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Lower gas prices could affect retirement plans


TOTAL LOOK AT THE FORECAST IN JUST A FEW MINUTES. A HUGE RELIEF AT THE GAS PUMP AS GAS PRICES CONTINUE TO FALL. THE AVERAGE PRICE IN MAINE IS DOWN EIGHT CENTS PER GALLON IN THE PAST WEEK, BRINGING THE PRICE TO $2.73 PER GALLON, 76 CENTS LOWER THAN IT WAS LAST YEAR. CERTAINLY GOOD NEWS FOR THOSE STRETCHING THEIR HOLIDAY BUDGET, BUT COURTNEY STURGEON IS LIED TO EXPLAIN WHY THESE GAS PRICES COULD PLAY THE ROLE OF GRINCH WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR 401(K). ECONOMISTS SAY THAT FOR EVERY PENNY THAT GAS PRICES FALL, IT WAS ABOUT $1 BILLION IN AMERICANS’ POCKETS. THAT MEANS THE AVERAGE AMERICAN FAMILY COULD SAVE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER YEAR — $500 PER YEAR. AGHAST DROP COULD MEAN THAT CONSUMERS SAVE MONEY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, BUT FOR EVERY DOLLAR SAVED THAT THE POP, INVESTORS LOSE AT THE STOCK MARKET. THAT MEANS STOCKS ARE LOSING VALUE. IF YOUR 401(K) HAS ENERGY STOCKS , WHICH MOST PORTFOLIOS DO, IF YOU ARE INVESTED IN A FUN LIKE THAT, YOUR PORTFOLIO IS GOING TO DROP. FOR DRIVERS IN PORTLAND, A DECLINE IN PRICES IS GOOD NEWS. I THINK IT IS GREAT THAT PRICES ARE DOWN. I JUST LOOKED AT THE NEWS, AND THEY ARE SAYING THE BARRELS KEEP COMING DOWN IN PRICE. IT IS EVENTUALLY GOING TO CAUSE A PROBLEM. BUT ONLY FOR INVESTORS. NOT FOR YOUR EVERYDAY CONSUMER. SOME CONSUMERS LIKE ROGER CAMPBELL ARE GOING TO USE THE EXTRA DOLLARS FOR HOLIDAY SHOPPING. PRICES GOING DOWN. THE STOCK MARKET ACTUALLY GOES UP. FOR THOSE PLANNING FOR THE LONG RUN, SOME FINANCIAL EXPERTS SAY TO STAY THE COURSE. I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THEY MAKE CHANGES RIGHT NOW. MAYBE IN THE SHORT TERM THAT WE WILL SEE THE ENERGY RISE HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE PORTFOLIO, BUT TO — YOU DO NOT WANT TO JUMP OUT OF AN INVESTMENT WITH A SOLID PLAN AND A REASON TO DO SO. AS FOR DRIVERS AT THIS GAS STATION MAKING THEIR WAY HOME FROM WORK, NOT TOO MANY COMPLAINING.

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