We got our free money. Now the question is what to do with it. Clearly, there are people who need it more than we do. We have pensions (remember that concept?), Social Security, and some savings. Six months ago, our savings had blossomed to the point that I felt we didn’t really need to worry about money for the foreseeable future. So, were it not for the shakiness of the economy in the midst of the pandemic, we could turn around and give our free money away.
We will give some of it away. But seeing the red ink flowing at the state level (the source of my pension), I have nagging thoughts that perhaps my pension is not as secure as it was a year ago. For decades, people have said that Social Security might be social, but it’s not secure. They’ve been wrong until now. But we have elections this fall and a lot depends on the outcomes at every level.
Many friends have thought we’re crazy to have kept a chunk of our money invested in the stock market. They’re right, of course, except that’s the only reason we had enough money to stop worrying for a minute last winter. For what it’s worth, our thoughts about the security of our investments have been basically this: If things get so bad that our partially diversified portfolio is seriously in jeopardy, then things will be so bad that basically everything has gone to hell. No one will be spared.
Right now, the stock market is doing better than almost everything else, which is truly weird. Yet, no, I’m not counting on it to save the day. But, frankly, my sense now is that everything is at serious risk, not just the stock market. I don’t think anyone should breathe easy. I’m guessing we’ll have a lot of company if we can’t work our way through the pandemic and the economic fallout with some sort of honor. And I can’t do anything but vote for change in November.
So, what to do with our free money. Given the needs of so many, and given my fears for the future, perhaps we’ll give away half, and keep half. Split the difference. What do you think?