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American Funds Investors

How one couple survived a volatile market with their retirement intact

Speakers: Howard and Jennifer Duzan

VIDEO, (3:00) Recorded November 17, 2011

 

HOWARD DUZAN: Well, I worried a little bit about retirement. Working 40 years at one job kind of set my day in terms of what I was going to do. I think the biggest thing is to just not be rushed. It’s a wonderful thing to just not be rushed, and do the things that you want to do. That’s a great thing about retirement is taking the time to do things you want to do. That’s great.

JENNIFER DUZAN: I was a medical technologist off and on for 30 years. Well, I actually retired a few years ago, mainly because we got our youngest child out of college.

HOWARD: Retirement seemed like a good thing. Of course, the only thing you have to ask yourself is can you afford to retire? Can you pull that off? I think everybody is somewhat concerned about the stock market and its volatility, but maybe they’ve always been concerned about the stock market and its volatility. So when it goes up we smile and when it goes down we frown and when it goes up we smile again and we just stay the course.

So I think that’s kind of our strategy is to recognize that markets go up and down but not get excited about it. I think there are some things that people can do. One thing is we’ve always had an emergency fund. Everybody should have an emergency fund. You never know when you’re going to lose your job or something’s going to happen. So I think in retirement you have to have kind of an emergency plan.

What happens if the stock market drops a lot? Can you survive that year and then wait for the stock market to come back up? And so we just analyze what would happen if those things occurred and went back historically and looked at that. It gives you a lot of confidence to understand what happened in the past.

JENNIFER: We sought a professional manager because we did not want to have to fret over what we were doing with our money. We wanted that advice.

HOWARD: I think that now in retirement we’ve read some things, we’ve talked to some folks and we think the actively managed funds are probably a good bet. And it’s comforting to know that there are people that are on our side now and we don’t have to worry about it as much.

I didn’t worry about it when I was putting money in my 401(k) because I was just trying to save. But now I’m trying to manage and I don’t want to have to do it myself and I don’t want to just take a risk that it’ll all work out in the long run.

 


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