Just as you are a different person at 55 than you were at 23, your personal investing strategies need to change as you grow older. Here are a few basic tips you should consider if you are 55+ and are approaching retirement.

1. Blue chip over riskier investments

When you were younger, riskier investments as part of a diversified portfolio were appropriate. However, with retirement around the corner, you don’t want a downturn in the market to wipe out everything you have worked so hard to build. Stock in established, blue chip companies, like Coca-Cola, are more insulated against market shocks and better retain their value regardless of the situation. These investments provide security for your portfolio’s value and your state of mind.

2. Dividends are good

When you retire, you need to ensure that you have cash to pay for your expenses and that you do not have to sell stocks to make ends meet. Companies that routinely pay dividends are a great way to ensure cash flow. Not only are companies who pay dividends generally blue chip stocks, they allow you to receive cash payments every quarter without having to sell shares.

3. Bonds are good, too

Bonds, whether corporate or government, are a lot like stocks that pay dividends, but safer. While a bond will have little growth potential in face value, their consistent, guaranteed monthly payments of interest will provide you with another source of liquidity to pay your bills. Additionally, bonds are recognized as one of the safest investments available, which will provide you peace of mind.

4. Re-evaluate your IRAs and other investment vehicles

You might have placed some of your retirement savings in investment vehicles like IRAs. These vehicles generally have rules regarding what age you have to withdraw the funds by as well as rules regarding how the funds in those vehicles are taxed. Be sure to review the rules related to your investment vehicles with your financial adviser to ensure that you avoid any penalties orĀ fines.

5. Estate planning

While unpleasant, estate planning is necessary. While the current estate tax standards generally do not apply to anything other than the most valuable estates, it is still important to consult with an attorney or financial adviser to ensure that your estate is distributed to whom you want in a way that minimizes taxes and fees.