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Planning for retirement – Stock exposure and market volatility?

Preparing for and transitioning into retirement can be an overwhelming task. Over the last three decades, the responsibility to plan for retirement has shifted from employers to the employees and people are living longer, a lot longer. Most retirees will now have to make investment decisions on their own, instead of relying on a pension from their employer. So what is an appropriate amount of stocks for a retiree? The old adage of subtract your age from one hundred and that number is the percentage of stocks your portfolio should have, could be detrimental to your retirement plan.

What’s the best portfolio mix?

When people approach retirement the instinct is to get more conservative, or have less stocks in their portfolio. Every retiree’s situation is unique and people are living much longer, meaning their retirement savings will need to last longer. If people need their retirement savings to last longer, then growing their investments will be a necessary key to success. Many factors play a role in determining the best mix for you. Some retirees will rely more on the portfolio for income needs, while others may have more flexibility. Determining the best portfolio mix will depend on a person’s long term goals, risk tolerance and withdrawal needs from their investments.

older couple hike in woods
Senior couple embracing

How to deal with volatility in retirement?

When a retiree is relying on their investments as a paycheck, it can be emotional when stock markets experience volatility or have huge fluctuations. Investing comes with risk, but not all stocks are equally risky. Retirees can use many different strategies to try and lower the overall risk in their portfolio while still maintaining a certain expected return. In today’s investment arena, low volatility ETF’s are accessible. These funds try to invest in stocks that have less risk than the broader market. Another strategy may be investing in companies that pay a dividend. The dividend helps provide income regardless if the stock is up or down. When relying on a portfolio in retirement, it is important to balance both growth and risk.

Planning and investing for retirement is challenging. If you need help determining the best mix in your investment portfolio for your retirement plan, take advantage of Sharkey, Howes & Javer’s complementary consultation.

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