Rethinking risk tolerance


More than half of us have some level of investment in the market — mostly in retirement plans such as 401(k)s. Recent market volatility may have left you rethinking how much risk you’re willing to take with your nest egg, especially if you’re in or nearing retirement.

Thinking differently about risk
It’s one thing to answer hypotheticals about saving and losing money when you’re planning for the future. But watching your 401(k) balance tumble in market downturns sheds light on the real‑world implications. If recent events have diminished your appetite for risk, now might be the right time to reassess your retirement savings plan.

What might your risk tolerance look like now? Take this quick quiz to help you gain a better understanding of what your risk tolerance and your expectations may be for the retirement products and solutions you choose.


Reducing your exposure to volatile markets and locking in some income guarantees may help you feel more confident about staying on track for the long‑term. Two strategies worth considering include:

  1. Allocating more of your savings to fixed‑income options
  2. Putting a portion of your portfolio in annuities

Finding comfort across the spectrum
Annuities are designed to help you achieve your retirement savings goals and provide future income. By insulating you from major financial risks like stock market losses or outliving your money, they could be part of a solution that helps you stay in your financial comfort zone. In this chart, you’ll see how different kinds of annuities are mapped along a risk spectrum. The left side of the spectrum is the most conservative. Anyone with the highest tolerance for risk may feel comfortable at the far right.

Annuity Spectrum chart

Diving deeper into annuity options
While all annuities are designed to provide income, there are different kinds to align with your accumulation goals and how much risk you’re comfortable taking.

  • Immediate Annuity
    Carrying the lowest risk, immediate annuities convert your premium payment to a guaranteed income stream for life, or for a specific period.
  • Fixed Annuity
    Fixed annuities offer a fixed interest rate that’s guaranteed for a certain time period. The guarantee may appeal to you if you’re willing to sacrifice the potential for higher returns when the markets rise.
  • Fixed Indexed Annuity
    In the middle of the spectrum, fixed indexed annuities have become increasingly popular with people who have a moderate appetite for risk. You can earn interest credits based in part on the upward movement of a stock market index while enjoying protection of a zero percent floor. If the net change in the index over a given crediting period is negative, you would earn zero interest credits for that period, but never less than zero.
  • Registered Index-Linked Annuity
    These products are designed for people with a higher risk tolerance. Registered index-linked annuities offer the potential for index credits tied to index performance while providing a measure of protection from market loss.
  • Variable Annuity
    This type carries the highest level of risk because your money is invested directly in the market. Variable annuities offer the highest growth potential of any of the products on the annuity spectrum, but they also leave you fully exposed to market loss.

Economic repercussions have led many people to rethink their appetite for risk. This may be the time to talk with a financial professional about ways to keep your retirement savings better protected, especially in the event of future downtowns.

This information is brought to you by Athene — where unconventional thinking brings innovative annuity solutions that can help make your retirement dreams a reality.

Guarantees provided by annuities are subject to the financial strength of the issuing insurance company. Guaranteed lifetime income is available through annuitization or the purchase of an optional income rider for a charge.

Fixed indexed and registered index-linked annuities are not stock market investments and do not directly participate in any stock or equity investments. Market indices may not include dividends paid on the underlying stocks, and therefore may not reflect the total return of the underlying stocks; neither an index nor any market-indexed annuity is comparable to a direct investment in the equity markets.

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Annuities contain features, exclusions, limitations and availability that may vary by state and/or sales distributor. For a full explanation of an annuity, please refer to the Certificate of Disclosure or Prospectus (as applicable) and contact your financial professional or the company for costs and complete details. This material is a general description intended for general public use. 

Annuity contracts and group annuity contracts are issued by Athene Annuity and Life Company (61689), West Des Moines, IA, and Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company (61492), Wilmington, Delaware, in all states (except New York), and in D.C. and PR. Annuity contracts and group annuity contracts are issued by Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company of New York (68039), Pearl River, NY, in New York state. Payment obligations and guarantees are subject to the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Insurance products may not be available in all states. These companies are not undertaking to provide investment advice for any individual or in any individual situation, and therefore nothing in this should be read as investment advice. This material should not be interpreted as a recommendation by Athene Annuity and Life Company, Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company, Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company of New York, or Athene Securities, LLC. Please reach out to your financial professional if you have any questions about insurance products and their features.

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