13 smart retirement moves in 2009

7. Revisit your idea of risk tolerance 
Now that you've seen yourself in a drastic downturn, reassess your risk tolerance, Gianola says. After your portfolio rebounds, adjust your asset allocation so that your investment strategy reflects your true risk tolerance, not just your reward tolerance.

If you're retired or about to retire and have fully funded your retirement, "this may be the time to continue take some risk off the table as your portfolio is recovering," Bogosian says.

The percentage of stocks to bonds in your portfolio is up to you and your financial advisor, but you probably don't want to go below 50 percent in stock-based investments, he says.

For retirees who've taken a bath, leaving the money where it is seems illogical. But it's the quickest way to rebound, Bogosian says. In the meantime, make ends meet by cutting spending or boosting income, he says.

And if you've decided that you need less risk from here on out, change your strategy only as your portfolio of stocks recovers. "After they rebound, that's when (investors) want to take risk off the table," he says.

8. Be discerning 
No one's telling you to stick your fingers in your ears. At the same time, recognize that what you hear on the news "are sound bytes of the worst in our economy," Bogosian says.

It pays to be just as selective when it comes to accepting investing advice, says Karen Altfest, Certified Financial Planner and vice president of L.J. Altfest & Co., a New York-based fee-only financial-planning firm.

"Make sure it's coming from a good source," she says.

Many employee assistance programs will make a financial advisor available for free, Bogosian says.

You may also choose to go for outside help. One resource is the National Association of Professional Financial Advisors, a professional organization of non-commissioned, fee-only financial planners. Its Web site is

9. Avoid get-rich-quick schemes 
When economic problems abound, scam artists and get-rich-quick schemers pop up like mushrooms after a rain.

But fear and emotion are bad motivators. So is a get-rich-quick mentality. "Beware of quick fixes for systemic problems," Bogosian says. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Also avoid lotteries, sweepstakes or pleas for help that promise thousands or millions of dollars in return for some of your own money or use of your bank account.


Even with legitimate investments, make sure that you're acting for the long-term, with plenty of information. "If you're doing something other than what you have been, ask yourself, 'why am I doing it?'" says Bogosian. "What's my motivation? What do I expect to get out of it?"

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