Retirement Investing Myths

Julia M. Carlson |

Myth 1: 100 minus your age equals the percentage of stocks to keep in your portfolio.

If you’re 40 years old, for example, this rule recommends keeping 60 percent of your portfolio in stocks. As you age, this number becomes progressively more conservative. The problem is, this equation is too reductive to apply to the many possible nuances in personal investment strategies and retirement goals. Instead, consider creating an asset allocation that matches your risk tolerance, time horizon, and financial goals. And be willing to adjust it more than once a year. Keep in mind, asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

Myth 2: A sustainable withdrawal rate is 4%.

Determining how much money you can safely withdraw from your savings and investments in retirement is an important calculation, and the thinking on this “rule” is changing all the time. Some experts suggest withdrawing a lesser percentage each year; others recommend rate changes based on how your investments perform. But no one can predict how much money you’ll need to sustain a comfortable retirement. Only time will tell.

The only rule that matters: Stay flexible!

If it’s not clear by now, there’s only one rule you can successfully follow in retirement, and that’s to stay flexible. Have a plan, stick to it and be prepared to reassess and modify as time goes by.

Julia Carlson is a Registered Principal with, and securities are offered through, LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC.

Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Email me your questions at or call 541-574-6464. You can also post your question on our Facebook page: