Retirement savers have been facing grim truths, like the fact that a 50% portfolio loss requires 100% in earnings to recover. But middle-of-the-road investors could recover in as little as 2 years if they make contributions, receive a company match, and see fair long-term portfolio returns, writes Linda Stern in Newsweek. Still, much depends on a person's age and wealth before the recession hit.
Younger investors will fare the best, for they can afford to take bigger risks and take advantage of historically low prices. Meanwhile, older folks—some of whom "may never recover"—should save more and use “catch-up” provisions in tax law to invest more money in their 401(k)s and personal retirement-savings accounts. Above all, experts say, the best advice is to spend less, save and invest more, and hope the math improves.