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How to prepare your 401(k) as market trends down

A local investment advisor gives his expert analysis on how to weather the storm.

BRISTOL, Conn. — Fears of another recession are growing across the country and Connecticut citizens are getting worried about where this could leave them financially. 

It’s something that feels like déjà vu for many people, including Holi Martinez of Bristol.

“Back in 2000, 2009 when the market crashed I did lose,” Martinez said. “It’s very nerve-racking to me. Within six months I will be retiring from my position so what I thought may be a stable retirement for me, that may no longer be the possibility."

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While the clock is ticking down to her retirement, Martinez said she’s not worried about her investments.

“I’m not too worried about the market. I did keep them all in a safe. I’m not a risk-taker. So I never put them in the position where I had to depend on the market to stabilize my money, ” Martinez said.

But with the interest rates seeing their largest increase since 1994, Martinez's retirement plan still may be altered. 

“I thought I would be able to purchase a home for myself," Martinez said. "I thought I would be able to purchase a new car and although I can, how many thousands of dollars more is that going to increase because of things that are happening?"

Many people are in the same boat. Others who are also close to retirement may be worried about their 401(k). 

Heath Grossman, CFP of Johnson Brunetti Investments said the first thing people should understand is not to make money moves out of fear. 

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“We caution people to not make rash decisions and rash changes to their situation," Grossman explained. "One of the things we preach to people is not taking on too much risk, especially if someone is approaching retirement or maybe five to 10 years away from retirement."

Instead, Grossman suggests what people should do is make sure they have a financial plan.

“It’s also a good time to revisit what you’re doing and how you are allocating your retirement savings. You don’t want to be in a position where you’re taking on too much risk that you can afford to take,” said Grossman. 

He said another thing people shouldn't do is try to time the market. 

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“More wealth has been lost in this country by people trying to predict when the market is going to crash vs market crashes themselves,” said Grossman.  

But with all of this happening, when it comes to how long this market correction may last, Grossman said, “This is certainly an unknown. We don’t know these things. But what we’ve seen in the past is, if we use history as a guide when things snap back after an environment like this, they usually do it pretty severely and pretty quickly.”

DeAndria Turner is a multi-media journalist at FOX61 News. She can be reached at dturner@fox61.com. 


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