How to Grow Your Retirement Account in a Down Market

Written by mwealthgroup
Published on April 10, 2024

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When the stock market declines, panic begins to spread. The overwhelming fear takes over the masses, and people’s gut reaction is to pull their money out before a drastic drop.

But what if you could prevent this scenario so that your investments aren’t a ball and chain to the stock market? 

What if you could build and grow your money over periods of a down market?

This blog will guide you through the strategies and mindset needed to turn a down market from a threat to an opportunity to grow your accounts and invest. 

We'll examine how understanding your financial building blocks, building capital, and leveraging tools like life insurance can protect your retirement savings and increase their value even when the market seems against you. Start learning how to grow retirement savings in a down market!

The Unpredictability of the Market

how to grow retirement savings in down market

Did you know that, on average, the stock market experiences a correction (a decline of 10% or more from its most recent peak) approximately every two years?

Market ups and downs are an inevitable aspect of investing, directly affecting your retirement savings. 

The unpredictable nature of the market can erode your retirement funds, making traditional investment strategies potentially risky. 

Understanding these ups and downs is key to developing a resilient retirement planning strategy that can withstand market downturns.

Building Capital in a Down Market - Client Success Story

How do you make $106,000 in a down market?

Most people, even financial experts, say that it sounds impossible, but think again.

One of our clients, faced with the all-too-common fear of a declining market deteriorating their $400,000 retirement fund, found a silver lining through strategic planning and adaptation. 

Instead of watching their hard-earned savings decline with the market's ups and downs, they chose a path less traveled but more secure.

The decision to incorporate life insurance into their investment strategy wasn't made lightly. It was a calculated move towards mitigating the risks an unstable market posed to their retirement savings. 

This approach wasn't just about protection but about turning potential losses into gains. By repositioning their assets to include life insurance, they not only shielded their savings from the downturn but also improved the overall value of their retirement fund.

The result? An uplift in their account to a protected value of $472,000, even after making a strategic withdrawal of $41,200. This wasn't just a win against market decline; it was a significant $106,000 gain over what might have been if they had remained tethered to conventional market investments during the downturn.

This success story demonstrates life insurance's stabilizing influence on retirement planning, especially in uncertain times. It served as a strong financial safety net, ensuring that while other investments might sway when the market goes up and down, their retirement fund remained secure and grew.

Taking advantage of market declines can convert your capital into growth and stability with the right strategies.

5 Opportunities to Grow Your Retirement Account in a Down Market

In times of market downturns, while many sectors like the stock market face challenges, these periods also reveal unique opportunities for growth and investment. 

The problem is that not everyone possesses the knowledge necessary to recognize opportunities or know how to act when presented.

“Where are opportunities brewing, and how can you put yourself in a position to take advantage of those opportunities.” -Chelsea Matthews

1. Knowledge Over Fear

Most of the time, people are scared of a down market and end up following the crowd. Make sure you don’t follow the masses! Fear equals an absence of knowledge.

For example, in 2008, many people lost their homes, but others took advantage of the low prices in the real estate markets and capitalized on this opportunity.

You need to recognize the opportunities before you grow your retirement account in a down market AND learn how to find the trusted information you need to make these decisions.

Remember, good decisions are never made from a place of fear! They’re made from logic and knowledge. 

Action Steps:

  • Regularly review market sectors (real estate, crypto, stocks) for downturns and identify where the demand might bounce back or remain resilient.
  • Enroll in financial education courses, read market analysis reports, and follow market trends to enhance your understanding of market dynamics.
  • Develop a personal investment strategy that includes a contingency plan for market downturns, ensuring you're not making decisions based on fear.

2. Strengthening Your Financial House

First, you must ensure you’re able to take advantage of these down market opportunities.

Do you have an unbreakable financial house?

You need to figure out where you are in these personal finance areas and how to strengthen them to position yourself optimally when opportunities arise.

The six building blocks are cash flow, debt management, reserves, proper protection, wealth building, and legacy. Learn more about where you are in this process HERE.

Action Step: After learning about the six building blocks, thoroughly review your financial situation, identifying areas for improvement in your retirement planning and savings.

3. Capital Building is Key

building capital in a down market

You must have capital to be ready to take advantage of the opportunity.

Many people say, “Oh, you need to invest your money. Don’t save money!”

The bottom line is that you need to save money before you can invest money. That’s just how it works. That doesn’t mean you store it all in one place, but you keep it and use leveraging producing assets and life insurance policies. 

Remember: Store and Save, THEN Leverage It!

If you want to learn more about how to start investing your capital, contact us for a consultation and review.

4. Life Insurance as a Financial Tool

Life insurance is a method to build and protect capital, enabling you to take advantage of investment opportunities.

Life insurance is a safety net and a tool for building tax-free cash reserves that can be leveraged for investments in real estate or other downmarket opportunities. 

Action Step: When you’re in a place to put aside $500/month or $6,000/year, then you’re ready for this strategy. 

Talk to a financial advisor at M Wealth Group first about using life insurance as a financial tool for building capital. 

CLICK HERE to take advantage and start contributing to a life insurance policy to build and protect your capital over time.

5. Community and Networking

Engaging with a network of investors and financial experts can offer access to deals and insights, provide a space to share opportunities, and connect with others in the financial community.

Being an accredited investor opens up a world of exclusive private investment opportunities not available to the general public. This status, typically achieved by meeting specific income or net worth criteria, grants access to potentially higher-yield investments.

Becoming an accredited investor opens access to exclusive private deals unavailable to the general public. 

Engaging with a network of fellow accredited investors, experts, and potential deal sponsors provides the collective knowledge to identify opportunities resilient to market uncertainty.

Tapping into this exclusive community allows investors nearing retirement to hear about promising private opportunities to stabilize and grow savings even in down markets. 

Action Steps: 

  • If eligible, seek out private investment opportunities exclusive to accredited investors to access potentially higher-yield investments.
  • Join investment groups, online forums, or local clubs where you can share and receive investment opportunities and advice.

Be Sure to Consult Financial Experts

Knowing how to integrate life insurance into your retirement planning and navigate investment opportunities in a down market can be tricky.

That’s why it’s important to ask for the help of a seasoned financial advisor. They can guide you by offering advice, insight, and a tailored strategy that aligns with your needs and market conditions.

Action Step: Regularly evaluate your retirement investment strategy with the help of a financial advisor. Be prepared to adapt your strategy based on new information or changes in the market environment. A professional can provide insights and recommendations customized to your financial situation and retirement plan.

Key Strategies and Takeaways

  • Reframe market ups and downs as an opportunity for growth.
  • Educate yourself on market dynamics to identify investment opportunities.
  • Strengthen your financial foundation to be ready for investment.
  • Save and then leverage your capital wisely, considering tools like life insurance.
  • Engage with communities and networks for insights and opportunities.
  • Consult with financial experts to tailor your retirement planning strategy.


The journey to growing your retirement account in a down market is paved with knowledge, strategic planning, and the right financial tools. 

By understanding the market, strengthening your financial foundation, and leveraging opportunities wisely, you can protect and grow your retirement savings even in challenging times. 

Remember, the goal is to achieve the freedom to enjoy your retirement on your terms and do the things you want when you want. 

Start taking steps today to secure your financial future tomorrow. Talk with Martin & Chelsea Matthews from M Wealth Group to learn more about how to build your financial house and gain financial freedom in retirement. Click here to speak with our financial experts

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M Wealth Group
M Wealth Group
Together, Martin and Chelsea use their professional expertise and life experiences to provide personalized financial strategies to help clients achieve their goals.
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