Retirees pay close attention to stock market

July 11, 2008 11:46:43 PM PDT
Many Americans are watching their retirement nest egg shrink along with the stock market. The Dow Jones industrial average fell again on Friday, dropping below the 11,000 mark before closed at 11,100. That's a 21 percent drop since October of 2007. For people in retirement, that means leaner times for some.

It helps to keep your sense of humor if you're a retiree playing the stock market game.

When it comes to investing, time is on your side when you're younger. For retirees, a down market means a cut in cash flow.

"We're old enough to be taking required minimum distribution from our IRAs so the amounts of money we have to keep invested keeps going down," said retiree Diana Bunting.

"You know every month you get a new statement from the investment and it's less and less everytime," said retiree Modesto Piazza.

"I'm not pulling out of the market. I've seen this before. You just have to weather through it," said retiree Randy Caballero.

That's the advice a financial advisor gives his retired clients -- don't cash out. Cut back.

"You're going to have to tighten up the financial belt around the house. You're not going to take the trip you want with the grandkids, you won't buy that new car," said Financial Advisor Gregory Desmond from Desmond Wealth Management. "Those who are older realize, they've gone through a couple of cycles in the market. They kind of get it."

In fact, statistics from the national bureau of economic research show that the average market loss during a recession averages 23 percent. Six months after a recession, the average gain is 42 percent. Since last October, this Bear Market is down 22.5 percent.

"I was given the advice if watching the stock market makes your blood pressure go up, stop watching it," said retiree Tony Ling.

And many seniors are doing just that, worrying, but not watching every fluctuation.

"Sit tight and cut back. Sit Tight, rebalance, and relax," said Desmond.

"Maybe I'll cut back on the latte. That's the first one I'll cut down and make my own coffee," said Ling.


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