How to Utilize Investment Accounts Wisely in Your Late-Stage Career

Summary: Building a more secure financial future in the later stages of your career necessitates strategic investment choices, diversified portfolios and proactive retirement planning beyond traditional accounts such as IRAs and 401(k)s.

The later stages of one’s career often bring a mix of emotions — a sense of accomplishment, anticipation for what lies ahead and perhaps a touch of uncertainty about your financial security.

As retirement draws nearer, the importance of investment accounts becomes increasingly evident. Smart investments, made at the right time, help ensure we enjoy the fruits of our labor long after we’ve left the daily grind behind.

In this article, we’ll explore how to navigate investment accounts wisely in the twilight of our careers so that we help meet our financial goals with confidence.

Understanding your financial goals and retirement planning

Late-stage career individuals often find themselves at a crossroads, balancing the achievements of the past with the aspirations for the future. The first step in navigating this juncture is a deep dive into one’s financial goals.

Defining your retirement dreams

Take a moment to reflect on what financial security means to you in the context of retirement. What are your aspirations for this phase of life? Travel, hobbies, time with family? These objectives serve as a compass guiding your investment journey. By understanding your retirement needs, you can tailor your investment accounts to align with these specific goals.

Clarity breeds confidence

Clarity breeds confidence. With a clear vision of your financial goals, the path to effective investment planning becomes more discernible. Whether it’s ensuring a comfortable lifestyle, leaving a legacy or pursuing lifelong dreams, your goals shape the strategy.

Connecting retirement dreams to dollars

Your investment accounts are not isolated entities but integral parts of your broader financial landscape. Take the time to plan and align how you manage these accounts to your retirement objectives. This will help create a financial strategy that brings you closer to realizing your dream retirement.

Investment options for late-stage career individuals

Let’s delve into specific investment avenues tailored to late-stage career individuals:

Bonds: Stability and income

Bonds can offer more stability and regular income, making them an attractive option for individuals looking to preserve capital and generate some predictable returns. Government bonds, corporate bonds and municipal bonds each have their advantages and risk profiles. Keep in mind, bond investments are subject to interest-rate risk such that when interest rates rise, the prices of the bonds and thus the value of the bond fund, can decline and the investor can lose principal value.

Government bonds are considered the safest, while municipal bonds offer tax advantages. Understanding the nuances of bond investing can help you build a diversified portfolio that balances risk and return.

Dividend stocks: Growth and income

Dividend stocks provide an opportunity for you to participate in the growth of companies while earning regular income. Companies that pay dividends tend to be more mature and stable, but also come with higher volatility and market risk.

Reinvesting dividends can help accelerate wealth accumulation through the power of compounding. However, it’s essential to conduct thorough research and select dividend-paying companies with strong fundamentals (the underlying financial health and performance of a company as they relate to earnings potential and cash flow) and a history of consistent dividend payments.

Mutual funds: Diversification and professional management

Mutual funds offer late-stage career individuals a convenient way to gain exposure to a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds or other assets managed by professional fund managers. With mutual funds, you may lose some or all of the money you invest because the securities held by a fund can go down in value.

Index funds, which passively track a market index, provide broad diversification at a low cost, making them an excellent option for investors seeking market returns. Actively managed funds, on the other hand, aim to outperform the market by selecting individual securities based on the fund manager’s expertise. An index fund will be subject to the same general risks as the securities in the index it tracks as well as other risks like underperformance (due to fees and expenses).

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs): Flexibility and transparency

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) combine the diversification of mutual funds with the flexibility of individual stocks. ETFs trade on stock exchanges like shares, allowing investors to buy and sell them throughout the trading day at market prices.

They also offer exposure to various asset classes, including stocks, bonds, commodities and real estate, making them suitable for building a well-rounded investment portfolio. With lower expense ratios and tax efficiency compared to mutual funds, ETFs have gained popularity among individuals seeking cost-effective investment options. ETFs do come with several risks. Some of the most common include volatility risk, market risk and tax risk

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs): Access to real estate markets

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) provide investors with exposure to the real estate market without the hassle of property management.

REITs own and operate income-generating properties, such as office buildings, shopping centers, apartments and health care facilities, and distribute a significant portion of their income to shareholders in the form of dividends.

Investing in REITs offers diversification benefits, potential for capital appreciation and regular income.

It’s also important to note that REIT investments can be affected by interest rate moves, economic cycles and tax and regulatory requirements as well as leverage risk, liquidity risk, and market risk and subject to high management fees.

7 steps to utilize investment accounts wisely

1. Maximize tax-advantaged accounts

Take full advantage of tax-advantaged investment accounts, such as Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and 401(k) plans. Contributions to these accounts may offer tax benefits, such as tax-deferred growth or tax-free withdrawals in retirement. And by contributing consistently, you can maximize the benefits and reduce your tax liability.

2. Diversify your portfolio

Diversification is key to managing risk and helping maximize returns. Allocate your investments across different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and annuities. Diversifying your portfolio can help mitigate the impact of market volatility and improve long-term performance.

3. Rebalance regularly

Rebalancing involves buying and selling assets to restore the desired mix, ensuring that your portfolio remains aligned with your investment objectives and risk tolerance. Market fluctuations may cause your portfolio to drift from its intended allocation. So, monitor your investment portfolio regularly and rebalance as needed to maintain your target asset allocation.

4. Invest for the long term

Adopt a long-term investment approach focused on wealth preservation and growth. Resist the temptation to time the market or chase short-term gains. Instead, stay committed to your investment strategy and remain patient during market fluctuations.

5. Consider professional advice

Seeking professional advice from a qualified financial advisor can provide valuable insights and guidance tailored to your specific financial situation and goals. A financial advisor can help you develop a personalized investment plan, navigate complex investment decisions and stay on track to achieve your retirement objectives.

6. Stay informed and educated

Knowledge is power when it comes to making informed investment decisions and adapting to evolving financial landscapes. Continuously educate yourself about investment strategies, market trends and economic developments. Also, stay informed about changes in tax laws, investment regulations and retirement planning strategies.

7. Review and adjust regularly

Regularly review your investment portfolio and make adjustments as needed based on changes in your financial situation, risk tolerance and investment objectives. Life events, such as marriage, divorce, job changes or retirement, may necessitate modifications to your investment strategy. Stay proactive and flexible in managing your investment accounts to ensure they remain aligned with your evolving needs and goals.

Effective investing strategies for late-career individuals

Adopting effective investing strategies can help maximize returns, mitigate risks and secure financial stability in the golden years. Here are some key strategies to consider:

1. Prioritize income generation

As retirement approaches, focus on investments that generate regular income to cover living expenses and support your desired lifestyle. Dividend-paying stocks, bonds and annuities are excellent options for late-career individuals seeking reliable income streams.

2. Balance growth and stability

Strike a balance between growth and stability in your investment portfolio. While growth-oriented investments offer higher potential returns, they also come with increased volatility and risk. Consider allocating a portion of your portfolio to safer, income-generating assets to help cushion against market fluctuations and preserve capital.

3. Embrace diversification

Diversification is a fundamental principle of sound investing, especially for individuals approaching retirement. Spread your investments across different asset classes, sectors, and geographic regions to reduce concentration risk and optimize returns. Diversification can help smooth out investment performance and enhance portfolio resilience.  However, using a diversification strategy does not guarantee greater or more consistent returns.

4. Implement a risk management strategy

Develop a robust risk management strategy to protect your investment portfolio from potential downturns and unexpected events. Here are some steps to help implement an effective risk management strategy:

  • Understand investment risks: All investing involves risk. Educate yourself about the market, interest rates, inflation and credit risks associated with investments.
  • Assess risk tolerance: Evaluate your comfort level with market fluctuations and align investments with your objectives.
  • Conduct due diligence: Research investment opportunities thoroughly and seek professional advice when needed.
  • Consider investment costs and fees: Be mindful of management fees, transaction costs and expense ratios to maximize returns.
  • Avoid chasing high returns: Focus on quality investments rather than speculative opportunities promising quick gains.
  • Stay vigilant and adaptive: Monitor portfolio performance regularly and adjust investment strategy as needed.
  • Seek professional advice when needed: Consult with a financial professional for personalized recommendations and guidance.

5. Consider lifecycle or target-date funds

Lifecycle or target-date funds offer a convenient and hands-off approach to retirement investing. These funds automatically adjust asset allocation based on your target retirement date, gradually shifting towards a more conservative investment mix as you approach retirement age.

Lifecycle funds provide simplicity and diversification, making them suitable options for late-career individuals seeking a hassle-free investment solution. In these types of funds, investment return and principal value will fluctuate so that upon redemption an investor’s shares may be worth more or less than original value. An investor should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing. The fund prospectus contains this and other information about the investment company. For a copy of the prospectus, contact your financial advisor or the investment company directly. Investors should read the prospectus carefully before investing or sending money.

Building resilience for tomorrow

In summary, the path to financial security late in your career lies in prudent investment choices and strategic planning. By prioritizing clear goals, diversifying portfolios and staying vigilant against risks, we can build resilient financial futures. Remember, seeking professional guidance is key.

At Mutual of Omaha, we’re dedicated to providing the resources you need to help you reach your financial goals. Together, let’s help safeguard what matters most — your family, health and finances.


Registered Representatives offer securities through Mutual of Omaha Investor Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisor Representatives offer advisory services through Mutual of Omaha Investor Services, Inc.

All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, and there can be no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful.

Mutual of Omaha and its representatives do not provide tax and/or legal advice, and the information provided herein is general in nature and should not be considered tax and/or legal advice.

Not all Mutual of Omaha agents are registered representatives or financial advisors.