Question of the Day on ElderCareMatters.com: "The article you wrote for ElderCare Matters Library says I should own stocks for my retirement income. Twice in the last decade I have watched my 401(k) lose almost one-half of its value. That doesn’t sound like a good retirement plan to me. Am I looking at this wrong?"

Answer:  Unfortunately, in most 401(k) plans, your account balance is dependent almost solely on the overall market level. After you retire, you will be able to roll the balance into a self-directed IRA in which you can own individual stocks, especially stocks that pay dividends. In many cases the dividends a company pays are far more stable than the share price of the company’s stock.  

Think of owning a rental property that pays you $1,000 per month in rents. If the market value of that property drops in half, it doesn’t mean your rent drops also. The key is the stability of the rental income, not the market value of the property. Focus your retirement income planning on creating a monthly cash flow and try to put account values in perspective.

To locate experts in your state who can help you with these elder care financial matters, go to: www.ElderCareMatters.com – America’s online source for elder care experts plus information & answers about a wide range of elder care matters.

Philip C. Benedict, CFP
Benedict Financial Advisors, Inc.
Atlanta, Georgia  30328
770-671-8228
Member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance, Georgia chapter

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