When you live solely off your investments, the last thing you want to see is a market crash.
But for Steve Adcock, who retired in 2016 at the age of 35, the current bear market and possible recession have been no cause for alarm.
Despite seeing his net worth drop by more than $200,000 (from $1.4 million to just under $1.2 million since last year), Adcock hasn’t even considered the possibility of going back to work full-time, not even taking on a side hustle.
“Absolutely, positively not. That hasn’t crossed my mind one bit,” says Adcock, who previously worked in information technology for 14 years. “This is the worst case scenario.”
I wouldn’t go back to a job unless absolutely necessary. It would sell a lot [of stock].
Adcock and his wife Courtney, a fellow early retiree, keep their expenses low and have a savings account with two years’ worth of expenses. If the market downturn lasts longer than that, he is willing to sell some of his retirement fund investments rather than go back to work.
“I wouldn’t go back to work unless I absolutely had to. I would sell a lot [of stock]” he says. “I probably wouldn’t [let my balance] down more than $500,000, but I might leave it that low.”
When it comes to staying balanced while the market slides, Adcock’s secret is simple: Don’t spend too much time looking at your money. He spends less than 30 minutes a month checking his account balances, because he doesn’t plan to change his allocations.
Also, Adcock doesn’t like to spend a lot of time watching financial news. Following the daily highs and lows of the market is a recipe for emotional decision-making, he says, which is exactly what he doesn’t want to do.
“Staying out of the big financial news is a way to keep us grounded,” he says. “That helps us make some smarter decisions that aren’t just wrapped up in financial emotions.”
In fact, Adcock says the only thing he would change about his investments during the current bear market is that he would buy more stocks if he had income.
“For a lot of people who have full-time jobs and are making good money, this is absolutely, absolutely the time to buy,” he says. “In the last four or five years I don’t think there’s been a better time to buy than now. The stock is on sale, you might as well take advantage of it.”
Register now: Get more intelligence about your money and your career with our weekly newsletter
Do not miss: Tony Hawk is entering the world of NFTs with ‘the biggest skatepark in the metaverse’