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When ETF savings plans make sense for retirement planning – pension tip from the expert


Highlights: When ETF savings plans make sense for retirement planning – pension tip from the expert. Online custody accounts are cheap and user-friendly to invest in ETFs for retirement. If you start investing in stocks too late for retirement, you may be looking down the tube. The sooner you start, the better for you – if you have time to withstand strong fluctuations in the value of your portfolio in the short and medium term. But there are also better alternatives for "late bloomers" in the long term.

Status: 28/09/2023, 16:21 p.m.

By: Marvin K. Hoffmann


If you decide in good time for good ETF savings plans for retirement, you will have more money available in retirement. An investment expert knows what is important.

Hamm – If you've worked all your life and been diligent, why shouldn't you let your money work for you in old age? In order to supplement his pension, which is likely to be increased again in 2024, an ETF savings plan could make sense. But beware: If you start investing in stocks too late for retirement, you may be looking down the tube.

ETF savings plan as a retirement plan? Only if you have patience

ETF stands for "Exchange-Traded Fund". "Translated, this means: exchange-traded fund. This is a special variant of investment funds or funds," explains the consumer advice center. The advantages in a nutshell: Instead of investing in a single company, you invest directly in several – losses and price fluctuations are better compensated for. Because: "With a globally and cross-industry ETF, you always achieve the average return of the world's stock exchanges. Investors therefore have the certainty that they are not doing worse than the majority of investors," says Hendrik Buhrs of in an interview with

Use online custody accounts to invest in ETFs

Online custody accounts are cheap and user-friendly to invest in ETFs for retirement. "Here I should pay attention to the running costs. With the cheapest providers, there are no such custody account management fees, and savings plans or individual orders also cost little or sometimes no fee at all," says Hendrik Buhrs of

The well-known direct banks such as ING or Comdirect often have recommendable deposits, but also a number of so-called neobrokers such as Scalable Capital and Trade Republic. "The custody account should be with a German provider, then the tax settlements are much easier," says the investment expert.

ETF savings plans "are an excellent option" for retirement planning

Buhrs is an expert in financial investments and has also dealt with ETF savings plans as a retirement provision. They can be used to easily supplement your pension in old age. You just have to do it right. "ETFs that follow a stock index are an excellent way to save for retirement in a straightforward way and with low ancillary costs," he explains. "Investors are investing in a wide range of stocks and don't have to worry about researching individual companies," he says.

Anyone who invests in an "exchange-traded fund", or ETF for short, does not have to have huge sums of money lying on the high edge. "Everyone has to feel comfortable with their personal savings rate. With an ETF savings plan, you can also start with small amounts, from 25 euros a month, for example, and then flexibly increase or decrease the amount," says investment expert Hendrik Buhrs from His recommendation: "To gradually familiarize yourself with the stock market and then after a while to choose a slightly more ambitious savings amount."


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When choosing ETFs, "don't focus on fashion trends"

If you finally decide to use an ETF savings plan as a retirement plan, you should also choose the right one. "When choosing ETFs, I should not focus on fashion trends, but choose a fund that encompasses many industries and countries," says the financial expert. According to Buhrs, two pieces would be particularly suitable:

  • The MSCI World and FTSE All-World stock indices are two good examples.
  • There are well over 1000 companies in them – but they do not represent a rigid group, but are regularly exchanged when new successful companies are formed or others lose strength.

ETF savings plan as a retirement provision makes sense – if you have time

"One disadvantage is that I have to be able to withstand strong fluctuations in the value of my portfolio in the short and medium term," says Buhrs. So if you are about to retire, you should no longer necessarily invest in ETFs for retirement. The sooner you start, the better. But there are also alternatives for "late bloomers".

ETFs are not suitable for a time horizon of less than ten years. "Then less volatile forms of investment such as overnight money, fixed-term deposits or money market funds would be better. But if I have 10 or even better 15 years or more, I can sit out interim price losses and wait for the next upswing. Historically, a global ETF has yielded significantly better returns than a savings account and has also exceeded the inflation rate with its development," says financial expert Buhrs.

ETF savings can still be worthwhile for pensioners even at an older age

A time horizon of 10, better 15 years is necessary. "This means that ETF saving is also worthwhile for savers who start a little later. However, the proportion of equities should decline with older age – in favour of less volatile forms of investment," he says.

An ETF savings plan at the right time can therefore be useful in order to be able to enjoy your pension on a good financial cushion – just like the siblings Carola and Oliver Leue from North Rhine-Westphalia, who emigrated to Bulgaria as pensioners. By the way, they are not the only pensioners living abroad. A lot of money flows into a holiday destination.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-09-28

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