investing
The perfect portfolio for the middle-aged

The investors are a middle-aged married couple with several children. Their goal: a comfortable retirement. They still have plenty of time before they need to meet that goal, so they have options. Their asset allocation vehicles are all mutual funds. This is the asset allocation plan they might draft with their adviser.

Plan: Middle-aged couple
Extra advice
This is a time when it's very important to re-examine your risk tolerance. While some couples will be looking at portfolios that are 60/40 in favor of stocks, others feel more comfortable with a 70/30 ratio, says Jill Gianola, CFP, author of "The Young Couples Guide to Growing Rich Together." There is no "right" answer. "You could argue it either way," she says.

Think you might eventually want disability and/or long-term care insurance? Start shopping prices now, even if you don't buy.

If you go through a major life event, like divorce or the death of a spouse, revisit your allocation plans to insure that they will still meet your retirement needs.

"The reality is they need to be plunking away money and funding those retirement accounts to the max," says Peggy Cabaniss, CFP. "But they still need growth. What they don't have: time to make up losses.

"You need to start bulletproofing the portfolio against potential losses," she says. It could be the time to get rid of emerging market funds and highly aggressive growth stock funds, "and start looking at asset classes that are not as volatile."

Source: Portfolio drafted by Peggy Cabaniss, CFP, president of HC Financial Advisors in Lafayette, Calif., and past national board chair of the National Association of Personal Financial Planners.

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