"Takeoffs are optional, landings are mandatory" -- client
I heard this quote from a client today who is a licensed pilot and an aviation enthusiast. The humor in it was undeniable (the delivery didn`t hurt either), but it was also very insightful. As a pilot, you take a calculated risk to leave the ground when you set out on your way, so therein exists the choice. Once you are up there though.....you have to land safely. There is no choice in that part.
So.....You are invested, this is something that you decided long ago. The volatility is driving you bananas though, as even the best laid plans, or the strongest portfolios will suffer some form of pullback when the market suffers. There are ways to weather the bumps (ie: turbulence --- plan ahead, or adjust to a different altitude when they occur), and you should plan in advance to make those adjustments. Understand your tolerances, know your objectives, know who you are and what your expectations are, and rationalize them against what you are trying to accomplish. Is it feasible?
It is never too late to make these adjustments. Similar to flying a plane, dropping out of the sky is not an option. I mean, you could survive, but the odds of a favorable outcome in that instance are quite slim. .....landing is mandatory.
When you approach your stated goal, be it retirement or some other objective, the money has to be there. That is your landing, and the compulsory element. There really is no choice.
So establish your risk parameters, have a qualified and astute advisor, and make adjustments when necessary. Ensure a safe landing. Panic selling or having your hand forced by finding yourself in unbearable circumstances is akin to dropping out of the sky. A safe landing at that point is a crap shoot.