#5 Think Risk & Time

Get More Conservative as You Go

When you start investing in a retirement account at an early age, you may have a lot more in stock or stock-based securities. Though stocks are riskier, they may offer a higher return. When you’re young, you may be able to afford being more “aggressive” with your retirement portfolio because if something goes wrong with the markets, you may have time to make up for losses before you retire.

How To Make It Happen

Say it’s the year 2047 and you’re getting ready to retire…

Your company has planned your goodbye party. That same day, something awful happens and the stock market takes an Olympic dive. If you were mostly in stocks, you’d probably lose a ton of the money that you were planning to retire with.

But if your portfolio was more conservative around your retirement year, you’d have less to worry about.

Prepare for landing

At Ellevest, when you invest for a down payment on a house or to start your own business, you set a date for that goal. Ellevest then works to help your investments get more conservative the closer you get to that date, so you have a 70% chance of achieving your goal with your target amount of money (or more).

See How It’s Done

Meet Joan

55-year-old corporate lawyer with three adult kids and a house in Connecticut. Joan makes $165,000 a year, her home is paid for, her youngest will graduate from college this year, and she’s looking forward to retiring like a champ.

Disclosure: For illustrative purposes only. This is a hypothetical client scenario and does not represent any Ellevest client or confer individually tailored investment advice.

  • Retirement

    $131,180 annual income in retirement, starting at age 67

Continue maxing out her company 401(k) and IRA until she stops working, so she’s on track to retire by age 67.

  • Get Ellevest’s free advice on the composition of her company 401(k) and check back each year for updated advice
  • Make sure her portfolios get more conservative (more bonds, fewer stocks) for each year she gets closer to retirement.
  • Rebalance company 401(k): about 54.81% stocks, 38.75% bonds, 6.44% alternatives.
  • Transfer existing IRA to Ellevest so she can see all her retirement account advice in one place