Economics and Personal Finance/Retirement and Stock Market

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Retirement Plan[edit | edit source]

Social Security[edit | edit source]

Some retirements may come from the government (social security):

  • Designed as a safety net to provide income for older people when they can no longer work
  • It's automatically deducted from your paycheck
  • Determined by the amount you've contributed and your age when claiming benefits
  • Include disability and survivor benefits
  • Payments are likely to be less than what your income was, so you must supplement through savings, investments and continued employment.
  • Retirement age is 67. You may start collecting benefits if you retire early at 62, but your checks will be smaller.

You contribute 6.2% of your income with your employer matching that contribution to 12.4% total. If you're self-employed, you contribute all of that 12.4%.

Retirement Options provided by you/you're employer[edit | edit source]

  • IRA (Individual Retirement Account): Contributions are tax-deferred (meaning you don't pay taxes until you withdraw).
  • TSA (Tax-Sheltered Annuity): For employees of public schools and non-profits (ex. 403b).
  • Keoh Plan: For self-employed small business owners.
  • Employee retirement plan: Contributions deducted from your paycheck (ex. 401K).
  • Pension: Paid for entirely by the employer.

Considerations for choosing investment options[edit | edit source]

  1. Consider the RISK (investment risk, inflation risk, industry risk, political risk)
  2. Consider REWARD (benefit/return gained)
  3. Consider CONVENIENCE (sense of relative ease and accessibility)
  4. Consider LIQUIDITY (how quickly a financial instrument can be converted to cash)
Savings Account
  • HIGH liquidity
  • LOW risk
  • LOW return
  • HIGH liquidity
  • HIGH risk
  • HIGH return
Real Estate
  • LOW liquidity
  • HIGH risk
  • HIGH return
Retirement Problems
Govt. assistance SS no longer a guarantee
Pension from employer Fewer companies are offering pensions
Nest Egg

Stock Market[edit | edit source]

When you buy a stock, you buy partial ownership in a corporation. If a company is expected to do well, demand for its shares rises and prices rise. If a company's future looks bad, demand decreases and prices fall. Licensed to buy/sell stocks, brokers provide investment advice and they collect a commission on each purchase/sale. Profiting from stocks go two ways:

  1. Dividends: Payments made by corporations to stockholders.
  2. Capital Gains: Selling a stock for more than its original purchase price.


You can determine whether the stock market is performing or not based on a few tools: DOW (Dow Jones Industrial Average) lists the 30 leading industrial stocks, S and P 500 (Standard and Poor's 500 composite indexes) covers market activity for 500 companies and is more accurate than DOW because it evaluates a greater variety of stock and NASDAQ (National Association of Security Dealers Automated Quotations) monitors fast-moving tech companies; speculative stocks, show dramatic ups and downs.

"Ups and Downs" of a stock market
  • Bull Market - The market is doing well and investors are optimistic and people are purchasing stocks.
  • Bear Market - The market is doing poorly and people aren't purchasing stocks.

Stock Exchanges[edit | edit source]

New York Stock Exchange

The NYSE is the oldest and nationally-recognized "blue chip" of companies (began in 1792). The average stock price is $23. Although the benefits, the NYSE has strict requirements.


The NASDAQ mostly never handle tech stocks; trades occur electronically; more volatile because companies are young and new; stock price: $1.

Stock Market Risks[edit | edit source]

  • Interest rate risk: If interest rates rise, stock raise will fall.
  • Inflation risk: Inflation = stock value will fall.
  • Business risk: Problems with the business (scandal, poor management, etc.) = stock value will fall.
  • Liquidity risk: You're unable to find a buyer when you're ready to sell.
  • Supply and demand risk: If fewer people demand the product = stock market will fall.