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Planning for retirement while facing a down market can be particularly challenging and a little daunting. However, with the right strategies and mindset, it is possible to execute a successful plan. In this guide, we examine some strategies that you may want to consider if you are planning to retire in a few years.

Planning for retiring in a down market

Approaching retirement and the unknown is can be a bit unnerving. This can be especially true when the stock market is down. But with the right planning, and with the help of a financial planner or wealth advisor, it’s possible to keep your retirement portfolio in good shape. 

If you are over 50, and looking at retirement, there are a number of things that should be on your radar as you approach retirement age.

What to consider when planning for retirement

One of the biggest questions to think about while you are in your pre-retirement years is how you are going to generate enough income to meet your expenses. Retirement planning generally involves maximizing your investments and savings to ensure that you have the funds you need.

Market volatility is a significant part of this equation. A changeable market doesn’t necessarily mean bad news for your retirement, it just makes things a bit more complex. That complexity seems to be a defining feature of the world we currently live in.

This means that retirement, too, is becoming more difficult to plan out. In the past, most folks had a pension and social security, and that would cover their expenses. Any investments they had would become extra income on top of that. But in today’s economic climate, for most retirees, social security isn’t going to provide enough income to cover their expenses, and having a pension is rare. Iinvestments are increasingly needed to help ensure financial stability in retirement.

With the increased need for investments in a retirement plan, there is an increased need to be more aware of what’s going on in the financial landscape. At the moment, we think the volatility is going to be here for an extended period of time. In the last 15 years, the market has experienced a lot of large, never seen before, and outright unprecedented actions. 

From the global economic shutdown during the heart of the COVID pandemic to the aggressive stimulus actions taken to jump-start the economic recovery to lingering fears of inflation and recession, the market is seeing the impact of a variety of forces. And there are still a lot of questions to be answered. 

With federal reserves increasing interest rates, their intention is to slow down the economy to slow down inflation. If they succeed in this goal, a recession may be right around the corner. Do you know what you’ll do with your portfolio? Will it be enough to provide for your entire retirement landscape? 

Retirement is a milestone, not the finish line. You will want to make sure you have enough money to retire, and make sure it’s properly managed so that it not only supports your lifestyle, but it keeps up with inflation. 

How does inflation impact retirement?

Inflation is currently at a 40-year high. This means that it’s vital to understand how inflation can impact your retirement. Simply put, inflation can have a significant impact on retirement savings and income.

  • Reduced purchasing power: Inflation reduces the value of money over time. This means that the same amount of money will buy less in the future than it does today. This can be particularly challenging for retirees who are living on a fixed income, as their purchasing power may decrease over time.
  • Increased living expenses: Inflation can also lead to increased living expenses, such as higher healthcare costs and rising prices for goods and services. Retirees who are living on a fixed income may find it difficult to keep up with these increased expenses.
  • Potentially reduced investment returns: Inflation can also impact investment returns. When inflation increases, interest rates may also increase, which can lead to lower bond prices and reduced returns on fixed-income investments. Additionally, higher inflation may lead to higher costs for companies, which can impact stock prices and overall investment returns.
  • Social Security benefits may not keep up with inflation: Social Security benefits are adjusted each year based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). However, the CPI-W may not accurately reflect the cost of living for retirees, and the annual adjustment may not keep up with the rate of inflation.

How can pre-retirees prepare for a down market in advance?

a conceptual photo of a couple saving money for retirement

To be prepared for your coming retirement, your best strategy is to put a plan in place as early as possible. Work with a trusted financial planner to plan your investment strategy,how to reduce your tax bill, maximize Social Security, and more. Here’s a checklist you can use to start your retirement planning.

Down market survival guide tips for retirees

Know what you’re going to do for healthcare

Healthcare is a very large expense in retirement. Most studies indicate that healthcare is the largest expense in retirement apart from taxes. Know what you’re going to do for healthcare. 

Age 65 is the Medicare eligibility age. If you retire before then, what’s your plan? Healthcare coverage can be very expensive.

Plan your retirement timing, income strategy & Social Security

One of the most important decisions you’ll make is when to file for social Security benefits. The difference between the most optimal filing strategy versus the least optimal strategy could be hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your retirement. 

The decision of when to retire and begin your Social Security benefits is far too important to be left to guesswork. You should use software and weigh different options and scenarios. Get a second opinion on what you are doing. The last thing you’ll want to do is go back to work.

Understand tax implications

As you plan your investments, it is important to understand the tax implications when you withdraw for your accounts. We cover this topic in some depth elsewhere in our blog if you’re looking for more information on taxes.

Strategize your investments

Your retirement plan should be reviewed and adjusted regularly as your financial situation and retirement goals change. Stay up-to-date on investment strategies and economic trends to ensure your plan is on track. Your financial advisor should be able to help you find good retirement funds to be in during a down market.

Get professional advice

The most important thing to remember about your retirement planning is that you don’t need to do it alone. In fact, we strongly recommend that you don’t. Consider seeking the advice of a financial planner to help you develop and implement a retirement plan that meets your unique needs and goals.

Start planning for your retirement with Dechtman Wealth Management. Contact us today to schedule a free assessment.

Important Disclosure Information

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Dechtman Wealth Management, LLC [“DWM”]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.  Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions.  Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from DWM. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. DWM is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the DWM’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request or at

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Jordan Dechtman

A financial services professional for over three decades, Jordan Dechtman’s mission is to help clients live better with more opportunities for fun and family time. Ideally, his goal is to help them achieve their dreams. Jordan brings a unique set of skills and experiences to the industry. His work ethic and drive to improve both himself and those around him have been honed during his 30+ years as a high net-worth private wealth advisor. Jordan holds a BS in Finance from the University of Arizona. Through his memberships in both the Financial Planning Association and the Financial Services Institute, he is dedicated to championing the financial planning process. Based on assets under management, Jordan has consistently been recognized by Securities America as being among the top 1% of over 1900 registered representatives.