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Three Tips For Sticking to Your Retirement Savings

Unless you're hooked up with a bullet and foolproof investment plan, chances are your retirement savings have taken a beating over the past many months. You're not alone! My 401(k) has been dragged through the trenches and the result is not pretty.

Am I a sucker for pumping monthly contributions into my retirement investments? I'd like to think not, though it's tough to contain my frustration when I peek at my account's worth. Find out what rationalization I use to make myself feel better when you


Here are the little gems I use to tell myself in the end, it's all going to be OK. Hopefully they'll help you feel the same way about staying on track with your retirement savings.

  1. I'm in this for the long haul. Retirement savings are for the future and aren't to be touched any sooner than your golden years. My investment plan reflects a long-term strategy and I trust that it will serve me well in the end.
  2. I can't control the market. The market is a cycle and it's currently at a low point. While the account's total worth is lower than I've seen it before, I'm getting more shares for my money by buying them at their cheaper price. If history is any example, the cycle will come around and turn around this bear market.
  3. I'm not alone! Staring at your dwindling account value might lead you to conclude that you have bad luck. If that were true, than most investors would be unlucky, too! There's no glass ball predicting the future, so acknowledge that the market is in a slump and move on.

One final tip: Don't check your retirement accounts often. I only check mine about once a quarter, because there's no point aside from fulfilling curiosity. It's always a good idea to make sure your investment plan meets your risk tolerance and time horizon, so review your accounts and see if they need to be rebalanced to meet your investment goals.


outofhere outofhere 9 years
I try not to look except once a quarter - it's too depressing lately. I just try and remember the very tips you have suggested - the market goes up and it goes down. I was happy to look at how it was doing a few years ago so hopefully that time will come again.
Mintie Mintie 9 years
Everyone is telling me their 401(k) is not doing well, but mine is actually doing pretty good. I must have my money in completely different things than everyone else.
graduatedsqueaks graduatedsqueaks 9 years
I'm a bit compulsive about checking my account more often than I should. And let me tell you, it has been a disappointing compulsion. But like others have said, if you purchase things every month, and the accounts are low, then you'll buy more. I guess that's the "dollar cost averaging" idea that is talked about quite a bit...some of it can be mind games, but really, if they're mind games that make me worry less, I'm okay with it.
SDTransplant SDTransplant 9 years
I checked my retirement and investment accounts once a day--I'm somewhat compulsive. :) But I take comfort in the fact that retirement for me is light years away (approximately 40 years from now) and that this is a wonderful opportunity to buy more shares at depressed prices. Like valancyjane said, it'll be great when the market rebounds and our account values correspondingly go up.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 9 years
fleurfairy fleurfairy 9 years
Good tips. I refuse to look at my 401K blanace because I don't want to be depressed. I'd rather live in denial.
imLissy imLissy 9 years
I figure I'm not retiring for at least another 40 years, and if things don't go up by then, we're gonna have bigger problems, lol
valancyjane valancyjane 9 years
I got my statement this week and felt pretty glum. But one thing I noticed cheered me up: At least one of my accounts is in a mutual fund, so while the price of the shares went down, I still own more shares now than I did last quarter or last year. So when share prices go up (that is, when the market rebounds) I will benefit; and I will benefit more now than I would have when I owned fewer shares. If that's not true, please don't burst my bubble. I need something to hold on to.
mlen mlen 9 years
good tips! don't panic sell. a lot of people panic sell and sell out when its real low and then when they feel better about it the buy back in again. all that results in is they sold at a low price and buy at a high price and lose out on the money in between. just hang in there instead!
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