Economic downturns can be even trickier than the 1 chip challenge. This is because our economy is interconnected and the cascading effect which may start as a tiny trickle soon snowballs into a tsunami of bills and binge cookie eating.
First: Don't panic. If you are looking at your retirement account balance keep things in perspective. The point of your life is not a cushy retirement. The point of your life is to lay it down to make disciples. That needs to start with your family.
Use wisdom to keep them safe but give your eyelids no slumber for the next few months if you have to in order to remain cashflow positive each month.
Second: Jesus is still on the throne and has promised to provide for his people. Matthew 6:25-27. It's time to pray for wisdom. Our income is down 40% this year and we have a baby due in August. This is the time for Philippians 4:13. It took a corona apocalypse but that verse finally works. Drink it in. This is what Paul meant as he was writing from prison. Incidentally, Paul probably didn't have toilet paper either.
But there is no place for fear right now. Now is the time for supernatural peace, hard work, and confidence in the sovereign ruler of every germ and molecule: Jesus Christ.
You also need to remember that retirement isn't necessarily a biblical concept. Randy Alcorn is far more balanced in this area than those that assume we must replace our income-earning ability by a certain age or we fail is not TRUE. This is a hoax. Paul died penny-less, Jesus had no place to rest his head...etc.
It is a fairly recent invention that was encouraged to help get the aging population out of the workforce.
Charles Ingles never retired: He went out with his boots on and his fiddle blaring.
Third: When you invest in stocks you actually own companies. Very few companies grow indefinitely. When tough times come they tighten up, cut expenses and innovate. And that's what you need to do.
Here is an example to imagine that will help (this is not financial advice)
If you had 1 million dollars in investments and were living off of 4.5 % your income was $3,750 per month. ($45,000 /12 before taxes)
As of this writing, the market is down 33% from its peak
In this example, you now have $697,000 and are still looking to live off of 4.5%.
Your new income is:$2,613 per month ($31,365/12 before taxes)
While your account value is down your future retired self or current lost about $1,100 dollars a month. This is significant and I am not in any way downplaying the reality that we need money to exchange for things we need: like food. But it's important that you realize that the markets will come back at some point and panicking right now is the wrong move.
There are many ways for you to make up this future $1,100.
1. Reduce your spending
2. Delay your retirement (work is good for the glory of God)
3. Avoid debt
4. Start a part-time business
5. Invest more
6. Accept that your future standard of living or current may never recover
7. Reach out to a solid Bible-believing Church in your area for help in the short term.
During turbulent times you MUST keep your eyes on Jesus. Economic prosperity is not a bad thing but is not the point of life. I am convinced that disciples of Christ and the church will shine brightly during this time of job loss and economic uncertainty similar to what we see in Acts 2.
Cashflow is what you need to focus on right now. Very few things in our daily lives are actual necessities. Most fall under the category of wants. Fight to be cashflow positive each month. Give generously expecting nothing in return.
Job did not curse God when his possessions removed, his family died, and his body was afflicted:
"Shall we accept only good from God? Our Redeemer lives."
The gospel is what is truly needed right now in this world. They are without hope but as the people of God, we know that true riches are in Christ. That our inheritance is imperishable and incorruptible.
Thanks for reading and God Bless! If I can help please reach out.