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I retired 2 1/2 years ago at 53 years old. My portfolio value and performance is nearly the same as yours and we share the same concerns. I put on hold plans to have a custom home built on acreage I own in Texas hill country. The real estate market in Austin, where I now live is behaving much like the market in Sonoma County California. This means that to sell my current home now would take a long time and be reduced $50,000 - $60,000 from last year's peak. I feel that Austin will be hurt more that some other areas in the country by this coming recession. Time to hunker down a bit.

My financial advisor called yesterday after a conference call with a large brokerage house to ask about my plans and needs. I told him that I put building a new home on hold, and discussed economic projections for the future. I feel that the Austin real estate market will tank as more Tech layoffs continue and home inventory builds, by this time next year. Some time after that I will have a small but cute cabin built on the property resting on skids for future relocation or sale. I will build the permanent home when the real estate market here begins to recover.

My advisor said the brokerage house expects corporate earnings and profits to recover in 3 years. This fits with my five year plan which is to avoid selling equities (my fixed income part of my portfolio paid for the acreage and supplement my meager teacher's retirement with the $220,000 gained from the sale of my departed mother's home. I will keep that money in a money market account. I expect the markets to take from 4 to 8 years to fully recover.

The market will return but the unknowns will be inflation rates and interest rates over this time. Add to these will be the Boomer's response as they turn 60 years old.

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