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Question: My wife and I hope to retire in five to seven years, but our retirement accounts got clobbered recently. We now have approximately $180,000 in cash that we need a game plan for. Can you help? --Pat C., York, Pennsylvania
Question: I am currently contributing 15% of my salary to my 401(k). With the current crisis taking a toll on the stock market, would it be a good idea to reduce my contribution to 10% and place the additional 5% somewhere else? —Verona, Savannah, Georgia

Answer: Without a doubt, the last few weeks have ranked as [...]
Question: If an investment firm like Fidelity or T. Rowe Price goes bust would I lose the money I have in mutual funds in IRAs and other accounts? —Gerry Cheok, Gaithersburg, Maryland

Answer: Already in this financial crisis, we’ve seen investment banks, commercial banks and mortgage firms fail or require some sort of government bailout to [...]
Question: Does the current crisis have any effect on my defined-benefit pension plan?  I just turned 55 and was getting ready to start drawing from it. Will the amount I receive change now? —Lynn, Hephzibah, Georgia
Answer: The short answer is no. Just because the stock market has been reeling and the economy is in a [...]
A market dip in the years before retirement can be scary, but bailing out of stocks isn’t the answer. Here’s how to make sure you’re still on track.

Question: I am 61 and plan to retire in about eight months. Given the current market, do you think I should withdraw some or all of my [...]
Question: I’m 66 and have major stock losses in my investment accounts. Can I use those losses to reduce what I’ll owe in income taxes? —Ben G., Roanoke, Texas
Answer: Unless the stock market does an abrupt about-face and claws its way back into positive territory in the next two months, a lot of people like [...]
Question: I've lost a lot of money during this financial mess and I'm wondering when I should go back to putting 15% of my salary into my 401(K)? --Michelle Bonds, Rocky Mount, N.C.
Question: I have a loss on stocks in my IRA account. Can I sell those stocks and then use the loss to offset gains outside my IRA?  —Michael L., The Woodlands, Texas

Answer: Earlier this week, I wrote a column explaining how investors may be able to capitalize at least a little bit on the current [...]
Mark Vilrokx, 37, and Carine Beysen, 35, ought to ace retirement. The San Mateo, Calif. couple have great jobs - he's a manager at Oracle, she's a research director for a biotech company - and they earn a combined $210,000 a year. They have no mortgage, no student loans, no car loans, no credit-card debt. They're also diligent savers who put away a hefty chunk of their income every year for retirement.
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