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13. Check your math
A 300-point header in the Dow sounds bad. But unless you're 100% invested in stocks, your personal returns are almost certainly not as bad as the market's daily drubbings. Even a 30% stake in bonds would have cut your recent losses by more than a third.

Go to our Retirement Planner to check your progress toward your retirement goals . Plug in vital stats like your age, income and pre-bear account balances to see what the odds of retirement success were.

Now repeat with your bear-mauled balances. If you're a 40-year-old aggressive investor with a $240,000 401(k) and you earn $150,000, you may need to boost annual savings by only 3% to get back on track.

NEXT: Watch out for scammers

Last updated August 16 2008: 4:37 PM ET
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