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Feeling pinched? It's no time to crack the nest egg.

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Check your retirement account's current percentage holdings in each asset class. If you find any percentages exceed or fall below your targeted allotment, rebalance to intended levels.

According to David Wray, president of the Profit Sharing/401k Council of America, rebalancing a portfolio, which should be done at least annually, boosts returns by about 10 percent.

Thus, "if your investment goal is an 8 percent annual return, you'd be getting 8.8 percent. And over 20 years, the amount of money that represents is significant," he says.

•"Take advantage of today's stock market weakness – especially if you're at least 10 years away from retirement and have less than a 20 percent exposure to equities.

"And if you haven't put a portion of your stocks – at least 25 percent – in foreign markets, now could be an excellent time to boost those holdings," says financial planner Charles Failla, president of Sovereign Financial Group in New York.

•Seek investment advice. Many corporate 401(k) plan sponsors provide ways for employees to obtain guidance on handling their 401(k) accounts.

According to Hewitt Associates' research, 43 percent of companies offered online third-party advisory investment services last year, and among those that didn't, 47 percent planned to offer them this year.

Tapping such wisdom can pay off handsomely. Consider the results of Charles Schwab Corp.'s three-year study on the results of advice provided to participants in 401(k) plans it administered: Over the 2005-07 period, those seeking – and taking – Schwab's advice about 401(k) savings and investments averaged a 10.2 percent annualized return on investments.

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