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My dad is 59 years old, has a great paying government job and has no plans to retire. He loves his job and wants to work until he dies. Subsequently, he has never really planned for retirement. He has some funds in his 401k but the majority of his money (around $400k) he tends to hoard in a savings account because he sees it as being more liquid as opposed to having his money “tied up” in investments.

I have tried explaining to him numerous times that he needs to put his money to work so it can earn some interest as opposed to it just sitting there. But I am no pro at investing. What would be the best advice for next steps? Ideally I think he would benefit from a “set it and forget it” type approach where he can dump his funds and watch them grow over the course of the next 10-15 years. Assuming an average annual return of 6%, I think he can make some decent gains. But again, I am no pro - my best guess for him would be Vanguard ETFs. Or is this amount worth looking into a fiduciary?

Thanks in advance.

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    Vanguard ETF is good. Check out VTSAX. Personally my profile is mostly index funds so he may want to look into something a little more conservative as he gets closer to retirement (bonds).

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      I would disagree – at that age he should be focused on income and capital preservation more than appreciation. He should not be exposing himself to the material risk of a significant market correction. @jadd807, I’d say he should stick to bonds, or perhaps leverage his way into a rental income?

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      It sounds like your father has a very low risk tolerance and given his age its not necessarily a bad thing. At the very least he should be putting the cash into an FDIC insured CD or US treasury bond to at least try and keep up with inflation. When it is just sitting in cash in a low interest bank account, the real value of his savings actually decrease due to inflation. Explain that to him.

      In addition his investments don’t have to be binary, (either all in or all out) he can keep the majority in low risk assets like CDs, Treasuries, or TIPS and take a smaller portion and invest in a low cost index fund. That way even if the market crashes and his index funds lose value, he would be less tempted to sell because its just a small portion of his asset base. On the flip side if the market continues to go up, then his small index position will now represent a larger portion of his assets.

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        Stick to short term bonds and CD’s.

        It’s reasonable to be more conservative close to retirement – I would hate to be 59 years old in 2008 with an aggressive portfolio.