Stock Bond Allocation In Retirement


What Should Your Stock

Investing 101: Stocks, Bonds, 401K, Cash, Portfolios, Asset Allocation, Etc.

In retirement, your investing timeline is short, so you want to emphasize relatively safer investments like bonds rather than stocks. The exact ratio will depend on your age, your health, and your retirement plans, but your ratio before retirement should generally shift more toward bonds as you enter retirement.

The Balance does not provide tax, investment, or financial services or advice. The information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance, or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal.

Investing Tips For Retirement

  • A financial advisor can help you put a financial plan for your retirement into action. SmartAssets free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If youre ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • In addition to your pension or retirement plan, here are five additional ways to get guaranteed retirement income.

Allocate Assets To Manage Your Risk

The rule of thumb when it comes to managing your retirement portfolio is that you should be more aggressive earlier. The younger you are, the more time you have to replace any losses that you take from higher-risk assets. Then, as you age, you should shift money into more conservative assets. This will help protect you against risk when you have less time to earn back your money.

By the time you enter retirement itself, you should shift your assets in a generally conservative direction overall. This reflects the fact that you dont intend to work again, so youll have to make up any portfolio losses with future gains and Social Security.

This is generally a wise strategy. The two most common lower-risk assets for a retirement account are:

Bonds are corporate, or sometimes municipal government, debt notes. They generate a return based on the interest payments made by the borrowing entity. Most bonds tend to be relatively secure investment products, since large institutions generally pay their debts .

Certificates of deposit are low-risk, low-return products offered by banks. You make a deposit with the bank and agree not to withdraw it for a minimum period of time. In return they pay you a higher interest rate than normal.

Both bonds and CDs are considered low-risk assets. Bonds give you a better return, but retain some element of risk, while CDs give you a fairly low return but with about as little risk as you can get.

Don’t Miss: Ideal Retirement Age Is 57

How Do You Maintain An Asset Allocation Strategy

Mr. Bond once said, I dont stop when Im tired. I stop when Im done. This quote could easily be applied to the task of maintaining your asset allocation strategy. It is not enough to set it up once and think that you are done.

You must figure out how to maintain and evolve your strategy through to the end.

The most common way to maintain your asset allocation strategy is to periodically rebalance your portfolio back to your target asset allocation.

For example, if you decided that your ideal asset allocation is 45% stocks or mutual funds, 40% bonds, and 15% cash, then you would need to buy and sell in and out of your various positions to return to those ratios assuming that you withdrew funds and that the various assets got varying rates of return.

This is the most basic way of maintaining asset allocation. However, there are other ways of determining and managing asset allocation: constant-weighting, tactical asset allocation, dynamic asset allocation, insured asset allocation, integrated asset allocation. and more.

What To Do Next

The Best Way To Deal With All Your Retirement Accounts
  • Not sure whats right for you, or interested in a truly personalized approach? Consider reaching out to a financial professional. Think of them as a personal meal planner for your portfolio. They can help you discover your goals and suggest assets and asset allocation to get you there based on your risk tolerance.
  • Have a retirement account from your employer with service at Principal? Log in to to check in on your asset allocation and see if youre still on track. First time logging in? Get started here.

Also Check: New York Life Retirement Plan Services

Asset Allocation By Age Calculation

There are several quick, oft-cited model calculations used for dynamic asset allocation of a portfolio of stocks and bonds by age, moving more into bonds as time passes because theyre safer. For the sake of clarity and consistency of discussion, were going to assume a retirement age of 60.

  • The first and simplest adage is age in bonds. A 40-year-old would have 40% in bonds. This may indeed be fitting for an investor with a low tolerance for risk, but is too conservative in my opinion. In fact, this conventional wisdom that has been repeated ad nauseam goes against the recommended asset allocations of all the top target date fund managers. This calculation would mean a beginner investor at 20 years old would already have 20% bonds right out of the gate. This would very likely stifle early growth when accumulation is more important at the beginning of the investing horizon.
  • Another general rule of thumb is a more aggressive for bond allocation. This calculation is much more in line with expert recommendations. This means the 40-year-old has 20% in bonds and the young investor has a portfolio of 100% stocks and no bonds at age 20. This also yields the stalwart 60/40 portfolio for a retiree at age 60.
  • Generally speaking, it could be said that these 3 formulas coincide with low, moderate, and high risk tolerances, respectively.

    Conventional Asset Allocation Model For Stocks And Bonds

    The proper asset allocation of stocks and bonds generally follows the conventional model.

    The classic recommendation for asset allocation is to subtract your age from 100 to find out how much you should allocate towards stocks. The basic premise is that we become risk averse as we age given we have less of an ability to generate income.

    We also dont want to spend our older years working. We are willing to trade lower returns for higher certainty. The following chart demonstrates the conventional asset allocation by age.

    You May Like: Saddlebrooke Arizona Tucson Retirement Communities

    Actions To Take When The Market Shifts

    In his book “The Intelligent Investor,” Graham explains what the 15/50 rule might look like in real life. He suggests an example of when market-level changes might have raised your portion of common stock to 55%. You could restore the balance of your holdings if you sell one-eleventh of the stock portfolio then transfer the proceeds to bonds. In the reverse case, if the market levels have decreased your portion of common stock to 45%, you would use one-eleventh of the bond fund to purchase more stocks.

    What does that mean for you in practice? If the value of stocks to bonds in your portfolio were to shift due to market swings, you should then shift your assets from stocks to bonds, or from bonds to stocks, as needed to maintain the 50/50 balance.

    Invest At An Appropriate Level Of Risk

    Retirement investing: CFA discusses asset allocation strategy

    Choose a mix of stocks, bonds, and short-term investments that you consider appropriate for your investing goals and dont forget to consider stock awards you may have through your employer.

    Stocks have historically had higher potential for growth, but more volatility. So if you have time to ride out the ups and downs of the market, you may want to consider investing a larger proportion of your portfolio in equities.

    On the other hand, if you’ll need the money in just a few yearsor if the prospect of losing money makes you too nervousconsider a higher allocation to generally less volatile investments such as bonds and short-term investments. By doing this, of course, you’d be trading the potential of higher returns for the potential of lower volatility.

    Once you have chosen an asset mix, research and select appropriate investments.

    Don’t Miss: What Is The First Step In Retirement Planning

    What Is A 70/30 Portfolio

    A 70/30 portfolio is an investment portfolio where 70% of investment capital is allocated to stocks and 30% to fixed-income securities, primarily bonds. Any portfolio can be broken down into different percentages this way, such as 80/20 or 60/40. The ideal allocation will depend on the investor’s age, risk tolerance, and financial goals.

    Adjust Your Asset Allocation According To Your Age

    When your investment timeline is short, are especially problematic — both emotionally and financially. Emotionally, your stress level spikes because you had plans to use that money soon, and now some of it is gone. You might even get spooked and sell. And financially, selling your stocks at the bottom of the market locks in your losses and puts you at risk of missing the stocks’ potential recovery.

    Adjusting your allocation according to your age helps you to bypass those problems. For example:

    • You can consider investing heavily in stocks if you’re younger than 50 and saving for retirement. You have plenty of years until you retire and can ride out any current market turbulence.
    • As you reach your 50s, consider allocating 60% of your portfolio to stocks and 40% to bonds. Adjust those numbers according to your risk tolerance. If risk makes you nervous, decrease the stock percentage and increase the bond percentage.
    • Once you’re retired, you may prefer a more conservative allocation of 50% in stocks and 50% in bonds. Again, adjust this ratio based on your risk tolerance.
    • Hold any money you’ll need within the next five years in cash or investment-grade bonds with varying maturity dates.
    • Keep your emergency fund entirely in cash. As is the nature of emergencies, you may need access to this money with just a moment’s notice.

    Don’t Miss: Life Insurance And Retirement Planning

    Bond Tents For Retirement Asset Allocation

    Bond tents and Rising Equity Glidepaths are styles of glidepaths.

    Glidepaths describe the modulation of asset allocation before and after retirement. For example, traditional target-date funds decrease stock percentage to or through retirement and retain a conservativemostly bondportfolio thereafter.

    Your own personal glidepath need not follow a traditional approach. No data or studies support a best practice. However, certain specific glidepaths aim to tame the fiercest foe faced early in retirement: sequence of returns risk.

    Don’t Let Stock Market Conditions Dictate Your Allocation Strategy

    401k Asset Allocation

    When the economy is performing well, it’s tempting to believe that the stock market will continue to rise forever, and that belief may encourage you to chase higher profits by holding more stocks. This is a mistake. Follow a planned asset allocation strategy precisely because you can’t time the market and don’t know when a correction is coming. If you let market conditions influence your allocation strategy, then you’re not actually following a strategy.

    Also Check: How To Retire In 20 Years

    Target Date Funds Vs Target Risk Funds

    Not everyone has time to do investment research and pick a bunch of individual stocks and bonds. Thats why investment products like mutual funds and exchange-traded funds exist. These types of investments have a professional manager who researches, selects, and combines the ingredients for investors in the product.

    Some investment options even take care of the asset allocation. Two types are target date and target risk.

    With a target date fund, you can pick one that has a year close to when youll retire or need the assets. The portfolio manager selects all the investments, and, over time, adjusts the asset allocation to typically be more conservative as that date approaches.

    With a target risk fund, you pick the investment that best matches your risk tolerance, from conservative to aggressive. The portfolio manager then selects investments that match that level of risk and builds the asset allocation to suit it.

    Alternatively, you may consider managed accounts or robo-advisors for an even deeper level of personalization.

    How To Determine Your Optimal Asset Allocation

  • Find Your Investment Time Frame Start on the left side of the table below and select the row that best describes your investment time frame. The most common investment goal is retirement building an investment account that will be able to provide for you when you’re no longer working full-time. The assumption with this chart is that’s the main goal you’re pursuing with your investments. When do you think you will retire? If you don’t know exactly, thats okay. For now, just make an estimate.
  • Match Your Time Frame With Your Temperament Follow your selected row to the column that matches your investing temperament. The result is the stock/bond allocation thats best for you. Here’s an example: If you have 10-15 years until retirement and your investing temperament is “Explorer,” your optimal asset allocation is 80% stocks / 20% bonds.
  • You May Like: Empower Retirement 401k Loan Repayment

    What Exactly Is Asset Allocation Anyway

    Asset allocation refers to how your money is invested in different types of asset classes like stocks, bonds, real estate, cash and other.

    There is absolutely no single best asset allocation strategy that will work for everyone. However, figuring out the best asset allocation strategy for your retirement will be based on:

    • How much money you have overall
    • When you will need access to the money
    • Whether or not you are able to tolerate losses
    • Other financial goals you might have

    Different types of investments will be better or worse for you, depending on how you answered the above questions. For example:

    Stocks: Some asset classes like stocks are best if you want to grow your money and you have a long time before you will need to cash in. You need a long time horizon so that you can hopefully ride out any downturns in the financial markets.

    Bonds: Bonds are a better bet if you need to be sure that your capital will be preserved but still want some degree of return on your money.

    Cash: Cash is relatively risk-free, but doesnt offer any upside so it should only be used for short-term needs.

    Inflation Is Important To Understand

    Stock and Bond Portfolio Allocation What-if Analysis

    To determine the best asset allocation of stocks and bonds by age, you must also get a good understanding of inflation.

    Just like how inflation is a natural tailwind for real estate investors, inflation is also a natural tailwind for stock market investors. The stock market performs based off corporate earnings growth, which inflation helps.

    The more corporate earnings grow, the higher the stock market if valuation multiples stay the same. The stronger the expectations for earnings growth, the higher the stock market tends to climb as well as valuations expand.

    Between 1926 and today, the annualized total return for a portfolio composed exclusively of stocks in Standard & Poors Composite Index of 500 Stocks was ~10%. The average inflation rate for the same period was 2.93%. Therefore, the real rate of return was 10% 2.93% = 7.07%.

    Meanwhile, during the same period, the average annual return for investment-grade government bonds was 5.72% for a real rate of return of 5.72% 2.93% = 2.79%.

    Given we all want to beat inflation by as wide a margin as possible without taking undue risk, we tend to favor stocks over bonds, but hold both because we dont know the future. Take a look below at the historical performance of stocks and bonds versus inflation.

    Theres also something else worth mentioning. One of the key reasons for the widening wealth gap is because the rich invest their savings, while the not rich tend to spend.

    Also Check: The Virginian Retirement Home Fairfax

    Comparing Stocks & Bonds For Retirement: Balancing Allocation

    Many people assume that stocks are riskier compared to bonds. Should this be true, you will have mutual funds in a bond-oriented portfolio, which will be less risky than a stock-oriented portfolio.

    Understanding the Ideal Asset Allocation

    Many investors getting ready for retirement are keen on knowing the portion of their portfolio will be invested in bonds and stocks. They also want to know the right mix of such assets to qualify for growth or income from such a portfolio. Whatever your aim in retirement is: growth or income, your asset allocation should correlate as it is primal to the success of such a goal.

    For a lot of investment managers, they prefer strategies where age majorly determines the recommendation of allocation. In the long term, however, this might not be helpful. As an example, the life expectancy for every 60 years senior is not the same. You might want to leave a legacy to your descendant or direct all your funds to retirement. Such are personal factors that one might overlook in asset allocation for a traditional setting.

    Reasons Bonds Might be Saved.

    Investors, most of the time, believe a large portion of their portfolio should go to bonds for many reasons. They assume:

    Low Returns might bring down the duration that your portfolio will provide during your investment time.

    The rise in medical tech has also increased the average investor time, triggering a corresponding growth increase to meet long-term goals.

    Inverse Relationship from Bond

    Life Expectancy And Asset Allocation

    However, many investors believe certain factors mean The 100 Rule needs a bit of tweaking. For example, people are living longer especially women. In fact, the Social Security Administration recently reported that the average 65-year-old woman can expect to live up to age 86.6.

    For a wider context, the average life expectancy in the U.S. was just under age 79 in 2019. And a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that Americans living at age 65 could now expect to live another 18.8 years , while those living at 85 could have a life expectancy of 6.7 more years . This means that 25- and 30-year retirements are now more common.

    A longer life expectancy means that you will need more money to fund a comfortable retirement. Theoretically, however, it also means you have more time to take on risks in the stock market. As a result, some investors have changed The 100 Rule to The 110 Rule. Those with stronger risk appetites opt for The 120 Rule. Both modifications essentially mean you should devote a bigger percentage of your investments toward stocks throughout your lifetime.

    In fact, some of the major fund firms are adopting this notion as they build their target-date funds . Also known as life-cycle funds, these employ another strategy to design your asset allocation by age.

    Don’t Miss: How Much Do Retirement Homes Cost Per Month

    Share post:


    More like this

    What Is An Orp Retirement Plan

    Saving For...

    What Type Of Retirement Plan Is Tiaa Cref

    How Can...

    Del Webb Retirement Communities North Carolina

    Clayton 55...