Moderate investor strategy:

Cynthia's story

Story summary:

After contributing to the Plan for over 30 years, Cynthia is ready to retire to spend more time with her new granddaughter. Having been invested in the Balanced Fund all these years, she believes it's time to re-evaluate her investment decision and meet with her financial advisor.

Planning strategies in this story:

Determining your risk tolerance


Choose the right funds

Speaking to a Financial Advisor


At 64, Cynthia has reached her retirement savings goal and is ready for the next chapter in her life.

"I'd love to have more time to spend with my new granddaughter, so I've decided now would be a good time to hang up my hat," she said.

Cynthia's risk profile

Ability to Take Risks




Time Horizon

Investment knowledge

Other assets/income sources

Willingness to take risks




Willingness to accept short term losses

Panics over negative returns

Because I don’t currently need to establish a spending reserve with my CSS funds, and I plan to remain a long-term investor, even after retirement, my biggest concern is whether I should keep my CSS funds 100% invested in the Balanced Fund,” Cynthia concluded. 

Cynthia has been invested 100% in the Balanced Fund since she joined the Plan and had really never given much thought to other investment options within the Plan. However, last year she attended a Retirement Income Option (RIO) workshop hosted by CSS and what she learned got her thinking about whether she should consider any changes to her investments.

She realized that she has less ability to recover from market downturns than when she was younger. She read the Quarterly Investment Report on the Plan’s website and noted that the Balanced Fund is geared toward members looking for moderate long-term growth but that members investing in the fund should expect investment losses from time to time.

"If there is a sudden drop in the markets, I could lose out and might not have enough time to make that money back being this close to retirement," she said. "I'm ready to review my options and see if I need to make adjustments to my overall retirement plan."


Suggested asset mix

Based on Cynthia having a long-term investment horizon, it is suggested she invest 75% Balanced Fund and 25% Bond fund, to fit a moderate risk investor profile.

Did you know that CSS offers

Complimentary retirement planning consultation to our members?

Cynthia decided to meet with a financial advisor at her credit union. 

"When we looked at my entire situation, my advisor pointed out that I already have a spending reserve of about three years' worth of retirement income sitting in guaranteed investments outside the CSS Pension Plan," she said.

Since Cynthia is a few years away from needing to access her CSS funds even though she will be retiring very soon, and because she will continue to have a long-term investment horizon, she and her advisor agreed that she fits a moderate risk investor profile. The suggested CSS investment mix for this profile is 75% Balanced Fund and 25% Bond Fund. Cynthia and her advisor agreed that this mix is appropriate for Cynthia’s current circumstance and that Cynthia should re-visit this in a couple of years once she’s depleted most of her funds outside the Plan.

Investment Funds

The CSS Pension Plan offers four investment funds - the Balanced Fund, Money Market Fund, Equity Fund and Bond Fund.