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Older investors need to earn more on investments

Circling your personal Fort Knox to protect your portfolio from stock market fluctuations as you near retirement may seem prudent, but it may come back to haunt you. A certain amount of income-generating investments are necessary, but, too often, people go overboard on fixed income as they age and shun the stocks and mutual funds that are sorely needed to grow the asset base. Few fixed income investments will leave you with much after inflation.

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Nevertheless, it's ingrained in many people who grew up during the Great Depression, or whose parents grew up then, to become more financially conservative as the decades go by. It can be very difficult to let go a little bit and put some cash in the stock market -- where it could disappear.  

We spoke with three financial planners to get their ideas on what consumers should do to guard against a portfolio that is too conservative and may not meet retirement needs, much less goals. While there are common themes, each planner addresses the issues he sees in his practice.

Three financial planners give their advice
Chris Cooper, Toledo, Ohio: "The only way you build income is invest in financial assets." Read more ...
Tony Proctor, Wellesley, Mass.: "I like to tell people that retirement is not an event, it's a journey." Read more ...
Eric Soiland, Walnut Creek, Calif.: "What is most important is the five years before retirement and the five years after retirement." Read more ...

A visit to a financial planner can provide an objective view of your financial situation. While a long-term relationship with a planner may be best, there are alternatives. Some planners will see you for a one-time portfolio evaluation. You may be charged a fee or it may be complimentary. Many financial planners volunteer their time at various seminars where no fee is charged. Be careful not to confuse this with one of those highly publicized seminars where you may get a free lunch but your wallet may get emptied.

For the die-hard do-it-yourselfer, also has tools and calculators that may help you achieve your retirement goals.

Next: Advice from Chris Cooper
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