VT professor weighs in on protecting your retirement money during COVID-19

Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 12:34 AM EDT
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As our economic landscape remains uncertain during the coronavirus outbreak, we have a local expert weighing in on what you should be doing to protect your retirement money.

Derek Klock is a finance professor at Virginia Tech. He said he understands a lot of people are in full panic mode right now.

“They just have to realize that honestly they are no more or less in control of things today than they were on some other random date in history,” Klock said. “They just feel less in control of things because there’s been so much bad news in such a short length of time.”

He said the best thing we can do right now is wait because likely the worst drop in the stock market is behind us. Klock said it’s more important for us to stay home and keep the virus from spreading.

“If we can get that line to bend over in the next several weeks to maybe a month, month and a half, I think the stock market by the latter half of this year will be up from here,” Klock said.

If you can invest in the stock market, he said do it now because you can get a deal, but many of us will have to trim some unnecessary expenses for now.

“It’s just a matter of making some tough choices and the more willing they are to make tough choices, in the near term, the more quickly we’re going to be able to fix this in the longer term,” he said. “I don’t know whether it’s going to be Memorial Day, the Fourth of July or Labor Day, but there are going to be some pretty epic parties coming on the horizon pretty soon.”

Klock suggested that people try to find a hobby to monetize during this time.

The fiscal policy in the works - he said it’s necessary that officials take their time to get it right.

Klock said strive to find normalcy in your life and control the things that you can and remember retirement can last from 20 to 30 years, so there is time to recover.

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