Since target-date funds were first offered in the early 1990s, they’ve become a widespread investment vehicle for retirement. Their booming popularity is no surprise. After all, a target-date fund (or TDF) is easy for novice investors to manage, and even experienced investors can appreciate the hands-off simplicity they can offer.
But do your research: a TDF may not always be the best choice for you.
TDFs are designed for individuals with particular retirement dates in mind. In fact, the name of the fund often refers to its target date. For example, you might see funds with names like “Portfolio 2030,” “Retirement Fund 2030,” or “Target 2030″ that are intended for individuals who plan to retire in or near the year 2030. The fund’s mix of investments automatically adjusts as time moves on, becoming more conservative as you get older and closer to retirement.