Advisor Website Home | Contact Us | Site Map | Help | Career Opportunities

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.


The statements included in this section are the opinions and beliefs of the speakers expressed at the time the commentary was recorded and are not intended to represent those persons' opinions and beliefs at any other time. These investor experiences may not be representative of the experience of other investors.

Past results are not predictive of results in future periods.

Investments are not FDIC-insured, nor are they deposits of or guaranteed by a bank or any other entity, so they may lose value.

Investing outside the U.S. involves risks such as currency fluctuations, periods of illiquidity and price volatility. These risks may be heightened in connection with investments in developing countries. See the most recent shareholder report or prospectus for more information on these and other risks associated with investing in the fund.

The return of principal for bond funds and for funds with significant underlying bond holdings is not guaranteed. Fund shares are subject to the same interest rate, inflation and credit risks associated with underlying bond holdings. Bond prices and a bond fund's share price will generally move in the opposite direction of interest rates.

Capital Group manages equity assets through three investment groups. These groups make investment and proxy voting decisions independently. Fixed-income investment professionals provide fixed-income research and investment management across the Capital organization; however, for securities with equity characteristics, they act solely on behalf of one of the three equity investment groups.

Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectuses and summary prospectuses, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing.