"In all my life, I have never seen anything like this," said Ginny Alden, who is already living off her investments.
The stock market drop is cutting into Alden's nest egg. Fortunately, Alden has a plan, thanks to her financial advisor.
"He called me up and said we need to move your money into a money market account right now and when the market starts to turn around, we can move it back into the market," she said.
Money market accounts are one way to protect your investments. Treasury bills are another. You can buy a T-bill through a financial planner.
So what is a T-bill?
"Short term, government bond, essentially what it is," said financial planner Darrell Pennington. "People are running to those. You see a lot of that on the news right now because it is safe."
But Pennington says those considering a secure investment should not dump everything into them because the returns can be less than one percent.
"Twenty-five percent or so to put into a very safe investment at this point to be able to draw from for the next year or two, again giving those stocks time to rebound," he said.
Pennington says it could take one to five years for the market to come back fully, but historically it has in the past.
"There is no magic cure here," said Latha Ramchandu with the University of Houston department of finance. "There is not like this stock we can all go into because that is not going to happen."
Ramchand says those in or near retirement need to take at least a portion of their investment and place it into low risk tools.
"What's a safe investment? GE, for instance," said Ramchand. "Their one-year bonds are actually trading at yields that are close to 10 percent because that's a good company."
Though the market made a bit of a rebound on Tuesday, the experts we spoke with say a recession is coming and it may take a year or so before that's over.
The struggling economy also has more people selling off their gold jewelry across the country.
America's financial troubles coupled with gold trading near $880 per ounce are the reasons people have started looking to sell off heirlooms and other jewelry. The owner of a gold trading shop in Albuquerque says when the economy becomes unstable, the price of gold rises and that means more business for him. But he urges people not to sell.
"I always advise people if you don't need the money don't sell. But unfortunately we have a lot of people that need money for just gas," said gold seller David Castle.
Gold traders around the country report sales of all kinds of gold items including everything from class rings to earrings to gold teeth.