What Can Investors Learn from Veterans?

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Each year, Veterans Day allows us to show our respect for the sacrifices that military veterans have made for our country. But have you ever stopped to think about what lessons our veterans can teach us about how we conduct various aspects of our lives?

For example, consider the following traits and how they might apply to your actions as an investor:

* Perseverance:
Even veterans who have not served in armed combat have had to persevere in challenging situations. The military life is not an easy one, as it often involves frequent moves, living in foreign countries, time away from loved ones, and so on. As an investor, in what ways do you need to show perseverance? For one thing, you’ll need to stick it out even in the face of volatile markets and short-term losses. And you'll need the discipline to make investing a top priority throughout your life, even with all the other financial demands you face.

* Willingness to learn and adapt: During the course of their service, military veterans frequently need to learn new skills for their deployments. Furthermore, living as they often do in foreign countries, they must adapt to new cultures and customs. When you invest, you're learning new things, not only about changes in the economic environment and new investment opportunities, but also about yourself – your risk tolerance, your investment preferences, and your views about your ideal retirement lifestyle. Your ability to learn new investment behaviors and to adapt to changing circumstances can help determine your long-term success.



* Awareness of the "big picture": All members of the military know that their individual duties, while perhaps highly specific, are nonetheless part of a much bigger picture – the security of their country. When you make an investment decision, it might seem relatively minor, but each move you make should contribute to your larger goals – college for your children (or grandchildren), a comfortable retirement, a legacy for your family or any other objective. And if you can keep in mind that your actions are all designed to help you meet these types of goals, you will find it easier to stay focused on your long-term investment strategy and not overreact to negative events, such as market downturns.

* Sense of duty: It goes without saying that veterans and military personnel have felt, and still feel, a sense of duty. As an investor, you are trying to meet some personal goals, such as an enjoyable retirement lifestyle, but you, too, are acting with a sense of duty in some ways, because you’re also investing to help your family. There are the obvious goals, like sending children to college or helping them start a business, but you’re also making their lives easier by maintaining your financial independence throughout your life, freeing them of potential financial burdens. This can be seen quite clearly when you take steps, such as purchasing long-term care insurance, to protect yourself from the potentially catastrophic costs of an extended nursing home stay.

Military veterans have a lot to teach us in many activities of life – and investing is one of them. So, on Veterans Day, do what you can to honor our veterans and follow their behaviors as you chart your own financial future.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones financial advisor. Courtesy of Rob Adams, 71 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247, 413-664-9253.. Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation. For more information, see EdwardJones.com.

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How Can You Prepare for the 'New Retirement'?

Submitted by Edward Jones

A generation or so ago, people didn't just retire from work – many of them also withdrew from a whole range of social and communal activities. But now, it's different: The large Baby Boom cohort, and no doubt future ones, are insisting on an active lifestyle and continued involvement in their communities and world. 

So, what should you know about this "new retirement"? And how can you prepare for it?

For starters, consider what it means to be a retiree today. The 2020 Edward Jones/Age Wave Four Pillars of the New Retirement study has identified these four interrelated, key ingredients, along with the connected statistics, for living well in the new retirement:

Health: While physical health may decline with age, emotional intelligence – the ability to use emotions in positive ways – actually improves, according to a well-known study from the University of California, among others. However, not surprisingly, retirees fear Alzheimer's and other types of dementia more than any physical ailment, including cancer or infectious diseases, according to the "Four Pillars" study.

Family: Retirees get their greatest emotional nourishment from family relationships – and they will do anything it takes to help support those family members, even if it means sacrificing their own financial security. Conversely, retirees lacking close connections with family and friends are at risk for all the negative consequences resulting from physical and social isolation.

Purpose: Nearly 90 percent of Americans feel that there should be more ways for retirees to use their talents and knowledge for the benefit of their communities and society at large. Retirees want to spend their time in useful, rewarding ways – and they are capable of doing so, given their decades of life experience. Retirees with a strong sense of purpose have happier, healthier lives and report a higher quality of life.

Finances: Retirees are less interested in accumulating more wealth than they are in having sufficient resources to achieve the freedom to live their lives as they choose. Yet, retirees frequently find that managing money in retirement can be even more challenging than saving for it. And the "unknowns" can be scary: Almost 70 percent of those who plan to retire in the next 10 years say they have no idea what their healthcare and long-term care costs will be in retirement.

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