Last week was the first time in my adult life that the stock market tilted. Some analysts say that it was the worst since the 2008 collapse. I was a freshman in college when the last economic recession hit, so I was pretty much spared from the economic and employment repercussions from that.
So last week’s downturn was the first time I had any real investment (pun intended) in seeing how a tumble in the stock market will impact me and my assets.
Conclusions first: My husband and I collectively lost around $60,000 when the market tumbled. But because we had plenty in cash reserves and didn’t have any “real need” for the money, we just held on, and went about our days.
I DID get a little nervous, wondering where this is headed (potentially something as long-term and impactful as the 2008 collapse?), but other than that, I felt fine because I knew I wasn’t going to touch any of this money for 30~40 years. A lot of it is in retirement accounts, which I can’t touch for another 30 years anyways, and we are living off a solid income thanks to my husband’s full-time work.
Basically, we are living within our means in relation to our income, and our “real” retirement is so far in the future that there wasn’t much impact to us psychologically, except being a little excited about how cheaply I can potentially buy my ETFs. And I did put in $4,000 into my i401k account between last week and this week.
And it seems like it’s recovering already!
No Panic Selling
It was good to find that I didn’t panic and try to sell everything (I know a couple of people I follow on Twitter did), and I felt confident in my investment and retirement plan to just hold on, and even feel some sort of excitement about being able to buy for cheap.
“Forever Renting” Party
I did think a bit about housing in the future though, and while I am camp rent forever, I do think I want to buy a small house or townhouse (or even a condo, if we’re feeling that downsized) in a couple of decades so that we no longer have to think about rent when we’re coming close to “official” or “unofficial” retirement.
While there are maintenance fees and taxes and HOA fees (which are all reasons why I’m wary of buying now), along with sense of being “stuck” in a certain location, I think once I’m in my 50’s, I’d be fine with those feelings in return for stability and knowing that no matter what happens, as long as I can pay those fees, I have a roof over my head.
While we’re renting a 1 bedroom for $1,500/month right now, I’d imagine housing costs are only going to go up, so once we find a place we love and feel like spending our retirement in, with low maintenance costs, HOA fees, and taxes, I think I’d like to settle down.
I don’t know what exactly brought on this feeling of wanting to find a place to settle down and stop having to worry about rent and uncertainties of the upcoming years’ rents, but potentially purchasing a place to rent out and then live in after 10 or 20 years OR just purchasing later in our lives was something I started thinking about recently.
Anyways, I never actually “blog” here, so I figured I’d do some blogging from now on, as I try to organize my thoughts about money and our future. I think I was in too much of “Chaos Mode” for the past half year with so much going on in my life, but I finally have some brain space to start thinking about money and personal finance again.
Oh, and we finally paid our taxes last weekend! Turns out having Quickbooks Self Employed + Turbotax package is the winner, because I was able to file our Federal + 2 States for free! (And I think last year they tacked on extra charge for having an HSA, too… And that was also free!)
- Quickbooks Self Employed: 50% off for 6 months ($7/mo) – Affiliate link
So that’s one huge weight off my shoulders, because Taxes + Freelance was something that was really really really causing A LOT of anxiety for the past year… But we came out on the other side relatively unscathed (Sans a few thousand bucks).
And this year, I’m committed to keeping my taxes easier by not dipping my paws into random stuff that just cause tax nightmares… LOL.