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3 questions to ask before investing in stocks in retirement

Investing in stocks during your retirement would depend on how much risk you can take. Here are some things to consider.

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Investing in the stock market can be a risky proposition because of the market’s potential to fluctuate taking the investors on a roller coaster ride. However, if you can pull off the risk, you can earn more than you had bargained for. If you are not much of a risk taker, investing in bonds or buying annuities would be a consideration.

During our investing lives, most of us try to achieve the highest returns possible with the level of risk we can tolerate. Most of our investing decisions are made in an attempt to accumulate a nest egg big enough to support us in retirement.

Once we reach retirement, we are apprehensive about investing in stocks. Our goal then is not to worry about growing savings but ensuring whether the accumulated fund is good to last for the next 30 years or so. So, the question arises: Should we invest in retirement stocks? If yes, then how much risk is too much?

Whether you should own stocks or not depends on these three criteria:

Can you take the risk?

First, you will need to calculate the minimum return your investments need to earn for you to ensure that you sustain your lifestyle goals in retirement. If you are fine with no cash in your account when you die, and your saved amount is enough to meet your expenses for the next 30 years you should not take the risk. On the other hand, if you are left with extra funds after securing your lifestyle goals for the next 30 years, you can afford to take the risk by investing in stocks.

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Can you use risk as your holistic plan?

Another approach you can employ is investing in laddered CDs or bonds that matures each year for the amount you need to meet your lifestyle goals for the next 20 years. The remaining fund can be invested in stocks. During the 20-year period, if your stocks do well, you would have reasonable profit that could ensure additional years of cash flow.

Do you have an action plan if the risk materializes?

If your stocks don’t do well, you need to understand the consequences and have an action plan ready.

There are two things to keep in mind here:

  • Do not own stocks if you do not have the flexibility to keep them when the market is down.

  • If your stocks aren’t doing well for a prolonged time, you may have to think of cutting down on your expenses.

The good and the bad of having stocks as part of your retirement portfolio

stocks

Consider all the good and the bad aspects of owning stocks in retirement. (Source)

All that is good

  • Stocks are good retirement investments that help your investment portfolio and retirement income withstand inflation.

  • Stocks give you higher returns and thus higher income and the chance to live a better and secured retired life.

All that is bad

  • The stock market is volatile. If your stock delivers lower returns, you may have to spend less than what you had in mind.

  • It causes emotional stress because of constant anxiety about fluctuating stock prices. If you are not careful enough, you may end up selling at the wrong time and thus lose out on the money which could be used to live well during your retirement.

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DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation for writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.

Rick Pendykoski is the owner of Self Directed Retirement Plans LLC, a retirement planning firm based in Goodyear, AZ. He has over three decades of experience working with investments and retirement planning, and over the last 10 years has turned his focus to self-directed accounts and alternative investments. Rick regularly posts helpful tips and articles on his blog at SD Retirement as well as Business.com, SAP, MoneyForLunch, Biggerpocket, SocialMediaToday, and NuWireInvestor. If you need help and guidance with traditional or alternative investments, get in touch with Rick.

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