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Retirement savers being rewarded for staying in stock market

Wayne and Lillian Graham, with their son, Eddie, in the kitchen, have recovered losses in their retirement fund.
Wayne and Lillian Graham, with their son, Eddie, in the kitchen, have recovered losses in their retirement fund.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

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It was a nightly debate for countless couples like Lillian and Wayne Graham, who were approaching retirement in late 2008 and early 2009. Should they hold on to the stocks meant to pay for their golden years or bail out of a crashing market?

Wayne, now 59, wanted to cut their losses. Lillian, 55, persuaded him to hang in there. Four years later, the Topsfield couple is glad she did.

“We stayed in the market, and we’ve recovered everything we lost and then some,” said Lillian, a visiting nurse. “We know some people who pulled out, and they haven’t recovered as much.”

As the stock market soars to record heights four years after a breathtaking plunge drained 401(k) accounts, retirement savers who stuck it out during the darkest days of the recession are being rewarded for their patience.

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