Why the Stock Market Plunge Is Not World’s End

The headlines read “Stocks Plunge” and “Why the Selling Is Just Getting Started.” It’s enough to get anyone scared and ready to exit the market.  Before you do, consider the following: First, have a little perspective. Sure, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average is down about 1,300 points in less than a month, but remember that the Dow isn’t the entire U.S. stock market and doesn’t reflect dividends. I prefer to look at the entire U.S. market considering a longer perspective, using a …

The Takeaway: 401(k) Balances Down Despite Higher Contributions

Employees contributed more to their 401(k) plans in 2011, according to Fidelity Investments, and matching contributions from employers were up, too. But despite this uptick in contributions, the year-end average for Fidelity’s 401(k) participants was down.

The Takeaway: U.S. Retirement Assets Declining Again; Payroll Tax Deadlock Ends; World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher

Americans’ retirement assets lost a total value of $1.4 trillion last quarter, the first decline since the depths of the recession three years ago, according to a new report … After initially rejecting the measure, House Republican leaders yesterday agreed to a two-month payroll tax cut extension””and, with it, an extension of federal unemployment benefits and a temporary ‘doc fix’ … And Bernice Bates, 91, has been named the world’s oldest yoga teacher by Guinness World Records.

The Takeaway: Weekend Edition

Aging is for the birds.  A growing number of people over 50 just refuse to let it happen. Sure, they’ll celebrate the milestone birthday, but they’ll do their best not to look their age.  Or feel it. Or even act it.  (See Ernestine Shepherd. You now have no excuse for not working out.)

Market Mayhem: Pep Talk & Practical Advice (Tattoo Optional)

Stocks plunge. The fear’s back. Market mayhem. Just scanning financial headlines is enough to make you sick to your stomach – figuratively or literally. And people who are retired or close to it have more reason to worry. But the experts seem to have a clear message: don’t panic (and remember to be thankful for Social Security). We’re not suggesting a tattoo… A pep talk, and some practical advice, would probably make more sense. Watch Surviving a Market Downturn or How to …

The Takeaway: Are We Ready for More ‘Old’ Men?; Plastic Surgery Boom; Bernadine Healy

Is America ready for more “old” men? That’s the discussion that’s taking place in Room for Debate over on NYTimes.com. As the number of men over 65 has increased by 21 percent in the last decade “what are the implications – the benefits and the costs – of having more men around longer?” Women generally outlive men, so how would our lives change with more older men in the country? Will you have to support both parents instead of one? …