The standard advice to retirees that their savings should be moved from stocks to less volatile investments as they age is backwards, according to a study detailed in the Journal of Financial Planning.

The best approach, the study said, is to start retirement with no more than 30 percent of savings in equities and gradually raise the percentage over the years. By raising the equity stake to 50 percent to 70 percent, retirees over 30 years would be able to withdraw 4 percent per year plus adjustments for inflation.

In fact, that approach when tested in 10,000 simulations beat two others that are typically used by retirees. Those included keeping 60 percent of savings in stocks throughout retirement or reducing reliance on stocks to 30 percent as they age.

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