Retirement Strategy: Facing Reality Can Be Difficult

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Includes: JNJ, KO, MO, PG
by: Regarded Solutions

Summary

I am not getting any younger, and neither are you.

My focus is not what it should be to make accurate decisions as I have in the past.

While this is about me, others should consider their own circumstances.

It has been a few months since needing to take time off, and as much as I want to continue writing the way I have, I simply can no longer do as much as I had previously. While there are nearly 1,000 articles I have penned over the last seven years, I will be changing my focus to a broader outlook of what the markets are doing and giving my opinion.

I have been a dividend growth investor for decades and it has served me well, but I cannot focus on what I need to in order to keep up with my investments. That being said I do hope you will continue to follow me in this real life journey of transitioning my portfolio and making it easier for me during my declining years.

My Status

As most of you know, I have faced a rough battle with cancer. Unfortunately due to the disease, while in remission, and under control, I have had to face MY reality of a serious decline in my investing ability. Over the last few weeks I have been selling all of my equity positions while seeking my next course of action for myself and my family.

I wish I could continue diving into financial statements and following coprorate conference calls as close as I ever had, but it would be a struggle that I have chosen to avoid. I suppose I could keep up the model Dividend King Retirement Portfolio but it's just too tough for me, and not fair to you folks. Don't misunderstand, I still am a fanatic believer in dividend growth investing, and the elite status of dividend aristocrats and dividend kings are much less risky a path, especially for those who are already retired and beginning to draw the income.

I am fortunate to have enough that at my stage, I will not outlive my money, and the income I can receive by moving my cash into fixed income investments is more than enough for my family, my kids, my grandson and all those close to me. I guess I am one of the lucky ones to be able to transition this way, and I owe it all to dividend growth investing. As of now I will be buying CDs, short term, as well as other guaranteed products. I am taking a huge tax hit, but I need to do what I need to do. Of course that does NOT mean anyone else should just do what I do! As always, you need to consider your own circumstances and evaluate your own needs and desires.

My Suggestion To You

I realize that my diminished capacity has affected just about everything I do. That includes poker as well by the way, but at least I do that recreationally and I can still compete. If I can offer any suggestions for you, my Seeking Alpha family, it would be to know when it's time to hang up your spikes. Why risk losing principal when you simply don't need to. Believe me, I feel better now that I can manage myself without any help yet.

Many times I talk to folks who are not able to focus well any longer, but they refuse to accept their own cognitive decline. As far as I am concerned, that just adds a huge layer of risk to a portfolio and could hasten deteriorating health issues.

I have thanked my core investments for getting me to where I am and have bid farewell to Altria (MO), Procter & Gamble (PG), Coca-Cola (KO), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and all the rest of my great companies. I did not do this because the companies are waning, I did this because I am waning. I would still embrace these stocks if my capacity hadn't deteriorated. Again, do not do what I have done unless YOU believe it is right for YOU.

Looking Ahead

I will be as active as I can of course, but as I stated, my focus will shift and I will take you on my real life journey. Hopefully I can help others as I have tried to do over the last 7 years.

My first OPINION that I would like to share is my fear that the markets are on shaky grounds. Not just because the bull is long in the tooth, but from a macro economic standpoint, global issues could negatively impact not only the stock market, but our economy as well. The main reasons for my opinion are as follows:

  • Trade wars cold hurt everyone and every stock portfolio.
  • Moving away from time honored allies to negotiate better trade deals will hurt OUR economy as those relationships deteriorate and imported prices will impact even the poorest of the poor.
  • Eventually, if this scenario continues, USA corporate profits could be impacted and our nation could face a steep recession.
  • As interest rates rise, so will the cost of doing business,as well as creating serious inflationary pressures.

I could list a few more but I believe you get the picture. While dividend growth investors are much less impacted, and focus on that beautiful income stream rather than price fluctuations, it is still my opinion that the markets are overdue to drop signifcantly. For now we seem to be in a trading range, but who knows for how long.

I also could be very wrong and this mighty bull has more years to run!

The Bottom Line

I would love to read your thoughts in the comment stream so I hope you will chime in. As for me, my contributions to the Seeking Alpha community has been a blessing for me, and I plan on sticking around awhile longer!

I am hoping you will follow my life journey.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.