But don't forget to take risks. A recent Charles Schwab survey found that 35 percent of Americans consider protecting retirement assets more important that growing them. But Klonowski, the retired computer systems analyst, says her comfort with some level of risk is what allowed her portfolio to bounce back after the recession. "Everyone was trying to get to a safe place for money," she says. "I got a little lucky by taking on a little more risk than was comfortable." That kind of nerve might come more easily if you're at the controls.