Every investor’s needs are different, some need more income, some continue to require portfolio growth, and others are in a good place but worry more about survivor and legacy issues. That said, there are several common concerns that almost every senior investor shares that must be addressed when crafting a money plan.
Above all, income is job one.
There is no other single issue that is more important to a retiree than having adequate and dependable income. Because of that, investment dollars must first be allocated to generating an income stream that will last a lifetime. In other words, income you can’t outlive.
The common first questions about income are:
- Is my current income adequate?
- If not, how can I have more?
- And finally, will it last a lifetime?
When market risk is simply unacceptable, guaranteed principal-protected growth opportunities are the solution that most seniors will be well to adopt.
Unprotected investments, like the kind that did so well for you as you were climbing the ladder and building your nest egg, simply become too risky. The break even math required to repair your portfolio from real or paper market losses is simply a risk you cannot afford to take, given the shorter time horizons that all retirees operate in.
Only after the your income requirements are met, and you enjoy adequate principal protection of the majority of your portfolio should you go on to the final goal: continued growing of assets.
Growth requires risk, yet ever present inflation means both rising prices and the reduced purchasing power of your money. Not growing assets has its own risks. Combine that with increased life expectancy, due to advances in nutrition, healthcare and medicine, and you have a better than average chance of still requiring growth.
Living longer means not only the need for dependable income you cannot outlive, but a rising income based on increased asset values is essential, and that means some part of your asset base should still grow.
If there are assets that are available after the income needs have been met, it is advisable that retirees look for growth opportunities.
The bottom line: As you live longer, and as inflation erodes your dollar, you are quite likely to require growth from your investments.