One of the great benefits of retirement savings is having a long time horizon that, combined with the power of compounding interest, can multiply your nest egg powerfully. Unfortunately, time giveth, time taketh away. Look no further than those poor folks who were nearing retirement when the Great Recession hit in 2007-08. As many mutual funds floundered, so did those 401(k) plans and IRAs that were heavily invested in them, with many taking a 50% hit to their savings just as their home values also plummeted. Like so many things in life, investing included, time heals all wounds. But that's assuming you have the luxury of time. When calamity strikes as you draw close to retirement, your game plan can unravel.