Americans are looking forward to resting their bones. A University of Michigan index measuring whether they see a comfortable retirement — compared with five years ago — reached the highest level since December 2000 this month. Despite recent market fluctuations, years of gains in equities have boosted the value of household retirement accounts: The S&P 500 Index has more than doubled since the survey’s last high through Feb. 14, and more than quadrupled since its recession low in March 2009.
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The stimulus law allows this in order to help retirement plans meet increasing demand for hardship withdrawals.
In part 1 of this 3-part analysis of recessions, we will look at the yield curve prior to each of the past seven U.S. recessions--you may find the results surprising.
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