Valley Forum: Still Planning to Retire Early? The 401(k) dreams and retirement plans of many have suffered along with the travails of the stock market. In the last year, millions of workers have seen long-laid plans about their careers and eventual retirement change. So, the San Fernando Valley Business Journal asks: How have your retirement plans changed? Ernest A. Doud Jr. Partner Doud Hausner Vistar Glendale My retirement goal is not stated in terms of age. Rather, it is having sufficient income-producing assets to be able to do the work I love to do without having it be my primary source of income. In other words, continue to consult with family businesses because I love to rather than because I have to. Both my retirement accounts, as well as my wife’s, have taken a big hit. Other than putting a little more emphasis on cash and cash equivalents, we have not substantially changed our investment allocations, which we believe are sound, and intend to ride out the storm. The effect is that I will be working more years than I thought I would have to in order to reach the retirement goal I had planned for. I am fortunate in that I love doing what I do. Jerry Otchis Vice President, Finance and Administration Bobrick Washroom Equipment Inc. North Hollywood While I am getting close to normal retirement age, I enjoy work and have not set a retirement date. Since most of my 401(k) is in cash, I have not been hit too hard by the recent conditions in the stock market. However, my total net worth has not grown as I had anticipated and I will probably defer my retirement by a few years. Dave Burtch Vice President, Marketing AmeriTel Inc. Northridge I had planned to retire in about 10 years, at age 62. However, in the past two years, my 401(k) account lost more than I originally put in it. We changed our carrier and offerings about six months ago and are doing better now, but most of the last two years have been a disaster. I now hope to retire, maybe, at 65. The only saving grace is that the equity in my home has grown substantially. Laurie Golden President/Owner Jacob’s Well Public Relations Woodland Hills Can you spell Enron? My dreams of retirement have dropped with the same aplomb and lack of grace as most of the high-tech stocks I invested in, with percentage losses that, some say, rival my investment IQ: 80 on a good day, 98 on the others. As for re-thinking my 401(k) strategy, that is definitely on my agenda. Gold and oil have some appeal, as does short-selling any stocks recommended by major brokerage houses across the country. But, then again, maybe I will discard the new ways and return to the proven ways of yore and keep my money in the same place Tony Soprano keeps his: under the mattress.