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Dow's Record Drop: Who Should Worry But Probably Won't

DALLAS (CBS11) - It was a record breaking day on Wall Street-- for all the wrong reasons.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had its biggest single day point decline in its history-- at one point down 1,500 points. But, local wealth manager Christi Staib says the percentage of the drop matters more than the points, and corrections in the market are like "breathing in and out." Her advice to clients? Keep calm and carry on.

stock market on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018
stock market on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018

"The market is down--doesn't necessarily mean it's time to panic or change your plan for the future," says Staib, with Silver Sail Wealth Advisors. She says she hasn't heard from concerned clients, because they have a plan and the plan is to invest for the long term. "Look at dollar cost averaging," advices Staib, "If you're putting something away every month, being able to live through these downs, allows you to buy in at a lower price."

Some experts say those that should worry about the stock market probably don't care because they're not saving for retirement-- and that's a bigger concern. Multiple surveys report terrible savings rates for Americans. Online discount brokerage ETrade even poked fun at the issue in a Super Bowl ad-- showing seniors still working in jobs like lifeguard, firefighter, delivery person and DJ, with a tag line saying some one-third of Americans have no retirement savings and "This Is Getting Old." And so is America. Some 78 million baby boomers are in or headed into retirement with an average savings described as "woefully inadequate."

"It's tough," says Steve Benton, a financial counselor with Dallas non-profit The Senior Source. "The average baby boomer has $104,000 saved for retirement--you have 15-25 more years to go--and that's not going to last."

Benton says those that are saving may be too heavily invested in stocks in search of decent returns.

"Everybody sees the stock market and they see that upwards tend of the graph and long term it's straight as an arrow," says Benton. "But, what it doesn't show is the roller coaster on the way, and often seniors don't have the ability to get it back."

His advice: get out of debt, save more, and yes, work longer. And Staib agrees.

"Envision that future you love living into... so instead of buying that next very expensive cup of coffee, know you can put that into savings, knowing later in life, you're gonna say I am so glad I didn't buy those extra cups of coffee or whatever you indulge in that you can now have money when you're older," and then adding, "It adds up."

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