Give thanks for blessings despite market uncertainty

Thanksgiving this year gave my family and me many blessings to count, even though the past year also brought a number of surprises in the market.

My hope is that you will be thankful for the following tips to help you prepare for retirement and to shield you from unexpected market moves. A good plan for retirement can buffer your portfolio from unforeseen events that otherwise can shake up investors.

Remember how badly 2016 started for the economy and the markets. Economic and market reports from China worried investors, global stocks fell and interest rates dipped. Decisive moves by central bankers help to address those concerns.

U.S. stocks recovered so well that major indexes hit new highs more than a dozen times so far this year. Retirement Watch subscribers received recommendations from me about how to profit from this market climb, and you can do so too by clicking here to learn about how to join them.

Keep in mind change is a constant. For example, oil prices plunged in 2014 and settled at lows of less than $30 per barrel in early February 2016. But the price of crude oil rose above $50 per barrel by June 2016 and has remained above $40 for the second half of the year. Most other commodities rise in price, too.

Also consider the surprising and unexpected emergence of non-traditional candidates running for U.S. president. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders injected interest in the Republican and Democratic primaries, respectively. Trump then triumphed in a head-to-head match-up with Hillary Clinton to win election as the next U.S. president.

Political events elsewhere were no less surprising. Atop the list was the U.K. vote to leave the European Union. This shocker ushered in a global rise in populism, nationalism and unhappiness with established policies and trends.

Those are among the highlights of 2016. It also reinforces my view that it doesn’t pay to try to forecast events, since even experts struggle to do it well in their areas of specialty.

As for me, I am thankful for the opportunity to help thousands of readers establish and sustain their financial independence. My various Retirement Watch portfolios achieved solid returns, while adjusting to the changes.

My newsletter offered ways to better manage IRAs, establish guaranteed lifetime income, cut income taxes and reach estate planning goals. The newsletter also offered guidance amid the rapid changes in long-term care, Medicare and more.

Plus, the newsletter has a process in place to meet the surprises and obstacles that arise. Consider the ways Retirement Watch could help you.

I hope you join me in giving thanks this year and that I can help you identify many more blessings by this time next year, especially as you plan for retirement.

History tells us that George Washington was the first U.S. president in office to lead the nation in a celebration of Thanksgiving. However, let’s also give credit to Abraham Lincoln for taking a big role in turning the holiday into an American institution. Here is an excerpt from President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, issued amid the dark days of the Civil War:

Be thankful for the “gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

— Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation — October 3, 1863

— Bob Carlson

Bob Carlson wrote the book on retirement and retirement planning – twice: “The New Rules of Retirement” (Wiley, 2nd ed. 2016) and “Personal Finance after 50 for Dummies” (with Eric Tyson; 2nd ed. 20-15). He also is the lead writer for the website.

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Bob Carlson