'My 401k is now 301k': Americans put their retirement plans on hold as more than $7 TRILLION in value is wiped off the stock market this year


    The S&P 500 has dropped 18% so far this year, losing $7 trillion in value

    Prolonged selloff is spurring concerns about 401k and IRA retirement holdings

    On Thursday, the S&P 500 was creeping toward confirming a bear market


By Keith Griffith For Dailymail.com (UK) and Reuters

12 May 2022


Wall Street's prolonged plunge is beginning to raise Americans' concerns about their retirement savings, potentially pushing some to delay retirement as their account balances dwindle.


So far this year, the benchmark S&P 500 has dropped 18 percent, wiping away $7 trillion in market value from the companies in the index. The Dow Jones Industrial average is down nearly 14 percent.


Bonds, the traditional safe-haven of those approaching retirement age, have also fared poorly amid high inflation and rising interest rates, with Vanguard's Total Bond Market Index Fund losing more than 9 percent since the start of the year.


Since retirement savings such as 401k and IRA accounts are typically invested in a mix of stocks and bonds, the resulting losses are worrying to many savers.


'My 401k is now a 301k,' lamented one Twitter user.


'I just checked out my 401k for the first time in a while. Hope your day is going better,' joked MLB analyst Ryan M. Spaeder.


Podcaster Lauren Goode tweeted: 'Password manager apps should literally have a 'are you sure you want to log into your 401k' pop-up right now.'


For younger Americans who have not lived through a market downturn, double-digit declines in their retirement savings may seem especially disturbing.


But experts say those who have decades left before retirement shouldn't spend much time worrying about paper losses in their retirement accounts now.


Historically, even severe market pullbacks of 20 to 40 percent only last about 14 months, and the S&P 500 rises about three out of every four years, according to CNBC.


For older Americans who are closer to retirement, the simultaneous pullback of both stocks and bonds may be cause for more concern, and could even prompt a reassessment of retirement plans...


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