401k's and IRA's have taken a big hit with the latest stock market decline. Experts say retirement funds have lost nearly $2 trillion over the past year. Now it is time to find out what that means for those on both sides of retirement. Alan Shapiro keeps a close eye on his stock market investments since retiring from Wall Street just a few years ago. This latest decline has had an impact. “Even though my portfolio is basically geared towards income, but psychologically it effects us,” Shapiro said. Shapiro said when he stepped away from Wall Street he knew he would eventually return to the workforce. “I knew sooner or later, somewhere down the road, I was going to want to find something to do, whether that be start my own business or work for someone else.” Now Shapiro might have to work a little harder than previously expected. “I think I was very comfortable before and I'm a lot less comfortable now.” Financial planner, Ross Marino, said the current market decline will have the biggest impact on those who recently retired or plan to do so soon. “If you're 40, not a big deal. You will have 20 years before you touch it. But if you're going to retire you're now wanting to take 5% out of this nest egg,” said Marino. With people losing as much as 30% that means a $100,000 nest egg which provided $5,000 a year, now allows the investor to withdraw only $3,500. Marino said the market climate during your retirement holds weight in the future. “Often the biggest indicator is what happened in the market the first few years you were retired.” That is why Carol Atkins tries to forget about the money she has put away. “We try to think of it as not even hardly being there because we know it's going to be down the road for several years.” If the headlines start to get too scary she asks for expert advice. “If I have any problems, I call my financial advisor and say I do not understand what is happening. Can you tell me what this means?” Marino said if you have some extra cash, or have just started a new job, now is a great time to invest. He said historically people regret not taking advantage of bear markets because they will bounce back.
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