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Regaining retirement savings after market crash

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Carol K., age 59
Hayward, California
Transitioning to retirement
"Money management is like one's health: you have to pay attention to it."

Carol's Tips

  • Carol wasn't afraid to take control of her situation by re-entering the stock market.
  • With thorough research, Carol made smart choices.


  • After getting laid off, Carol was determined to learn and actively influence her investments.
  • Carol gained confidence in her decisions through extensive research.

Actively recovering the losses of 2008 means having choices in retirement.

"I was laid off from my technical consulting job in July, 2008, about the last time I could say I was secure in my retirement plan. I decided to try a 'dry run' at retirement, planning to spend more time with hobbies, travel and my college-age children. Then fall 2008 came along, with a nasty double dose of 30% declines in my accounts and few job openings to allow me to take safe haven by returning to work."

"In January 2009, I took stock (no pun intended) of my assets and realized that although my CD's had been safe from the market's storms, they were now renewing at drastically lower rates. So I considered re-entering the stock market. And, I hoped that the decline in the markets had bottomed, leaving some room for price appreciation."

"I studied the trading tools and research materials available at Schwab, and became an Active Trader as I gained confidence in both my decision to reinvest my money in equities and master the technical and emotional requirements for successful trading. I told my kids, 'luck is the intersection of preparation and opportunity.' I repositioned my portfolios according to their goals (retirement and trading), preparing for the time when the markets will bounce back. They did, and I was 'lucky'."

"So, I will be looking to expand my skills to preserve and grow what I have in the coming years with options, bonds, and other areas of financial expertise. Thank you, Charles Schwab!"

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