Unfortunately, 401(k) plans shift the burden of saving for retirement from the employer to the employee. Furthermore, the money invested in a 401(k) is not ordinarily guaranteed – meaning that the investment risk also falls on the employee’s shoulders.
Taking “Stock” of Your Retirement Investments
One of the most popular types of investment choices for those saving for retirement is a stock fund. During the 1980s and 1990s, selecting this type of investment option did not pose major problems for most retirement investors.
That’s because the stock market was generally increasing in value, meaning most workers were accustomed to seeing their retirement account balances increase – due to both their ongoing contributions, and their account’s investment earnings.
But things started to change in the early 2000’s, when the stock market started to experience a great deal of volatility. Most recently, during the Great Recession (2007-2009), many retirement investors – including those who were approaching retirement – experienced dramatic drops in the value of their 401(k) plan accounts, due to major losses in the stock market.
Keep in mind…
Most financial professionals believe that investors planning for retirement typically need the growth potential of stocks (often referred to as “equities”) to help them accumulate assets potentially at a greater rate – but of course, there’s a greater risk with stocks than with many other types of investments.
Why Stock Market Volatility Can Cause Problems for Retirees
Even if you have accumulated substantial assets in your retirement account, when you begin withdrawing money during retirement, you may encounter problems if your withdrawals are occurring during a time when the stock market is generally losing value. This is because the combination of your withdrawals and investment volatility – which both cause your account value to drop – along with inflation, which requires you to spend more on goods and services, can put you at risk that your account could run out of money during your retirement lifetime.
Anthony J. Mascherino, Jr.
341 E. Lancaster Ave., 2nd Floor
Downingtown, PA 19335
Anthony Mascherino is a Registered Representative Park Avenue Securities, LLC (PAS). 670 North River Street Suite 300, Plains PA 18705 Securities products/services are offered through PAS, 570-829-0717.
Financial Representative The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, New York. PAS is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian. Mascherino Financial Group is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian.