Monday, June 29, 2009

My Retirement

Tomorrow is my 50th birthday. As I sit here I can't help but wonder what the next third of my life will be like. I also have to start thinking about retirement, and what the economy will be like in my future. Many pundits tie the economy in this country to the office of the president, and there might be some merit to that. While the president certainly cannot single-handedly change the economy, he (or one day she) does have influence over it.

I was able to find historic Dow Jones Industrial Averages going back to when Jimmy Carter first became president, and the numbers are quite interesting. When Jimmy took office the DJIA was at $962. When he left the White House the Dow had dropped to $950. Granted this is a slight drop in the Dow, but it's still a loss.

Ronald Reagan took over from Jimmy and his presidency saw the Dow increase from 950 to $2,235. This is a sizable increase, and over the entire term of his presidency it averages an increase of $160 each year.

George Bush, Sr. increased Reagan's $2,235 to $3,241. Since Bush was only in office for one term, this equates to an increase of $251 per year, which was even better than Reagan's impressive increase.

Bill Clinton took office in 1993 when the Dow was at $3,241 and left in 2001 when the Dow towered at $10,587. His presidency saw the Dow increase an average of $918 each year of his presidency. This is more than George Bush and Ronald Reagan combined.

George W. Bush was sworn in on January 20, 2001 and left office on January 20, 2009. He took Bill Clinton's $10,587 and reduced it to $7,949 or a loss of $329 per year average for his eight years in office.

What does this mean for my retirement? It means if I invest in the stock market I need to hope for another leader like Bill Clinton if I want to be able to enjoy my golden years. Another George Bush, Sr. or Ronald Reagan would allow me to retire with security, although I might not have extra money. Another presidency like George W. Bush means I won't be able to retire until I'm well past my 100th birthday.

Let's see what Barack is able to do.

Update; October 10, 2013 - Well, so far Barack is doing just fine.  The $7,949 when he took office has grown by 90% to 15,126.  Since he's been in office less than five years, that's a staggering $1,435 increase per year, better than any other presidency in this survey.  And all of this in spite of the fact that he has to deal with a majority in the House who refuse to work with him.

No wonder the American people love him so much!