Recently I lamented to my husband about the massive nose dive our retirement accounts have taken. Contributing to a retirement account, whether it was my 401k at my previous company or my current Simple IRA, has always been a priority of mine. “I worked my %$&# off for that money” , I said to my husband, referring to my personal account. His reply to me was “why don’t we get out of the market until the economy gets better.” He continued, “why are we still putting money into our retirement if things are that bad.”
His questions were fair especially since I was just complaining about our losses, but they jolted me back to reality. As much as I have the same concerns, in my heart I know that staying the course is the smart thing to do. If we pull out we will miss the wonderful opportunity to buy our funds on sale and watch our investments grow when the market rebounds. This sounds good in theory, but there are days I wonder when and if the market is going to get better. But historically, the market has rebounded and I am about 25 years from retirement so it would be foolish for us to withdraw our money and/or stop our contributions.
What I need to do is get my head out of the sand and look at our accounts. I have been avoiding my statements lately. Honestly it has been awhile since I really analyzed my retirement portfolio. Are our current funds in line with our retirement dates, goals and our current risk tolerance? Do I need to rebalance; what is our current mix? Am I paying too much in fees? Yes, maybe it is time to get my head out of the sand and accept reality. I’ll never get this time back and in 25 years I don’t want to regret not taking the time to spend on something so important.
We are not leaving the market; we will be staying the course.