before you realize you need to change your spending habits.