History generally leans towards generosity in providing lessons to be learnt. For example, from the Great Depression emerged a more resilient global economy built with attention to lessons from the past. Yet, every once in a while, we experience events that have no parallel from which to learn. Such is the moment we have been in with the Covid crisis. There is hardly a place in the world that has escaped the pandemic. What should get our attention even more is the fact that it has exposed a collective global failure. We assume that this is partly because it is unprecedented on multiple levels. Inevitably, some aspect of our lives was impacted by the crisis. Retirement planning is one possibility. We are only beginning to understand the degree of economic uncertainty caused by the crisis. With even the most optimistic analysts unsure about the post-Covid economy, there is an opportunity to evaluate how we are thinking about retirement planning in a post-pandemic world. Given the ambiguity about post-pandemic life, should we be expanding our ideas of retirement income? Could some of the advice that worked in years past be invalidated for post-Covid retirees? Here is one post-Covid retirement planning consideration: Many economists are sounding alarms about supply chain disruptions and likely inflation across a variety of sectors because of post-Covid hyper demand. What will this mean for retirees at a time when they may be reducing exposure to stocks as they near retirement? Does the conventional rule of reducing equity exposure as you near retirement still apply? Our analysis leads us to point out that while Covid may seem entirely unique as a generational disruptor, it is in fact little different than a September 11th, or "Black Thursday" 1987 stock market crash. All saw the market recover in much the same way. And while we may harbor concerns about the economy and financial markets in the years to come, at least right now, those concerns are still a matter for another day. Furthermore, any adjustments to post-Covid retirement planning should account for more than this example alone. The point is to carefully consider the moment we are in, its financial implications for the future, and decide if a plan change is necessary, or not. Our judgement and the advice we offer are consistent with this condition.
"Occasions where you can change your mind should be cherished,
because they mean you're smarter than you were before." -Malcolm Gladwell