Generally Ages 20- 55
During the Accumulation phase you are working everyday and could easily afford to risk your money, hoping to get higher returns. If things went terribly wrong, as they did often for many of us and you lost money in the market, you still had many more working years (sadly enough) to try and replace what you had lost in the market.
DON’T RUN OUT OF MONEY DURING RETIREMENT
We can save and protect, but evenutally we need to spend the money we have accumulated for retirement. In today’s financially volatile times, income planning is emerging as one of the most important areas for people to focus on. We live in an income society. All of our most important decisions about retirement and our future life style revolve around “can we afford it” and that revolves around income. Will I have enough money? Will I run out of money during retirement? What impact will my death have on my spouse’s income or his/her death upon me? Will my retirement assets keep up with inflation? What will happen to my income in a down turn in the economy? When you retire, the pension choices you make are all centered on as income well. When you think about your social security benefits, you are thinking about income. With this focus on income and the continued movement towards corporate benefit reductions, it is important for you to plan for a guaranteed supplemental income that you can never outlive.
Generally Ages 55-70
During the Preservation Phase, you should typically be thinking about minimizing risk. With most of your income earning years behind you, it is critical that you protect and preserve the retirement assets you have accumulated. You need to protect what you can't afford to lose.