If you’re a decade or so away from retirement, you’ve probably spent at least some time thinking about this major life change. How will you manage the transition? Will you travel, take up a new sport or hobby, or spend more time with friends and family? Should you consider relocating? Will you continue to work in some capacity? Will changes in your income sources affect your standard of living?
The opportunity to acquire company stock — inside or outside a workplace retirement plan — can be a lucrative employee benefit. Your compensation may include stock options or bonuses paid in company stock. Shares may be offered at a discount through an employee stock purchase plan and held in a taxable account, or company stock might be one of the investment options in your tax-deferred 401(k) plan.
In the investment world, risk generally is associated with uncertainty. It refers to the possibility that you will lose some or all of your investment or that an investment will yield less than its anticipated return. The more volatile an investment is–the more unpredictable its returns–the riskier it is generally considered to be.
Your retirement lifestyle will depend not only on your assets and investment choices, but also on how quickly you draw down your retirement portfolio. The annual percentage that you take out of your portfolio, whether from returns or the principal itself, is known as your withdrawal rate. Figuring out an appropriate initial withdrawal rate is a key issue in retirement planning and presents many challenges.