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Retirement Plans Shrink Along With Dow


The market's free fall is squeezing retirement plans for tens of thousands of San Diego County seniors.

— The stock market's biggest one day plunge in three years -- 512 points today --- is focusing attention on retirement accounts in San Diego. Retirees heavily invested in the market are especially anxious this week.

Nearly 380,000 people in San Diego County are 65 or older. Their retirement accounts are an easy way to measure the impact of a major move in the stock market. Most plans track, in close to real time, how a retirement account is performing. That knowledge can create anxiety.

" 'Oh dear, is there going to be enough for my retirement, or for those who are already retired?' Is my nest egg going to remain intact," said Tony Cherin, San Diego State University finance professor emeritus.

The already soft economy is getting a little bit softer.

The market's decline in less than two weeks has wiped out this year's gains and then some. There is growing uncertainty about the economic recovery in this country and rising concern about the fiscal health of Spain, Greece, Italy and other nations.

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