Advice for seniors with retirement savings in stocks, bonds, mutual funds

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Market volatility has been near ruthless lately, and Wall Street’s roller-coaster ride has taken a toll on investors.

But what happens when you’re in your retirement years and are on a fixed income? How do you protect what you have left?

John Kaniaupio is proud of his career as an air traffic controller.

“I was in the FAA for pretty much, I had about 24 years service,” he said.

Kanaiupio retired in 1994 and like many kupuna these days, he too anxiously watches what’s happening on Wall Street.

“It does concern me and I do take some action to protect what we already have,” he said.

Kanaiaupio has kept his retirement savings in IRAs, investing in a mix of stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

“My wife and I both had 401(k)s and so that did pretty well in the early years,” he said.

Financial consultant Martha Khlopin helps manage his account. She urges seniors who are doing it on their own to practice one simple concept.

“It’s called the rule of 100. So you take your age and that’s the amount of percentage that you want to keep in bonds,” Khlopin said. “If you’re 78 years old, you might have 78 percent in bonds, and if you’re 35 years old, you might have 35 percent in bonds.”

That leaves you with 22 percent to invest in stocks and mutual funds.

Khlopin says market volatility is especially concerning as health care expenses for non-covered medical needs often increase with age.

“You can have a medical insurance plan, but there’s cost sharing that goes along with that,” she said. “Sometimes premiums, sometimes medications run a lot higher than you would expect.”

Proper planning and proper guidance are critical to protect what you’ve earned and what you have left.

Kanaiaupio offers this simple advice: “Not to worry don’t do anything drastic, and it always comes back. It always come back.”

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