Clients seem relieved to know what they are getting into right up front and it helps me weed out the tire-kickers and only meet with people who are serious about working with a planner.
Generally, I like to see people 30% to 40% in bonds if they are within five years of retirement. At two years or less and going into retirement, I like to see 40% to 50% bonds. However, this depends on the client’s situation. Folks who can cover most of their expenses from other resources early in retirement—pension, Social Security, rental income—have a longer time horizon on their investments and can be aggressive longer.
If you can pay off the house you plan to stay in for five years or more after the debt is retired, great. If not, keep that money for yourself and invest more in your 401(k) or other assets that have the possibility for growth.