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David and Judy McMickens, Gardendale, Ala.
Rescue Strategy: Delay Tapping the Nest Egg
Ages; 72 and 64

In 2000, a year after David McMickens retired from his 40-year job as a State Farm supervisor, he and his wife Judy lost half of their $500,000 portfolio when the tech bubble burst. It's not hard to see how: At the time, they had 90% of their savings in stocks -- a risky allocation for their age and retirement status.

But the McMickens didn't panic. Between their Social Security benefits, pensions and ample cash in the bank, they simply delayed tapping their nest egg, giving it time to bounce back. By 2005 it had, and they began working with financial planner Stephen Iaconis to create a more balanced portfolio, now 60% in stocks and 40% in bonds. Though they've lost 24% in the past year, their experience taught them not to worry; once again, they're relying on pensions and Social Security ($80,000 a year), plus a cash cushion ($75,000), to help them postpone tapping savings. Says David: "We can just sit tight and wait for our nest egg to grow again." --Ismat Sarah Mangla

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Last updated March 09 2009: 10:12 AM ET
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