“There Is No Death, Only A Change of Worlds” -Chief Seattle

 

Slow Day In The Markets

The Toronto stock market closed little changed Friday with buyers not inclined to do much on hopes that a meeting of the Federal Reserve next week will provide clarity on whether the central bank is set to start reducing its monetary stimulus. The S&P/TSX composite index was 11 points higher at 13,125. The Canadian dollar closed up 0.4 of a cent at 94.38 cents US. U.S. indexes were similarly lacklustre after three days of losses as the Dow Jones industrials edged 15 points higher to 15,755 the Nasdaq added 2 points to 4,000 and the S&P 500 index slipped 0.18 of a point to 1,775. Expectations about the Fed tapering its US$85 billion a month of bond purchases have changed over the last month. Previously markets largely expected that the U.S. central bank would hold off until March when incoming chair Janet Yellen is settled in her new job. But a string of strong data last week, capped by a solid employment report for November, has raised concerns that the Fed could act as soon as next week when the Federal Open Market Committee meets Dec. 17-18. The U.S. stimulus has lifted stocks over the past few years and its potential reduction has jolted markets since May when outgoing Fed chair Ben Bernanke first mentioned the possibility of tapering. However, any cutback in asset purchases would be gradual and is expected to be accompanied by a renewed commitment by the Fed to keep interest rates low.

 

Fewer Canadians Want To Be Snowbirds

While 73% of pre-retirees still plan to travel during their golden years, only 27% plan to remain south for the entire winter, finds a poll by RBC. The reality is that fewer Canadians plan to become snowbirds and only 16% of those who are already retired actually are. Also, there were marked differences between how the genders expect to spend their retirement years. Women were much more likely than men to say they will work as volunteers (63% vs. 52%) or spend more time with their friends (50% vs. 39%). Men, on the other hand, planned to spend more time with their spouse/partner (61% vs. 53%). Despite these very different expectations, over one-third of couples have not talked to their spouses/partners about what they want to do when they retire.

If you are within five to 10 years of your ideal retirement date, it’s time to focus on what’s really important to you — your family, your health, your lifestyle, your legacy — and start preparing now for the retirement you have in mind.

 

Sources: Bloomberg, RBC, Investment Executive, advisor.ca