Investing vs. Retirement Planning

Investing vs. Retirement Planning

Core Facts

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Investing may provide handsome returns and may offer a lifestyle of your choosing. The same goes for retirement planning. However, one should never mistake one for the other. They are two very different things.

Saving and investing are the easy part of the retirement equation. Preserving your assets through volatile markets while drawing an income from them takes a real plan. True retirement strategies are about figuring out how you’ll maintain a steady income and making your money last, so you can hopefully enjoy those the things you’ve dreamed about in your golden years. 

You may not miss working after you retire, but you certainly will miss your paycheck. 

Many Americans are under prepared for retirement. Nearly half of families have no retirement account savings at all. And the average retirement savings of all families is less than $100,000.

But that number doesn't tell the whole story. Since so many families have zero savings, and since super-savers can pull up the average, the median savings, or those at the 50th percentile, may be a better gauge. The median for all families in the U.S. is just $5,000, and the median for families with some savings is $60,000. 

As you approach your retirement age, you’ll want to analyze your current portfolio’s risk levels and then adjust your allocations accordingly, lowering your risk if you’re invested too aggressively and diversifying yourself in different asset classes. 

The top performers tend to change from year to year — from stocks to bonds to real estate or commodities. Losing ground when you’re in the distribution phase could crack your nest egg, and diversity can help protect you in a tough market.

Your strategy may also incorporate insurance and annuity vehicles to give you consistent monthly income throughout your retirement. Your adviser can walk you through this and go over all your different options.

While the distinction between investment and retirement may be obviously clear, the point is that you should never gamble with your finances, especially not with your retirement. 

Take into account some key questions:

Are you taking care of your parents? Are you taking care of your children or grandchildren? Do you have health problems? Is long-term care something you should protect against? Your strategy should speak to all your needs and change as your life changes. Don’t mistake a portfolio for a strategy.

The Sensible Middle Ground

When faced with too-good-to-be-true odds and returns, it may be easy to go “all-in” on an investment. But the truth of the matter is that the old adage, “If it looks like it’s too good to be true, then it is,” really applies here. How many times have we seen the catastrophic results of a reckless mentality in investments?

A sensible middle-ground approach is far more attractive in the case of long-term returns. Slow and steady wins the race, as they say. 

Investors should make educated decisions regarding saving for long-term goals such as retirement. 


Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities. 

To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. 

Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable-- we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances. Member FINRA & SIPC


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Founded in 1976, David Lerner Associates is a privately-held broker/dealer with headquarters in Syosset, New York and branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, FL; Teaneck and Princeton, NJ; and White Plains, NY. For more information contact David Lerner Associates Call 516-921-4200 Visit our website:

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Jake Mendlinger
Account Manager
516.829.8374 X 232

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