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‘Don’t panic’ is good advice even if you’re retiring

Gigi Douban Aug 27, 2015
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‘Don’t panic’ is good advice even if you’re retiring

Gigi Douban Aug 27, 2015
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“Stay the course” and “don’t panic” were common tips as the stock market dropped this past week. But what about people who are so close to retirement, they can practically smell it? Traditionally that means folks who are almost 65 or older, but to financial planners, it can mean anyone who plans to stop working full-time within 10 years.

Whether you’re a year away from retirement or 30 years, the advice is the same, says Elizabeth Mannen, an investment adviser with Wells Fargo Advisors: “Don’t sell at the bottom. Don’t turn a trip into a fall.”

If a vacation in Bali was in your retirement future, you wouldn’t liquidate stocks to pay for it — if you’d budgeted wisely — she says. Still, the last few days have been really emotional.

“I’ve only had one person cry,” Mannen says, “so that’s good.”

That was someone who was already retired. William Delwiche, an investment strategist with Baird, says having lots of money tied up in stocks is a bad idea.

“As you approach retirement, you should be moving more of your assets to less risky or less volatile investments,” he says.

Too late? Delwiche says not to worry.

“An event like you’re having over the past few weeks shouldn’t have much of an impact,” he says. Usually after a sharp drop, the markets do come back.

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