Balanced investor strategy:

Sherry's story

Story summary:

As a financial advisor with three years to retirement, Sherry knows it's time to begin adjusting her investment portfolio accordingly. She plans to convert her pension funds into Variable Benefit (VB) payments when she retires.

Planning strategies in this story:

Determining risk tolerance


Selecting Variable Benefit (VB) payments


Choosing the right funds


After working for over 35 years in the credit union system and helping members prepare for retirement, 58-year-old Sherry is now three years away from her own retirement and is adjusting her investment portfolio accordingly.

“As a financial advisor, I’m comfortable managing my own investments,” Sherry says. “I’ve always had a rather high willingness to take on risk, but now that I’m getting closer to retirement, I know I need to take a step back and review whether some lower-risk investment options are prudent as my investment horizon has grown shorter over time.”

Sherry's risk tolerance

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

After reviewing information about CSS' in-house retirement income options, Sherry figures she will convert her pension funds into Variable Benefit (VB) payments when she retires. By taking VB payments, Sherry can stay invested in a combination of the Plan’s investment funds, giving her the flexibility to move a portion of her pension funds into a lower-risk investment option if she chose to, while enjoying the fee advantage accessible through CSS.

Since Sherry already holds several other investments in stock and bond mutual funds outside the Plan, she is not entirely dependent on her CSS Pension for her retirement and understands that VB payments may not provide her with a retirement income for life. And, given her career helping credit union members understand their own investment risk tolerance and assisting them in managing their financial assets and planning for their retirements, Sherry has a very good understanding of her own tolerance for investment risk and has given considerable thought to her own retirement plans.


Suggested Asset Mix

Based on Sherry's comfort of risk and plans to remain invested after retirement, she will invest her CSS funds 100% in the Balanced Fund.

Did you know CSS offers

Complimentary retirement planning consultations to members?

After considering my comfort with investment risk, the fact that I have investments outside the Plan, and that I plan to remain invested after retirement by taking VB payments, I have decided to invest my CSS funds 100% in the Balanced Fund for the time being. I will re-visit this decision periodically as I deplete my funds outside the Plan,” Sherry added.

Investment Funds

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