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What Is Happening to My Money?

Like it or not, your 401(k)'s health is tied to a turbulent world at large

Whew! So we're not going to have another recession at all?

Unfortunately, we don't know. The Federal Reserve has said it plans to keep interest rates near zero for another two years, but that doesn't add much oomph to the economy. It doesn't help either that Americans have turned suddenly pessimistic about the economy. Lack of confidence can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Goldman Sachs now puts the odds of recession at one in three. Economist Nouriel Roubini, famous for having seen the 2008 crash coming, pegs it as greater than 50 percent. Then again, he's known for being pessimistic.

What can I do about it?

Every financial adviser with any perspective will tell you to stick to your long-term investment plan. As Schwab's chief economist Liz Ann Sonders puts it, "Panic is not a strategy." A well constructed plan will have allowed for moments like this and made sure you had enough cash on hand without having to sell at fire sale prices.

If you feel you have to do something — anything! — to keep from going crazy, then read the AARP Bulletin's "7 Things to Do When the Market Slumps," for inspiration.

Eric Schurenberg is the financial editor at large for AARP the Magazine and a former managing editor of Money magazine.

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