Stock Market Swings Tough On Retirees

Thursday, January 22nd 2009, 4:46 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley and Terry Hood, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The stock market continued its roller coaster ride on Thursday, falling early and then rallying late in the day.  That makes it hard to know what to do with your money.  Retirees say they're feeling the pinch because of the down market.  One financial analyst says it's important to develop a recovery plan.

Fred and Barbara Elder have spent the last year watching their retirement money drop by nearly a third.

"You're in a position that there's nothing you can do about it really," said Fred Elder.

Analysts say the average investor has lost 30% since the beginning of 2008.  Financial planner Skip Nichols says most of the questions he's getting come from retirees.

"People are wanting to know what to do," said Skip Nichols with Financial Planning Resources.

Nichols compares the financial market of the past to piloting a sailboat, just hoist the sails and let it take you wherever.  But, he says the new economy means a change of course.

"We're recommending going to a rowing philosophy now and rowing is tougher. You've got to spend more time at it.  You've got to do a lot more study.  You may have to change your investment philosophy and, maybe, some of your investment tools," said Skip Nichols with Financial Planning Resources.

Nichols says there are three major points you need in your recovery plan.    

First, he says, realize that hope is not a strategy.  Hoping everything will be alright won't help you get your money back.  He also says is important to reevaluate your finances and what they are doing in the current market.  Finally, he says, don't be afraid to take bold steps.

"The game has changed a great deal and old techniques are probably not going to work for the next several years," said Skip Nichols with Financial Planning Resources.

The Elders say the economy has forced them to make tough decisions and change their lives.

"We're not spending as much.  We're staying at home more. We rarely eat out. We have pulled back in our spending," said retiree Fred Elder.

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