Retirement is a time for travel, volunteerism, favorite hobbies, educational opportunities and other things that are important to you. But have you given thought to the dependable income stream you need to fully enjoy these activities?

Whether retirement is a future dream or a current reality, it’s never too soon — or too late — to develop an income plan to see you through your post-career years. And now is the best time to do it, because the earlier you start, the more you gain from the advantages of time and flexibility. Comparing and contrasting the advantages and cautions of these four retirement income strategies is a good place to start.

Comparing Risks

Which strategy is best suited for your risk tolerance? Depending on your retirement lifestyle goals, financial circumstances and time horizon, certain types of risk may be more of a concern to you than others.

The Evaluating Options chart shows the degree to which each strategy may expose your retirement income plan to risks caused by fluctuating interest rates, market volatility and/or inflation eroding the buying power of your savings. Generally, the higher the inflation and/or interest rate risk, the lower the market risk. And in most cases, the higher the market risk, the lower the inflation and/or interest rate risk.

Are there ways to hedge these risks? In some cases, there may be. Ask your financial advisor. He or she may be able to help you customize your retirement income plan by combining different retirement income strategies and including other investment techniques to help mitigate the risks that concern you.

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