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Make the Most of Your Retirement Nest Egg

You’ve spent years saving for your retirement. You’ve used the benefits of salary deferral, taken advantage of the power of compounding, and maintained the right mix of investments. Your reward for all this hard work: a sizable retirement nest egg.

Now it’s time to relax and enjoy a satisfying and financially secure retirement.

There are a few simple things you can do to ensure that your hard-earned savings will last for all the years you need it to. Here are some tips for making the most of your money:

  • Review your portfolio periodically. Your financial goals may not change all that much during your retirement years, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to review your investments from time to time. Strong or weak markets can push your investment program off course. Take a look at your investment mix at least once a year and reallocate your assets according to your goals, time horizon, risk tolerance, and personal financial situation.
  • Keep cash investments on hand. If your heater needed replacement in the middle of winter, would you have the money to pay for it without liquidating some of your investments? This kind of large expense probably isn’t in your budget. Many financial experts suggest having at least three to six months of living expenses readily available to cover any emergencies that may arise.
  • Hold bonds for diversification. You’ll probably need a regular income stream from your investments during part or all of your retirement years. Bonds offer a higher and more durable income stream than cash investments. While they may not provide as much growth as stocks, they’re also not as volatile.
  • Retain stocks for long-term capital appreciation. Given today’s life expectancies, you can look forward to spending many years in retirement—maybe even as many as you spent working. Over many years, inflation can significantly affect the purchasing power of your assets. You must accept some risk if your investments are to keep up with inflation. While volatile in the short run, historically stocks have outpaced inflation over the long term.

Vanguard Can Help

Here are some of the resources that Vanguard offers to help you manage your retirement. You can learn all about them at or call the toll-free number below.

  • Preparing to Retire, a brochure from Vanguard’s PlainTalk® Library, discusses budgeting, insurance, taxes, retirement plans, Social Security benefits, and asset allocation. You can download it at or call a Vanguard® Participant Services associate to request a copy at 1-800-523-1188 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Eastern time.
  • Vanguard® Personal Financial Planning Service provides individualized analysis and advice on retirement, estate, or investment planning for a fee. Call 1-800-567-5164 during business hours.
  • The Retirement Resource Center can answer your questions about retirement benefits, investment strategies, asset allocations, and more. Call 1-800-669-8623 during business hours.

Vanguard Personal Financial Planning Service is provided by Vanguard Advisers, Inc., a registered investment adviser.

Vanguard and PlainTalk are registered trademarks of The Vanguard Group, Inc.

All other marks are the exclusive property of their respective owners.

© 2002 The Vanguard Group, Inc. All rights reserved.