The same thing happened less than a decade before with the vicious bear market of 2001-2002.
In both cases, investors nearing retirement had to delay that life change for who knows how many years.
What's more, any investor 50 years or older who suffered through both market setbacks could be looking at a portfolio that's largely flat, putting into question the buy-and-hold strategy of equity investing.
The big difference between the two market meltdowns, however, is that virtually all assets took a beating in the more recent financial crisis, undermining the long-held investing principle of diversification.
No wonder then, that for all the stock market's rebound in the past three years, there's little evidence that the retail investor has returned.
Are you one of those who has changed your investing approach for your retirement nest egg?