In the long run, the stock market is a place of sustained growth for most investors. But the ups and downs of last year fuel speculation that the bull market of the last decade is about to turn into a bear. (MGN online)

JEFFERSON CITY – A recent report from CBS News revealed that for the first time since the 1940s, Americans on average reached retirement age with a worse financial situation than their parents.

An estimated 10 million people over 65 are still working, more than doubling since 1985.

So, how to reverse this trend?

In the long run, the stock market is a place of sustained growth for most investors. But the ups and downs of last year fuel speculation that the bull market of the last decade is about to turn into a bear.

This is particularly disconcerting for young people who are just starting to save. A generation of young adults will probably not remember the financial crisis of 2008, when risky bank loans for real estate and unlimited computer transactions put financial markets in a free fall. The Standard and Poor 500 indices lost nearly 40% of their value and the Dow Jones Industrials indices, nearly 34%. Employers have asked people to work without pay. And it took years for stock portfolios to recover.

About a year ago, it seemed like it could happen again. The Dow lost eleven hundred points to worries about a bad job report. In 2018, the market has escaped from this hole. But just before Christmas, the bottom has collapsed. The market lost nearly 17 points of its value in the fourth quarter and lost nearly seven points for the year. This was the first time the market had grown three quarters and still ended the year below its initial level.

"We are still seeing the same trading patterns in 2019 as in 2018," Johnathan Corpina, a senior executive with Median Equity Partners, told CBS. "And rightly so. Nothing has changed in the new year. The government is at a standstill. We are talking about tariffs. We have big fluctuations in oil prices. There are many geopolitical problems that exist. "

"At the moment, it's interesting. They have never experienced such volatility, "Travis Ford, an investment advisor at Jefferson City, told KRCG 13 when he questioned the reaction of young investors. Mr Ford said that he spent a lot of time reassuring these investors that the coast is not new.

"We are caught up in that emotion," added John Taylor of Edward Jones Investments in Jefferson City. Taylor said that even the ten point value corrections are taken into account. The short message: Do not sell, the story is on your side. Taylor said the economy is still strong and that's the key.

This is a different level of fear for investors preparing for retirement, those with 401,000 publicly traded accounts. An accident could be devastating for anyone on the verge of withdrawing money.

"There are conservative options in the 401k," says Travis Ford. "Bonds, CDs, Annuities, Money Market Funds. And, if you're over 59, in most cases, you can transfer money from your 401k to something more conservative, if the 401k options do not cover what you need. "

"I think it depends on your tolerance for risk," says Taylor. "You really need to talk to your financial advisor and determine your risk tolerance."

According to Taylor, the old standard of using your age as a percentage of your total investment with a guaranteed return does not generally apply anymore, so investors should ask a lot of questions.

The stock market showed a significant recovery in January and received further good news in early February when the Federal Reserve canceled its interest rate increase plans at least twice more in 2019. Now, investors have their eyes fixed on the month of March, which begins with: a deadline for the United States and China to reach an agreement on tariffs, and ends with the time limit to Britain to leave the European Union, with or without a trade agreement.

Both could have a significant impact on the stock market.