Saving money for your retirement is probably one of the most important goals you have right now. So, you have to find the right balance between investing with risk and investing with safe return to have a nice portfolio. You need to strategize and be successful at it if you want to be comfortable in your retirement.

In that spirit, here are some recommendations on how to make the smartest decisions.

Total Return Portfolio

This is a common way to build a safe portfolio and a retirement income. You would normally have your portfolio full of stock and bond funds. You could get a financial expert to handle these for you or you could do it yourself. This type of portfolio is built as a way to get a long-term return and you have to follow some rules when it comes to withdrawal. In some years, you may withdraw more due to inflation. Click here to learn more about total return.

You are targeting an annual return that exceeds the rate of your withdrawal. You are targeting an average but the returns will vary a lot. You have to diversify your allocation no matter how much the portfolio fluctuates in value.

It’s recommended to use a withdrawal plan but be careful how you imagine your results. Withdrawals can affect your income.

This is the best approach if you are experienced with investment and you know how to make smart investment and money managing decisions.

Funds for Retirement Income

retirement income

These funds are a type of a mutual fund which allocate the money in your portfolio to stocks and bonds. Your investments will be managed in a way that gives you a monthly income. Some of these funds want to produce a higher income on a monthly basis so they may use some of principal to reach their goals, while others will likely not use principal but go for average income. Here are some of the benefits and cons of this:

With this, you will be in control of your own principal and your money. But, you won’t be able to pull some of the principal out without your monthly income decreasing.


Annuities are, in essence, a form of insurance. They serve a simple purpose of creating an income which is what you want in your retirement.

Immediate annuities ensure that you have a substantial income in the future, but you pay a sum at the start and then an insurance company provides you with an income for an agreed upon time. Of course, in this case, you would have to find a respectable company.

If you already have a strong portfolio and if you feel like you might spend a lump of money quickly, it’s best to invest it this way. Also, this is a good opportunity if you are single and you have a history of longevity in your life.


bonds retirement income

These are a great investment as well. When you buy one of these, it means that you have loaned the money to a company, a municipality or your government. They will pay you back with interest after a set amount of time and the principal will be returned to you as well.

This is what makes it so good for retirement. They have quality ratings and this enables you to understand the strength of the establishment you are borrowing money to. There are various terms when it comes to bonds and you get to choose which one works for you. You can also get some with adjustable interest rates, high-yield bonds and so on.

All of these are a great structure for your portfolio and you can match your needs with the maturity of these bonds. The value of them will fluctuate and the rates will change but you can expect that this doesn’t really matter for your retirement.


If you have a property for rent, it can be a nice source of income in the future. Of course, if you are ready for some of the maintenance requirements and other issues. However, most of the time, real estate actually brings money in instead of out. Before you invest in one of these properties, says that you should understand how much expenses it can incur. Factor in the fact that it’s not going to be full all the time, there will be some vacancy.

This is a business and not a way to get rich quickly. However, it’s a fantastic investment. But, do a little research first – read books, listen to podcasts, talk to experienced people etc. Don’t invest before understanding what it means and learning as much about it as possible.

Annuity With Lifetime Income Rider

Variable annuity isn’t the same as immediate annuity because your money goes into a portfolio which you choose. You will be a part of the results, but for a fee you can add riders which are there to protect you in case the worst happens.

They have many names but they are mostly called riders and they provide income. Each rider has a formula which determines the guarantee.

Annuities here are complicated and many people don’t understand them well enough to use them. It’s an insurance thing, of sorts and you need to plan it well in order to decide whether you should insure your income.

Safe Investments

Having something safe will help you feel less stress in your retirement. It’s there to protect you and not bring in a lot of income. All retirees should have an emergency fund like this which should not be included as something used to give income in retirement. Rather, it’s there for covering emergency expenses.

Even if you have the money now and you don’t know what to spend it on, you should put it into a safe account and then make a smart choice after you do research. Make informed decisions and sometimes, the best place is to put it in a safe spot. Don’t feel pressured to invest. If your financial advisor is pressuring you into doing that, then you might need a new advisor.