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  • Mark Fonville, CFP®

4 Ways To Invest Better In Retirement


4 Ways To Invest Better In Retirement

Investing in retirement can be stressful.


Even with a retirement cheat sheet to help guide your decisions, it's often hard to know if you are doing what you should to preserve your nest egg.


That's why it's important to create an investment strategy tailored to your goals. But, there is a lot of information out there which can make it hard to know what information you should trust.


A strategy that is great for your neighbor or colleague may be terrible for you.


The good news is that there are four key considerations everyone should consider when transitioning to and through retirement.


Take your retirement investing up a notch. Here are four ways to help you invest better in retirement.


1. Know Your New Risk Tolerance


Do you feel like your mood fluctuates with the amount of money in your account? Are you up when your account is growing and down when you see your balance fall? That’s normal, but to a large extent, those feelings can be managed with proper investment planning.

Temporary Decline or Permanent Loss? Often, It’s Up To You.


The first thing retirees should realize is that there is a consequential difference between a temporary decline and a permanent loss. Your behavior drives much of this distinction.

Many people conflate and confuse investing and gambling. Without a plan tailored to your goals, risk, asset allocations, time horizon, and more, you may think that you’re investing, when you’re simply gambling with the stock market. As a result, your approach puts you at an increased risk for permanent loss.


For example, if you concentrate too much of your savings on one investment (say a popular individual stock), you could see more significant swings in your portfolio. If those fluctuations cause you too much stress, you could end up selling in a panic— turning what could have been a temporary decline into a permanent loss.


Strong investment decisions take a more balanced and strategic approach.

Knowing your risk tolerance and taking prudent risks for your situation can help. Spread your investments across many different companies, economic sectors, markets, and securities (a.k.a diversification) so that you only expose yourself to the risk that’s appropriate for your needs.


We can work with you to determine the right mix of allocations that suit your risk appetite. It’s our goal to help you balance getting a good night’s sleep and putting yourself in the position to generate the best potential long-term returns.

What’s The Right Amount of Risk for Your Portfolio?


To determine the right mix for you, it’s helpful to think about your risk comfort level in terms of hard dollars. Say you have a $1,500,000 investment portfolio. Think about a decline that would make you pretty uncomfortable. You might be alright with a temporary decline of $250,000 but not $300,000. Those numbers give us an even better idea of how to balance your investments.

This number will fluctuate over time, too. As you get closer to retirement and your focus shifts from accumulating savings to withdrawing, then the risks, and your risk appetite, both change. It’s important to update your portfolio to match.


Want to see if your portfolio is up to snuff? Check out our free portfolio check-up resource. This resource will help you determine the right mix of investments for your unique situation.

2. Be Cognizant of Inflation


Inflation is a constant but somewhat silent risk to retirement. It’s like the kryptonite of retirement investing. Some of your retirement income may provide automatic inflation protection such as the Social Security inflation adjustment, but not all sources do.


Even so, sometimes the increase in elements like Medicare premiums may overshadow the increase in Social Security. But, you can protect yourself from inflation risk with your investment plan by seeking investment options that consider inflation.

It’s important to design a portfolio that protects you from inflation and rising interest rates because you rely on it for income. A few specific ways you can do that include:


  • Your choice of bonds and other fixed-income securities. For example, the value of long-term bonds will fall significantly when rates rise. You can either hold individual bonds until maturity or invest in shorter-term bonds.

  • Diversify asset allocations across borders as well as asset classes. If inflation is worse in the US than in other parts of the world,