Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Jan 28, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

If your retirement account is decreasing instead of increasing, you need to consider what you have invested your cash in and whether the money is in stocks, bonds, mutual funds or other types of assets. The stock market fluctuates on a fairly constant basis, so if your retirement account is decreasing and you own either individual stocks or stock-based assets, it’s not necessarily a cause for alarm. The decrease you’re seeing could very well be in reaction to a downward fluctuation in the market, and may very well be followed by an increase. This is the nature of investing.

While a decrease in your retirement account is not necessarily cause for alarm, you should be more concerned if your retirement account is decreasing very rapidly or decreasing at a rate not in tune with the market (e.g. – during a time when the market is largely increasing). If the decrease is not in tune with the market, it could be a sign that there is another issue that needs to be identified. You may want to consider speaking with a stock broker and/or a financial advisor or attorney. Depending on the circumstances of the decrease, there may be some type of issue with your investment. That issue could be nearly anything – and while it is not necessarily a sign that there is cause for alarm since it could be circumstantial and something that will only be temporary, there are many possibilities for the decrease, from broker fraud to poor investment strategy. It could also mean that you simply misunderstood the investment you made.

Whatever the situation may be, figuring it out and regaining control of your money is essential, so get in touch with a financial professional as soon as possible to help you to better understand the reason for the decline. Even if the situation doesn’t end up requiring action, the broker and/or lawyer can help you gain a better understanding of your investment. This will come in handy in the future as you continue to monitor your account balance.