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How Much of My Money Should Stay In Safe Investments?

And how does time until retirement affect my investment choices?

Investing isn't a set-it-and-forget-it endeavor. Your portfolio should change over time and as your financial profile matures. When you're younger, you can afford to take more risk, but as you age, you will likely move more funds into safe investments.

Portfolio investment isn't the only reason to hold safe investments. You need an emergency fund. Keep enough money in liquid, safe investments to cover, at a minimum, 3 to 6 months worth of living expenses. This rule-of-thumb means if you need $2,000 per month to live comfortably, you should have $6,000 - $12,000 in safe, easily accessible investments like bank savings accounts or money market funds.


Keep these two rules of thumb in mind:

  • The less secure your employment, the more money you want to keep in safe investments.

  • The closer you are to retirement, the more money you want to keep in safe investments.

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