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Revisit your
asset allocation

As retirement gets closer, you'll want to pay closer attention to how your portfolio is allocated. It's a good rule of thumb to review your asset allocation every six months.

Review and rebalance

As your investment time frame and goals change, your asset allocation should keep up. If you have:

Adjusted your target mix to your changing circumstances over the years: You may only need to make minor changes in your allocation as you prepare for life without a paycheck.

Maintained the same target allocation for a long period: It's critical to reconsider it as retirement nears. For most pre-retirees, this may mean limiting exposure to riskier assets, such as stocks.

This doesn't mean selling all of your stocks-your portfolio may still need the opportunity to grow to keep pace with inflation during your retirement.
What's your personal retirement number?
Calculate how much you'll need to retire

Monitor your investments

Keep close tabs on your investments so that you can spot any changes or trends and address them in a timely fashion.

Annual checkup: Experts recommend completing a comprehensive review of your financial situation and goals every six months.

Simplify your financial picture: It's tough to manage money you can't easily see, but you do have choices. An IRA offers an easy way to maintain the tax-deferred status of your retirement plan while consolidating your retirement assets into one easy-to-manage account.Footnote 1 Consider all of your choices


Consider income-producing investments

As you transition to retirement, this may be the time to consider shifting your investment focus from portfolio growth to generating income through investments like bonds and bond funds.
Fixed-income securities can generally offer less volatility than stocks, and may provide the opportunity to generate a reliable income stream. You also may want to think about purchasing annuities that can guarantee an income stream for life.Footnote 2
If you have a financial advisor, work with him or her to develop a fixed-income strategy designed to help meet your retirement needs.
Consider shifting your
investment focus from
portfolio growth to
generating income
Ready to get started?
You have choices about what to do with your employer-sponsored retirement plan accounts. Depending on your financial circumstances, needs and goals, you may choose to roll over to an IRA or convert to a Roth IRA, roll over an employer-sponsored plan from your old job to your new employer, take a distribution, or leave the account where it is. Each choice may offer different investment options and services, fees and expenses, withdrawal options, required minimum distributions, tax treatment (particularly with reference to employer stock), and different types of protection from creditors and legal judgments. These are complex choices and should be considered with care. For more information visit our rollover page or call Merrill at 888.637.3343.
Footnote 2 All annuity contract and rider guarantees, including optional benefits or annuity payout rates, are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. They are not backed by Merrill or its affiliates, nor do Merrill or its affiliates make any representations or guarantees regarding the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.

Asset Allocation cannot eliminate the risk of fluctuating prices and uncertain returns in declining markets.