No risk, no reward. Really?

Retirement saving is often portrayed as a gamble. Should it be? Photo courtesy of Flickr, photosteve101.

Retirement saving is often portrayed as a gamble. Should it be? Photo courtesy of Flickr, photosteve101.

What part should rolling the dice play in retirement savings?

By BRUCE SCHLAPPI

Many truisms are, well, true.

When it comes to exercise or parts of our life that require discipline, "no pain, no gain" generally has merit. 

Sometimes, "no risk, no reward" also adds up. Except when it doesn't.

When it comes to retirement savings, we believe the concept is a misnomer. Risk is not always necessary for reward.

What about hard work and disciplined savings with a long-term view? Surely there is a reward for that.

In addition, taking a risk doesn’t mean that 100% of your retirement funds must be placed in high-risk ventures. We suggest the majority of your funds be allowed to grow through annuities and whole life retirement savings options.

In the crashes of 2000 and 2008, many stock owners lost at least some of their principle. Many were at retirement age and had to live off of a severely depleted portfolio. Those who lost jobs and had to use retirement savings faced a similar hardship.

The real risk may be missing out on tried, true and guaranteed retirement savings plans.

Bruce Schlappi is president of Schlappi Financial Group, a Kansas City-based firm specializing in retirement savings plans based on whole life insurance and annuities.