Determine Your Risk Tolerance

Here is how to get your retirement plan back on track in 2009

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After losing $2 trillion in their retirement accounts this year, consumers have a right to feel a little spooked about keeping their nest eggs in the stock market. The key to weathering this financial crisis is to find a level of risk in your portfolio that you can live with that also helps you build wealth for retirement. "People in this environment tend to invest to extremes—too much risk or too little risk—and you pay a price both ways," says Jonathan Pond, a financial planner and author of You Can Do It! The Boomer's Guide to a Great Retirement. "If you have gotten out of stocks, get back into stocks gradually. If you are 90 percent invested in stocks, don't sit there with a decimated portfolio and hope for the best. I would get back to a more reasonably diversified portfolio—about 50 percent in stocks. That way, at least you will mitigate future losses."

More New Year's resolutions for retirement:

Delay retirement

Put off claiming Social Security

Get your 401(k) match

Avoid early withdrawals

Scrutinize 401(k) fees

Rebalance your portfolio

Evaluate your target-date fund

Pay off your mortgage

Get a pension


Bump up your contributions

More money-related New Year’s resolutions