Diversify to Reduce Portfolio Risk During Your Retirement Years

diversify your portfolio

Are you a high net-worth individual or a couple getting close to or already in your retirement years? Creating a comprehensive and diversified retirement plan should be on your priority list. While many people know how important it is to save for their future security, they may not understand why having a diversified investment strategy matters as much as investments. 

A strong and well-thought-out retirement plan can help ensure financial security throughout your golden years – but only if it is done right with plenty of time for execution.  

In this article, we will describe the importance of diversification, exploring various financial topics, including:

  • Types of retirement plans
  • The role of stocks and bonds in your portfolio
  • The advantages and disadvantages of different investment strategies
  • The value of consulting an advisor to help you create a retirement strategy that aligns with your unique financial goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon.


Read our latest Guide on Retirement Planning in Buffalo Grove, IL. SGL Financial’s retirement planning services can set you on the path to a hassle-free retirement. 


1. Types of Retirement Plans

There are many ways you can save and plan for retirement, and it’s essential to understand the different options that are available to you. Here are some of the more common retirement planning options:

401(k) Plan: 

A 401(k) is a popular employer-sponsored retirement savings plan that allows employees to contribute a portion of their salary, often with matching contributions from the employer. All contributions are made with pre-tax dollars. Income and appreciation accrue tax-free inside the plan, which makes 401ks a popular way to accumulate assets for retirement. Distributions are taxed at your current rate when you withdraw assets from your account to help fund your lifestyle during retirement. Some employers offer a traditional 401(k), a Roth 401(k) or both.

Roth 401(k)

Another variation is the Roth 401(k), which permits employees to contribute after-tax dollars, offering tax-free withdrawals during retirement. This can benefit those anticipating a higher tax bracket during their retirement years.

Traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA): 

Like 401(k)s, a traditional IRA provides tax-deferred growth until you begin taking distributions from the account. Contributions may be tax-deductible, depending on your income and participation in an employer-sponsored plan.

Roth Individual Retirement Account (Roth IRA): 

A Roth IRA is another retirement savings account, but contributions are made with after-tax dollars. The growth and qualified withdrawals in retirement are tax-free, subject to specific rules and restrictions.

403(b) Plan: 

A 403(b) is a retirement plan for employees of public schools, specific non-profit organizations, and some religious institutions. Like a 401(k), it allows employees to contribute a portion of their salary on a pre-tax basis or as Roth contributions if permitted by the plan.

Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA: 

A SEP IRA is a retirement plan for self-employed individuals and small business owners. Employers can make tax-deductible contributions on behalf of eligible employees, with contributions and growth being tax-deferred until withdrawal during retirement years.

2. The Role of Stocks and Bonds in Your Retirement Account(s)

Retirement planning is an essential aspect of securing your financial future. A well-rounded investment strategy often includes a mix of stocks and bonds. In Buffalo Grove and beyond, you should consider turning to retirement planners to help you design a retirement account that suits your unique needs and risk tolerance. Stocks and bonds are integral to these accounts, as they provide opportunities for long-term growth and income (dividends and interest) that is tax deferred.

retirement risk zone investment portfolioStocks play a critical role in longer-term retirement planning because they offer the potential for capital appreciation and can serve as a hedge against inflation. While they tend to be riskier than bonds, they historically have generated higher returns over more extended periods. Retirement planners in Buffalo Grove often advise younger clients, in particular, to allocate a portion of their retirement accounts to stocks. 

This diversification can cushion the impact of inflation on the portfolio over more extended periods. 

On the other hand, bonds are generally considered more conservative investments, providing higher income through interest payments while preserving capital if the bonds are held to maturity. As individuals approach retirement age, it is common for retirement planners to suggest a gradual shift from stocks to a higher allocation of bonds to reduce risk and produce a more stable income stream during retirement years.

3. The advantages and disadvantages of different investment strategies

Investment strategies can be crucial in shaping your financial future, especially regarding retirement planning. The advantages and disadvantages of these strategies can significantly impact the growth and sustainability of your retirement assets. 

For instance, a conservative approach, often recommended by retirement planning professionals, can offer stability and reduced risk but may also result in lower growth than strategies with more inherent risk.  

On the other hand, an aggressive investment strategy may provide higher returns, but they also come with increased volatility and risk exposure.

The keys are knowing the differences and what is best for you. 

Diversification, a widely-accepted retirement planning strategy, allows you to spread your investment risk across several asset classes, reducing the overall risk associated with your portfolio’s performance. However, achieving the right balance requires expertise and constant monitoring, which could be challenging and time-consuming.

Ultimately, it is essential to carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of different investment strategies when planning for retirement, considering your risk tolerance, financial goals, and expected time horizon.

4. The Value of Consulting a Retirement Planning Professional 

Consulting a financial advisor to create a retirement strategy tailored to your unique financial goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon can be invaluable as you pursue a more secure future during your retirement years.

To navigate the complex world of retirement planning, it is often wise to consult with an experienced professional, such as a financial advisor from Buffalo Grove, IL. Financial planning professionals can help you identify the most suitable investment options based on your unique financial goals and circumstances that align with your long-term objectives and tolerance for risk. 

By leveraging the professionals’ knowledge, you can navigate the complexities of investment options, tax implications, and asset allocation with ease, ensuring that your portfolio is well-diversified to minimize risk during volatile markets. Additionally, financial advisors can help you adapt your retirement strategy as your circumstances evolve, keeping you on track to achieve financial independence and enjoy a comfortable, worry-free retirement.

In conclusion, diversification within your retirement plan(s) is crucial as you pursue a secure retirement. You can effectively minimize risks and enhance potential returns by spreading your investments across various asset classes, sectors, and geographic regions. 

Diversification can also help protect your retirement savings from market volatility, economic downturns, and unexpected events, creating a more stable foundation for your future financial needs. Adopting a well-balanced and diversified retirement portfolio is essential for long-term financial success, providing a way to pursue the financial security you deserve during your golden years.