Low-Risk Investments Perfect For Retirees


Adding low-risk retirement investments to your portfolio can help boost and protect your nest egg.

Adding low-risk retirement investments to your portfolio can help boost and protect your nest egg.

Understanding different safe investment options available to you during retirement, and the pros and cons of each, can help you make smart decisions about how to manage your money after you leave the workforce. Here are five common safe investments that can help you grow your wealth in retirement.

A financial advisor can guide you in picking investments for your specific retirement needs.

1. Bonds

Bonds are fixed-income securities that pay interest to the bondholder at regular intervals. Issued by governments and corporations, they are often considered a safe investment. Bonds can offer income stability through regular interest payments and therefore provide a predictable income stream to cover living expenses. Bonds also come with a lower risk of principal loss when compared with stocks.

Diversification strategies for retirement portfolios often include bonds as a stabilizing asset that aims to reduce overall risk. With their fixed interest rates and maturity dates, bonds provide predictability and ease of financial planning and they can help preserve capital.

Bonds are generally less volatile than stocks, which can be particularly appealing to retirees seeking stability in their investments. Additionally, bonds offer liquidity, allowing retirees to access their funds when needed.

It’s important to consider that the safety of bonds can vary based on the issuer’s creditworthiness. Government bonds, particularly from financially stable countries, are often considered the safest. Corporate bonds may carry more risk, depending on the financial health of the issuing company. Retirees should assess their risk tolerance, investment goals and time horizon before investing.

2. Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

Certificates of Deposit (CDs) are time-bound deposits held with banks that offer a fixed interest rate. CDs can also be a safe investment choice for retirees, primarily for the following reasons. First, CDs offer income stability through fixed interest rates and predictable maturity dates. Retirees can rely on regular interest payments, which can help cover living expenses and maintain financial stability.

Second, they come with a high degree of principal protection. The initial investment in a CD is typically insured up to a certain limit by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the United States, providing a strong safety net for retirees against potential losses.

Like bonds, CDs offer capital preservation and are generally less volatile than stocks, making them a suitable option for risk-averse retirees looking to safeguard their savings. However, the liquidity of CDs is less than other investments like bonds, as those assets are generally considered to be more liquid than CDs because they can trade on a secondary market.

However, the drawback is that the returns on CDs are usually lower when compared with other investment options, like stocks or bonds. Retirees should carefully consider their financial goals and risk tolerance when incorporating CDs into their retirement strategy, keeping in mind that they may trade higher returns for increased security and stability in their investment portfolio.

3. Dividend-Paying Stocks

A couple developing a strategy to boost their nest egg with low-risk retirement investments.

A couple developing a strategy to boost their nest egg with low-risk retirement investments.

Dividend-paying stocks are shares in established companies that distribute part of their profits to shareholders. These stocks can be a valuable component of a retiree’s investment portfolio for several reasons. They offer a consistent income stream through regular dividend payments, helping retirees cover their living expenses while potentially enjoying income growth over time. These stocks also have the potential for capital appreciation, which can help retirees keep pace with inflation and potentially grow their wealth.

Including dividend-paying stocks in a retirement portfolio could also add diversification, spread risk and enhance overall returns. And some tax advantages may be available for qualified dividend income, further benefiting retirees. However, it’s important to recognize that dividend-paying stocks come with greater volatility and risk when compared with bonds and certificates of deposit. Their value can fluctuate with the stock market and there is no guarantee of continued dividend payments. Therefore, you should carefully consider of the financial health and track record of a company before investing.

4. Preferred Stock

Preferred stocks can be a distinctive addition to a retiree’s investment portfolio. Known for fixed dividend payments that provide a reliable income stream, these assets also typically offer higher yields when compared with traditional bonds and common stocks, making them an appealing choice for retirees seeking income.

Additionally, preferred stockholders enjoy priority in asset claims over common stockholders in cases of a company’s financial distress or liquidation, adding an extra layer of security to these investments. Including preferred stocks in a portfolio can also contribute to diversification, helping to spread risk and potentially improve overall returns.

However, it’s essential to recognize that preferred stocks generally do not offer significant capital appreciation potential like common stocks. While their dividend payments are more predictable than common stock dividends, they may be less secure than bond interest payments. They can be subject to suspension or reduction if a company faces financial difficulties.

5. Annuities

Annuities are insurance contracts that can provide a guaranteed income stream, which could make them an attractive option for some retirees. These financial products provide tax-deferred growth, which can help retirees maximize their savings and potentially reduce their tax burden, contributing to long-term financial security.

Additionally, some annuities offer guaranteed income options and flexible payout choices, allowing retirees to tailor their investments to their specific needs and preferences. Nevertheless, annuities come with certain drawbacks, including fees and expenses that can reduce overall returns and potential surrender charges for early withdrawals.

Furthermore, annuities may limit liquidity and flexibility, as they often tie up a significant portion of assets. It’s vital for retirees to thoroughly evaluate their financial goals, risk tolerance and the terms of the annuity contract before making a commitment.

Bottom Line

A couple researching low-risk retirement investments.

A couple researching low-risk retirement investments.

Having a clear understanding of these investment options can help you craft a secure, balanced retirement plan. However, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution, the right balance will depend on your unique circumstances and goals.

Tips for Retirement Planning

  • A financial advisor can help you make a retirement plan, from determining how much you need to live the retirement you want and then help you choose the right investments to get you there. Once you hit retirement, a financial advisor can help you maintain the amount you need in your retirement fund. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

  • A retirement calculator can help you find the estimated number that you’ll need to hit in order to reach your long-term financial goals.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/BrianAJackson, ©iStock.com/zamrznutitonovi, ©iStock.com/bojanstory

The post Popular Low-Risk Investments for Retirees appeared first on SmartReads by SmartAsset.



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