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370: Psychological Components to Investing and Retirement When the Economy is Screwed

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Joe Biden says the economy is “strong as hell” but he’s wrong. Interest rates increasing at the steepest slope in history over the last year have caused a serious problem for the economy and hell is about to break loose.

I’m not the zombie apocalypse type but I have seen some shady-looking dead people walking around with silver dollars in my yard and I am a little concerned.

Bankruptcies are up 216 percent on the year, higher than the 2008 crisis and double that during the Covid lockdowns. This is before a recession has even been declared.

Banks aren’t lending. Much like they did in 2008, they are sitting on bailout money. Not only does this cause bankruptcies but it also keeps healthy companies from thriving.

The Federal Reserve has really screwed us and it could take a while before we dig ourselves out of the impending mess. It doesn’t help that the current administration appears blind to the problems that we face.

We as real estate investors are not immune from the carnage. We rely heavily on debt and those rates have made the markets illiquid and have significantly affected property values.

So we need to come to grips that there is a good chance many of us are going to lose some money soon. I know I have already.

But it is important to put things in context. The ride up has been fun. Anything people bought and sold between 2009-2021 invariably was a win. But that’s not how markets work. Everybody loses sometimes.

The key is understanding that to get ahead you have to win more than you lose. That means learning lessons when you lose and also not giving up.

In other words, just because you lose some money in this market doesn’t mean you don’t prepare yourself to take advantage of the same set of facts on the buy side. That would be a mistake.

Nothing that happens in the next year is going to kill you. Don’t lose sleep over it. This too shall pass.

My guest on Wealth Formula Podcast this week has thought and written a great deal about the psychology of investing and retirement. Listen to this interview as it may help you to navigate the headwinds before us.

Emily Guy Birken is a finance writer who writes the “Live Like a Mensch” column for The Dollar Stretcher. She is also a contributor to Wise Bread, PT Money, Money Crashers, Yahoo! Finance, and Business Insider, and many other personal finance sites. She edits and writes for the FinCon blog, an annual conference for financial bloggers. She is the author of The 5 Years Before You Retire, Choose Your Retirement, Making Social Security Work for You, and End Financial Stress Now. You can visit her at SAHMnambulist.blogspot.com.