LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -A historic vote in the United Kingdom has sent financial shockwaves around the world.
UK citizens voted to leave the European Union, breaking up an economic unit that has been in place since the end of World War II. They are calling it the "Brexit," or British Exit, and it leaves many wondering the fate of the Europe's financial market, which is the fifth largest in the world.
In the U.S., the Dow plunged more than 600 points and created a panic on Wall Street and among individual investors as they wondered how the news will impact the money they have in various retirement accounts and stock portfolios.
Brendan Wolverton, a financial adviser in Lawton, says his clients have been calling him, asking if their retirement investments are okay. He says most of them are, but his office has been planning for something to happen in the markets after the Brexit vote, so many people who haven't checked in with their advisers about their 401-K or IRA investments should do that as soon as possible.
Wolverton says the market is "emotional" and reacts to big events like "Brexit" in certain ways, but that doesn't mean you should.
"Don't, even if it's just an individual stock, don't make a big decision today, because more than likely before the end of the month, a little bit of this will work its way out so don't just make a quick decision," Wolverton said.
Some Lawton residents are following that advice. Hans-Jakob Reichen, who is from Europe, has his retirement in many European and U.S. stocks.
"It's nothing to have a knee-jerk reaction right now, but it is a point of concern and I will be following it in the next weeks, yes," Reichen said.
Ana Rodriguez says she will play the waiting game like everyone else should.
"I think we are going to be fine. Again, it's huge, but every time that there is uncertainty in the economy, you know in the stock market, everybody else, everybody, not just us, but everyone, everyone just be a bit concerned," Rodriguez said.
Wolverton says he also has advice for those already in retirement to get them through this downturn.
"Even if they are in the retirement years, don't panic over this, because if they sell out today, they could be selling out 2% less, lower than what they are able to get even a month from now," Wolverton said.
Wolverton says to spend wisely during this uncertain time in the economy, and some residents, like Rodriguez, are doing just that.
"Everybody should watch their money. Not just when something else is happening. Just watch your money, watch how you spend. This is long term, it is a long term investment," Rodriguez said.
Wolverton says this is the best time to start long term investments toward retirement while share prices are low. However, he says to make sure you are not investing more than you can, and that it is truly "long term" investing lasting five, 10 or 20 years for it really to pay off.