Watch the news from Wall Street, and your teeth may be clenched while you frantically check your bank account.
Take a deeeeep breath.
It's hard NOT to get anxious when we see the markets dip — they are a symbol for our economy's health.
But looking to the stock exchange is a poor way to measure your own personal finance and wealth.
Financial planner Delia Fernandez has some advice:
It's not 2008 all over again – "This kind of downturn is normal. We've had seven of these 5 percent downturns since 2009."
Who should REALLY worry? – "People who've been ignoring their financial plan for 5 to 6 years because they've enjoyed the ride up."
Retirees definitely should not worry – "You should have been creating a glide path into retirement that got you more and more conservative into stocks, a little bit more in bonds and cash, so that you would be prepared if you were retiring today."
When should we worry? – "If people were losing their jobs, if financial institutions were going out of business, if you saw the stock market drop more than 12 to 15 percent. It's human to react when we hit a bump in the road, we want to get away from that. But you have to take a deep breath."
- Is there a silver lining? – "Things are on sale! I had a client come in yesterday with a check saying I want to cash in on this. And he's a retiree."