Five things to keep top of mind when diversifying your portfolio

april 1, 2022

Longer lifespans are challenging traditional investment rules. Here are five things to keep in mind.


Some investment rules have stood the test of time:

  • Buy low, sell high!
  • Diversify! Diversify! Diversify!
  • Abide by the 60-40 rule: 60% stocks, 40% bonds.

While there’s value in these and other rules, retirement is quite different today than it was even 10 years ago.

Why? One reason is because we’re living longer.  As a result, 30-year retirements are becoming commonplace. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the two traditional sources of retirement income—pensions and Social Security—either don’t exist at all or provide less financial security than they have in the past. As a result, you must prepare yourself for what lies ahead. Here are five things to keep top of mind:

1. When it comes to Social Security, timing matters.

To receive your full Social Security, you must wait to claim your benefits until your full retirement age, which is determined by the year of your birth.[1] If you were born from 1943 to 1954, your full retirement age is 66. If you were born from 1955 to 1959, your full retirement age gradually increases until age 67. If you were born in 1960 or later, your full retirement age is 67.

2. Healthcare is expensive.

A longer lifespan means more years of healthcare. And unfortunately, healthcare is expensive. A healthy 65-year-old couple who retired in 2021 can expect to spend upwards of $650,000 on healthcare in retirement, which could end up claiming upwards of 65% of their Social Security benefits.2 And that’s without taking into account inflation or the cost of long-term care. And if you retire before you are eligible for Medicare, your healthcare costs could be even more.

3. Inflation adds up.

Healthcare costs are predicted to continue rising at 2 to 2.5 times that of U.S. inflation.3 And while inflation has been relatively low for the past 30 years, it is on the rise: consumer prices have jumped 7.9% , the most since August 1982.4

4. Helping others adds up, too.

Today’s retirees are sometimes referred to as “the sandwich generation” becuase they are caught needing to simultaneously provide financial support to both their adult children and their aging parents. According to a 2021 poll, 45% of parents with adult children helped their kids financially during the pandemic often doing so at the expense of paying down their debt or saving for retirement or personal needs.5

5. Diversification is key.

Diversification is still a strategy for managing risk and the possible key to effective diversification is owning investments that perform differently in similar markets. Take stocks and bonds, for instance. When stock prices rise, bond yields generally fall, and vice versa. Annuities* can also add diversity as they may provide a steady, reliable stream of income that isn’t necessarily tied to how the markets perform. Annuities can also provide the potential for lifetime income.


1. Retirement Benefits,

2. “2021 Retirement Healthcare Costs Data Report”, Healthview Services

3. Ibid

4. "Inflation rose 7.9% in February, as food and energy costs push prices to highest in more than 40 years", Jeff Cox, March 10, 2022

5. "Poll: Many parents have helped adult children financially since 2020", Barri Segal,  May 5, 2021.


*What is an annuity?

Annuities are long-term, tax-deferred vehicles designed for retirement.  Variable annuities involve investment risks and may lose value. Earnings are taxable as ordinary income when distributed. Individuals may be subject to a 10% additional tax for withdrawals before age 59½ unless an exception to the tax is met.

Add-on living benefits are available for an extra charge in addition to the ongoing fees and   expenses of the variable annuity and may be subject to conditions and limitations.  There is no guarantee that a variable annuity with an add-on living benefit will provide sufficient supplemental retirement income.

Guarantees are backed by the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. 

Annuities are issued by Jackson National Life Insurance Company (Home Office: Lansing, Michigan) and in New York, annuities are issued by Jackson National Life Insurance Company of New York (Home Office: Purchase, New York). Variable products are distributed by Jackson National Life Distributors LLC, member FINRA. May not be available in all states and state variations may apply. These products have limitations and restrictions. Contact the Company for more information.

Jackson® is the marketing name for Jackson Financial Inc., Jackson National Life Insurance Company®, and Jackson National Life Insurance Company of New York®. 

The opinions and forecasts expressed are those of the author and individuals quoted and should not be construed as a recommendation or as complete.