Retire With a Purpose

You need a plan that allows your wealth to withstand any economic downturn while continuing to grow over time, so it doesn’t lose value to inflation.

Rules of thumb — such as your age subtracted from 100 equals how much of your investment portfolio should be in equities — are far too generic for many of today’s retirees. With life expectancies increasing and many affluent families wishing to preserve their wealth for future generations, it’s worth rethinking “the rules.”

Here are three tips to better asset allocation in retirement:

View Your Wealth in Threes

It helps to consider your wealth as falling into three different categories:

  1. Personal: Assets or cash you need to protect your current standard of living within the next three years. This category should be invested in very safe investments such as cash or fixed income with little or no risk, since it will be your safety net.
  2. Market: Assets that will help you maintain your lifestyle by keeping pace with inflation throughout your lifetime. Since you likely will not need these for several years, invest them across a range of market based assets, such as stocks and high-yield bonds.
  3. Aspirational: Assets that enhance your lifestyle, helping to create or elevate your wealth. In the future, these assets can be invested even more aggressively to be left to heirs or charity.

Think Differently About Risk

Retirees may feel nervous putting their assets into anything other than cash or certificates of deposit. But that’s risky, too: Over a 10- to 30-year retirement, ultraconservative investments may lose substantial real value to inflation. For that reason, consider allocating in a way that is likely to produce returns that outpace inflation while still maintaining your risk tolerance.

Consider Your Horizon

How conservatively or aggressively you invest in your “market” and “aspirational” categories should depend on your personal risk tolerance and expected investment horizon. Remember, you or a spouse may live into your 90s, or even past 100. Especially early in retirement, consider investing more aggressively, since you may have time to recover from any market downturn.


This information is general in nature and is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. Although Regions believes this information to be accurate, it cannot ensure that it will remain up to date. Statements or opinions of individuals referenced herein are their own—not Regions'. Consult an appropriate professional concerning your specific situation and for current tax rules. Regions, the Regions logo, and the LifeGreen bike are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.