Lifestyle Funds Help

Physician's Money Digest, October15 2003, Volume 10, Issue 19

Spooked by a falling bond marketand mixed messages from the stockmarket, some mutual fund buyers areheading for so-called lifestyle funds,which allocate assets based on yourprojected retirement age. As you getcloser to your target retirement date,the funds shift assets from stocks tobonds and cash, relieving you of thetask of tweaking your portfolio periodicallyto rebalance it. In fact, accordingto the employee-benefits firm HewittAssociates, only 16% of 401(k) planparticipants bothered to shift assets lastyear, despite the bear market's inroadsinto their stock allocation. Whenchoosing a lifestyle fund, look for fundswith low expense ratios, like 1 of theVanguard funds (800-635-1511; www.vanguard.com), which have an expenseratio of about 0.21%.