LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- It's the vote being felt around the world, as U.K. voters decided to leave the European Union. It is sending political shock waves through other countries and unsettling stock markets that don't like the uncertainty.
Those supporting the exit are part of the sweeping anti-establishment sentiment angry about immigration and control of borders. Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation, saying the U.K. needs fresh leadership.
The move could affect Americans in more ways than one.
About half of the American workforce participates in a company retirement plan, according to an analysis of data compiled by the Pew Charitable Trusts. If this includes you, then you're one of the tens of thousands of people whose investments are at risk from the market turbulence.
As Wall Street joins the global market selloff today, your 401(k) will decrease in value temporarily. The good news is that these retirement funds are long-term investments and should be able to weather the storm in the long run.
"No matter how old you are, we're still looking to the markets to be going up ultimately," Lauren Lyons Cole, a certified financial planner and personal finance editor at the International Business Times, said on a Facebook live video. "Today, (the markets) might be down 2 or 3 percent but that doesn't mean you should sell everything - not by a long shot. You want to just keep steady and continue to watch it."
American households and would-be homeowners will likely see mortgage rates and the cost of buying a house drop, at least in the short term. Investors are currently selling off riskier assets for safe havens, like U.S. Treasuries and gold. As demand for government debt soars, interest rates will fall, with the potential to cause mortgage rates to drop.
"In the short term, the move by Britain will unsettle financial markets both in the U.S. and abroad, and likely lead investors to seek haven in safe assets outside of the U.K. and Europe," said Boston College economics professor Robert Murphy. "With a spike in demand for safe U.S. Treasury bonds, yields are likely to move downward.And as investors shift into dollar-denominated assets, the dollar will gain strength against the euro and the pound."
The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.57 percent earlier today, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader data. The last time it was this low was in 2012 and mortgage rates followed suit.
The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage has also sunk to nearly a three-year low in the past month, hovering around 3.7 percent. Financial analysts expect the Brexit vote to drive down rates even further in the coming weeks.
"If you're a borrower, don't wait to lock your rate," Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate, told The Washington Post today. "As this opportunity may not last long."
At the current average rate, you'll pay roughly $462 a month in principal and interest for every $100,000 you borrow, according to Bankrate.
Your Vacation Plans
The International Monetary Fund has warned that a Brexit could force the U.K. into a recession. But as the British pound and other European currencies shed value against the U.S. dollar, that trip to London is looking more and more affordable. This means traveling to the U.K. and the rest of Europe will likely become considerably cheaper for U.S. citizens in the coming weeks.
"Because the British Pound is so weak, you're going to have a lot more buying power. So, if you already had planned a vacation there this summer, you actually are probably going to be able to spend your money and make your U.S. dollars go a lot farther," said Rebecca Jarvis with ABC News.
ABC News contributed to this report.
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