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Investing Specialists

Income or Total Return? Retired Users Weigh In

Most vouch for a combination approach.

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Are you an incomenik or a totalnik? Or a combination of the two?

The community of retired investors on has long seemed to break down into these two factions: those who look to their portfolios to crank out current income (the incomeniks), and investors who favor a total return approach (the totalniks).

In an effort to hear both viewpoints as well as gather practical strategies for managing a nest egg during retirement, I ventured on to Morningstar's Discuss boards and posed the following question on the Investing During Retirement forum: "When managing your portfolio during retirement, do you take an income-focused approach, or do you use a total-return strategy that involves tapping your principal? Or a combination of the two?" A lively thread ensued.

Christine Benz does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.