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Stock market crash sparks anxiety over retirement accounts, but try not to panic

We are in uncharted territory, but don’t panic.

Stock market crash sparks anxiety over retirement accounts, but try not to panic
[Photo: NeONBRAND/Unsplash]
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Feeling freaked out by the markets? We are in uncharted territory, mostly because COVID-19 is shuttering businesses and quarantining their customers around the world. Until those companies and customers return to business, things will be scary. (That’s probably why “401k” was trending on Twitter earlier this week.) If you planned to cash out your retirement funds or 401(k) in the next five years, it’s nail-biting to watch the market charts right now.

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But if you can keep a level head, some wonderful investment opportunities also lie ahead. A market crash is just code for discount sale. Imagine if every store you love temporarily lost its customers and slashed its prices by a third. That’s what’s happening in the markets this month. Sales abound. Here are tips to timing the bottom of the market.

In the meantime, if you are still many years away from retirement, you don’t need to worry about your retirement accounts in the long term. Just leave them be and try not to panic. (Here are some great reasons for why you should play the long game.) Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the markets were long due for a correction. They will eventually recover. Stare for a while at this chart of the S&P 500 going back to 1980. Look at all the dips. We’re in a dip. A giant dip, but still a dip.