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Special Report

Morningstar.com's 5 Keys to Retirement Investing

Oct. 6-10: Tackle allocation, investment selection, withdrawal strategies, estate planning, and more with this special report from Morningstar.

Welcome to retirement. Now get to work.

For the growing number of folks entering retirement with defined contribution plans--401(k)s, 403(b)s, and the like--this greeting is increasingly a reality, at least when it comes to portfolio management. Whereas defined benefit (pension) plans turned into income streams for past generations of retirees, 401(k)s and other similar vehicles will require investors to either get more hands-on or hire someone to do so on their behalf as they approach and enter retirement.

Indeed, the preretirement (so-called accumulation) years might seem like a cake walk compared to the added complexities of in-retirement investing, where income generation, tax management, withdrawal rates, Social Security decisions, estate planning, and more come into play.

This week, we're helping retirees put some of the most important considerations on their radars, understand the key decisions and trade-offs, upgrade their portfolios with best-of-breed investments, and manage their drawdown. Bookmark this page and stay tuned each day this week as we release new reports. 

5 Keys to Retirement Investing

Monday, Oct. 6 | Setting an appropriate allocation
New retirees may instinctively batten down the hatches on their portfolios, but playing it too safe carries its own risks--namely possible shortfalls in the later years of retirement. On Monday, we'll help investors triangulate a workable mix of stocks and bonds, and set up a "bucket" portfolio strategy.

Tuesday, Oct. 7 | Selecting dependable retirement investments
With an asset allocation in hand, the next stepis to uncover best-of-breed investments that can get the job done reliably--which means low-cost, well-managed, highly rated funds retirees can buy and hold for the long term. We'll share some of our favorites on Tuesday. 

Wednesday, Oct. 8 | Managing Your Withdrawals
One of the most vexing issues for retirees is selecting a withdrawal rate: How much can I withdraw from my portfolio over my retirement without depleting my assets too quickly? The 4% rule of thumb is a decent starting place, but we'll help investors customize that approach for themselves, optimize for tax savings, and monitor their situation over time.

Thursday, Oct. 9 | Accounting for Social Security and health-care costs
Social Security and health-care planning (particularly long-term care planning) may seem to reside outside the realm of investing, but your decisions on both fronts can have ramifications for your investments over the long term. On Thursday, learn about the key swing factors so your portfolio can account for the big picture.

Friday, Oct. 10 | Creating an estate plan baseline
Attention procrastinators: Yes, estate planning can get thorny, but getting the basics done can bring tremendous relief to you and your loved ones. On Friday we'll help you get going with simple steps for creating a master directory, widow-/widower-proofing your portfolio, and attending to beneficiary designations. 

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