Economy Sucks

I should have cashed out my 401K.

Since about May, but 401K (which I rolled over into an IRA) has lost 40%. That’s almost a $1000 dollars a month disappeared. I can’t even fathom that. I could’ve used that to pay off some student loans or *anything* else. What’s the point of “saving” money if you are just flushing it? I’d rather spend it or put it in savings. I know they say that you should save for the long-term, but 40% in 5 months could drive anyone to panic.
Makes me sick.


  1. Mike says:

    That totally sucks… You know in the long run we’re still young and those numbers will likely rebound, but like you say, that money would be real useful “now”.

  2. Ellie says:

    Keep it in. Even I, who am not that far away from retirement, am staying in my IRAs, because they always come back. And you have lots of years for them to come back. And, as I read somewhere, you have only really “lost” the money if you cash them out and accept the lower amounts. If you leave them in, it’s only “lost” on paper.

    That is, of course, unless our ultimately unsustainable economic system is finally gone down the tubes, and then we’re all in deep doodoo together.

    Remember, it’s not really a loss until you sell it.

  3. What makes it seem like a loss is that I earned it; it was part of my salary. It was 100% my contribution (Scot Pump withdraws their contributions unless you work there 25 years). It is now worth half of what I actually put into it (which equally half of a years’ salary when I was working full time).

  4. Ellie says:

    Yeah, but, unless that total economic meltdown that wrecks the whole system happens, when you turn 65ish, you will have a WHOLE big stash of money. I know, it’s scary now. I’m almost afraid to look at my latest statements. But no way am I going to cash out my retirement and actually physically lose that money, because it will probably go back up even between now and when I retire. I know–it hurts–my entire retirement fund, because my job history has been so shall we say checkered, is my half of my former husband’s pension, which I invested, and the money from my mother’s/grandmother’s house, so it’s all pretty emotional to watch it melt away. Plus some that I socked away while I was freelancing. They say that even with big ups and downs, the ups outweigh the downs overall, and I do think you will see it rise well beyond the amount you originally put in. If you leave it there.

  5. I have no intention of removing it. It’s just a shock to see everything I had disappear so rapidly.

  6. Anne says:

    Do what my mom does in ecomonic down turns: don’t look. File the statements away when they come in case you need them, but otherwise, forget about ’em. She ridden many an ecomonic wave and lived to tell about it.

  7. I normally would never look, but since rolling my old 401k into an IRA, it pop up whenever I login in to my checking account online. In the past, I ad no idea what I had. Now I see ever few days, and not by choice.

  8. Ellie says:

    I know what you mean. I just keep repeating to myself: unless I cash it in, it’s just fake money, it’s just on paper. And…people survived the Depression. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to seem like I was badgering you before, the fact that I felt compelled (and still do, apparently) to respond just means it’s scary as all hell to me, too.

  9. Mom says:

    No, no, no! Absolutely the WRONG thing to do! Hold on to that 401k. The economy will be better. It’ll take at least four years, but so what? Think about the long term, retirement someday. Just. Hang. On. It will get better. It’s just going to take a long time. And since you were to young to understand the financial angst of the late 70s and early 80s (and there was that slump in the 90s as well…), your experience is “gravy train”. Sit tight.

  10. Mom says:

    I can’t believe I let that typo slip by… to for too ARRRGH!

  11. I have no intention of doing anything to my 401k. I didn’t mean to give that impression. I’m getting some very adamant responses telling me to do what I am already doing.
    What I had meant was, I wish I had cashed out some of it before it all disappeared.
    But I didn’t. And I won’t.