Share market volatility

Share market performance risk

Poor share market performance can reduce the value of your super or retirement savings. Making sure you’re comfortable with your level of investment risk is important in retirement.
A survey by National Seniors Australia found that 26% of over 50’s who claimed they could not tolerate any loss, are still fully invested in the share market.

Why does share market performance matter in retirement?

Even if you don’t have a direct investment in shares, a portion of your money in your super or account-based pension is generally invested in the share market. Shares are considered to be a higher risk investment because share markets can be volatile. Whilst there is the potential for greater gains, there can also be greater losses.

When the share market goes up, the value of your investments should increase. But when the share market falls, you earn negative returns and your investments (the money in your super for example) fall in value.

A fall in the value of your super or savings could mean you outlive your savings or your money runs out sooner than planned. Falls in the share market can have a bigger impact in retirement because:

  • Later in life you have less time to recover from poor share market performance or take advantage of lower share prices.
  • Negative returns coupled with withdrawals for pension payments make it harder to recover the value of your investments.
  • The timing of share market falls also matters due to sequencing risk.

Managing share market performance in retirement – what are the options?

Retirees have less time to recover from poor investment returns and may not be able to take advantage of lower share prices. So what can you do?

  • Check in with a financial adviser to make sure you are comfortable with your current investment mix.
  • Consider complementing your existing retirement income with income that’s not linked to the share market, such as a lifetime annuity. Challenger annuity payments are guaranteed for life and will not change regardless of how the share market performs.

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