Investing for Retirement: It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint!

As you save for retirement, it can be easy to get caught up in the stress of the daily ups and downs of the stock market. While, at times, it may seem tempting to consider pulling out of the market to try to minimize your losses, the reality is that saving for retirement is a long-term journey. Having knee-jerk reactions to the market’s bad days can jeopardize your ability to benefit from the market’s recovery and meet your savings goals.

Regardless of the daily fluctuations that may occur in the market, keeping up consistent per-paycheck contributions to your retirement plan and adjusting your asset allocation to reflect where you are in your retirement journey, and making sure it continues to reflect your risk tolerance and long-term goals, is important.

Below are three reasons to focus on your long-term retirement goals regardless of short-term market uncertainty:

    1. Benefits from the market’s best days: While it may seem counterintuitive, pulling your money out of the stock market to try to avoid potential losses often also means missing the market’s best days, which can be detrimental to your long-term retirement savings potential. History has shown us that markets often rebound quickly after a downturn. If you pull out of the market, you can then miss the gains in the market upswing.

    2. Compounding investment returns over time: By staying invested in the market, you also benefit from compounding returns, meaning that you can reinvest your investment returns back into the market. Compounding returns can play a valuable role in helping you to achieve your long-term goals because they add to your total savings.

    3. Playing the long game pays off: The chart below shows the growth of a $10,000 investment in the S&P 500® Index from January 1, 1985, to June 30, 2021. By staying invested for all of the days during this period, the investment would have grown to a total savings of $574,681. However, missing just the five best days during that time period would reduce the total savings to $356,308. Missing the 50 best days would result in a total savings of only $41,466, a difference of $533,215 from the potential savings when staying invested.

    Source: FactSet Financial Data and Analytics*

Ultimately, there’s no effective way to predict the ideal time to take out or put money into the stock market. That’s why it’s important to stay invested to help you make it to the finish line, which is a financially secure retirement.

If you have further questions, please contact your local Mutual of America representative.

*This chart is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent the performance of any investment or group of investments. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The S&P 500 Index is an unmanaged stock index generally considered to be representative of the U.S. stock market. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.


You should consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of the investment funds and, if applicable, the variable annuity contract, carefully before investing. This and other information is contained in the funds' prospectuses and summary prospectuses and the contract prospectus or brochure, if applicable, which can be obtained by calling 800.468.3785 or visiting mutualofamerica.com. Read them carefully before investing.

Mutual of America's group and individual retirement products are variable annuity contracts and are suitable for long-term investing, particularly for retirement savings. The value of a variable annuity contract will fluctuate depending on the performance of the Separate Account investment options you choose. Upon redemption, you could receive more or less than the principal amount invested. A variable annuity contract provides no additional tax-deferred treatment of benefits beyond the treatment provided to any qualified retirement plan or IRA by applicable tax law. You should consider a variable annuity contract's other features before making a decision.




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