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Retirement Planning > Retirement Investing

How to survive today's market

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  1. Don’t make rash decisions. Recent events highlight the need to have a financial plan that you are able to follow regardless of market swings. As difficult as it may be, don’t let your emotions drive your investment decisions. Reacting to every up and down in the market is not good for your health – or for your financial portfolio.
  2. Revisit your reasons for investing. In volatile markets keeping a long-term time horizon can be very challenging. However, if your investment goals, time horizon and financial situation have not changed, your best course of action may be not to take action. Now is a good time to re-assess your financial situation, but only make changes if needed.
  3. Establish an emergency fund. Keep at least six months of living expenses easily accessible in savings or money market fund accounts. This enables you to meet unexpected financial obligations.
  4. Make saving automatic. The best way to get past volatile markets or tough economic times is to make investing automatic. Establish an automatic investing plan that regularly deducts a set amount from your paycheck or checking account and transfers it to a retirement savings account.
  5. Review fees and expenses. Take another look at the fees and expenses you are paying on your financial products and services. For mutual funds, review expense ratios; for your credit cards, scrutinize interest rates; and review transaction charges on your banking products. Switching to a lower cost product may save you money.
  6. Resist impulse purchases. Think twice before making a discretionary spend. Avoid incurring debt on any impulse purchases regardless of the “deal” and instead put that money in a savings or investing account.
  7. Have a plan. It is never too late to put a retirement plan in place. Having a plan helps you determine whether you are on the right path to the financial future that you want. And in times like these a plan, not your emotions, should drive your investment decisions. So, if you do not have a retirement plan, now is a great opportunity to create one.
  8. Consult with an expert. Financial advisors are specially trained to help people manage their finances. If you work with a financial advisor, schedule an appointment to review your portfolio. Discuss your concerns and request an assessment of the performance of your holdings.
  9. Get informed. Research shows that many people struggle with fundamental financial terms and concepts. Take steps to get the information you need by visiting to learn more about investing for the future.
  10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. AARP Financial’s salaried Financial Advisors provide personalized investment advice to help you make the most of your retirement investments. They can be reached at 888-778-6187.

Source: AARP