advice from a financial expert – KIRO 7 News Seattle

Stock market volatility makes people nervous, especially those close to retirement.

Wallets tumble as the stock market took the biggest drop since 2020 on Thursday, and markets continued to slide on Friday, capping a volatile week for people’s wallets.

It comes as inflation also hits people hard, from gas to food princes.

“Everything keeps going up and it’s hard for us to survive,” said Tavion Washington, a father of two who works in Renton.

The Dow Jones lost more than 1,000 points on Thursday while the NASDAQ plunged 5%.

“The bad news is quite surreal,” said David Liu, who traveled to the Renton Highlands on Friday.

Market fluctuations make people nervous.

“Honestly, I feel like I can’t watch this right now,” Stephanie Browne, also in Renton Highlands, said on Friday. She said she heard the news on the radio and had to change the channel. “There are some things you can control and day to day that’s what you can handle,” Browne said.

But for people close to retirement, managing your money now could be critical.

KIRO7 spoke with financial expert John Carruthers of Decker Retirement Planning.

“It’s painful, we’ve worked hard for this money and we don’t want to see it go down,” Carruthers said. Carruthers is a senior financial planner at Decker.

He says step one – don’t panic.

“Try to avoid letting your emotions control what happens to your finances, because that’s when most of us make mistakes,” he said.

He says market volatility will hit those closest to retirement the hardest. But even people who are a few years away from retirement should be able to weather the storm.

“As long as you’re more than three or four years away from retirement, it’s best to let it go. Because it will just be a speck on the radar when you look back,” Carruthers said.

However, if you’re about to retire immediately, Carruthers says it’s worth considering moving your money.

“See if you can switch to quality a bit and some of the more defensive assets to protect it for you,” he said. Carruthers says examples of more stable assets are commodities like precious metals or utilities like Puget Sound Energy.

He says that in some cases, some people might need to rethink their retirement plans.

“If you have to work a few more years or just cut your income a bit,” he said. “It’s an unfortunate pill, but hopefully most people won’t have to. With a few strategic moves, they can avoid having to delay their retirement,” Carruthers said.

Any other advice that applies to everyone? Carruthers has a bond warning and currently advises against investing in the traditionally stable option.

“When rates rise, bond prices fall. So I find them riskier than equities right now. I would say avoid going into bonds,” he said.

The good news, if you have more than 10 years to retire, says Carruthers, now is a great time to invest because stock options are basically on sale.

“You look at some of the NASDAQ positions, you buy at about 60% off,” he said. “It’s a great time to shop and start buying things at a discount.”

Everyone’s financial situation is different, and Carruthers says that before making any big decisions with your money, you should consult with an expert.