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To Save or Not To Save?

That's the question many workers ask when their employer stops matching 401(k) contributions.

You indicate that you have most of your money in stocks and bonds, and that’s where your long-term money should reside. But the $64,000 question is this: How much do you have in each category? Let me give you some guidelines that are strictly my own. I will be so bold as to suggest that the percentage of money that you allocate to stocks should comprise no less than 40 percent of the total you have earmarked for retirement and probably not much more than 60 percent—unless you can tolerate losing a sizeable portion of your money, as has happened over the past year to stock devotees.

In the final analysis, you have to be able to sleep at night.  If holding a good dollop of stocks is robbing you of sleep, then lighten up. But keep in mind that the way the investment markets perform over the next few years, even over the next decade, should not be an overriding concern of those who will need the money to last for several decades. Taking little or no risk with all or most of your money could result in your having to cut back on your living expenses later in life.

All the information presented on AARP.org is for educational and resource purposes only. We suggest that you consult with your financial or tax adviser with regard to your individual situation. Use of the information contained in this Web site is at the sole choice and risk of the reader.

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