Friday, April 24, 2009

You've Lost Your Money, Now What?

Many Americans have lost their retirement savings in the stock market due to the economic downturn and many of them are close to retiring and don’t have much time to recuperate. So what are their best options?

A CNN money expert took a shot at answering this question this week and here are a couple suggestions:

· Maintain a long-term investing strategy: Even though you are approaching retirement, your investing strategy still has to be focused on the long-term. But just because you're a few years from retirement doesn't mean you should be adopting the same investing strategy as someone who is investing money for a down payment on a house he or she plans to buy in a few years. Your money, on the other hand, will likely remain invested good 30 or more years after you leave the workforce.

· Aim for a balance of protection and growth: You want to adopt an asset allocation strategy that balances the need to protect your nest egg from big hits from which it will be difficult to recover with the need for enough growth to help you maintain your standard of living throughout what could be a very long retirement.

What we also need to remember however, is that regardless of what savings approach you decide to take, it does take time. For many elders, they need support right now. The funds dispersed through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, such as the $250 one-time payment and additional training dollars through SCSEP, must be successfully implemented to help those elders’ in need, while they wait for the stock market to rebound. Additionally, it’s important to have a good idea of what it takes to make ends meet in your community. Varying portions of the country differ tremendously in the cost of living, and the Elder Economic Security Standard™ Index provides a county-by county measure for elders.

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