Over the last few weeks, as the stock market kept dropping, I decided I just wasn’t going to look at our retirement account values for a while. After all, we’re in our early 30s and have many years to go before we’ll be using those funds. But tonight I decided to take a peek, after reading about yet another very bad day on Wall Street. Man, I wish I hadn’t looked. At the end of August, our combined retirement accounts were worth about $42,000. Today they’re worth about $31,000. Ouch. Obviously our investments are pretty heavily tied to stocks, since we have such a long time until retirement. So for all intents and purposes the values are just on paper, since we’re not going to be pulling money out of those accounts for many years to come, and one would assume that the market will bounce back over the next 30 years. But still, ouch.
Ok, I’m going back to my ‘not looking’ strategy. Our investments are on auto-pilot, we have a diversified portfolio, we don’t have consumer debt, we’re working to pay off our mortgage as fast as we can, we live in a smaller house than we can "afford" as far as mortgage companies are concerned (and we plan to stay), and cracking into our retirement accounts is still on the distant horizon. So now I’m going to just try to not worry about the stock market, and get on with the rest of my week. And if you haven’t looked at your account balances this week, trust me – you don’t want to know.