Certificates of deposit are often popular with retirement investors because of their guaranteed return and federally insured backstop. But the role of CDs in your retirement portfolio depends heavily on your time horizon and circumstances.

Retirement Financial Planner Shane Brosnan, in Newport Beach California says "CD's are definitely safe.... however, CDs expose investors to other types of risk, most notably inflation."

CD rates generally rise more slowly than inflation rates and fall more quickly than inflation rates,. CD returns now at 1/2 percent lag way behind inflation, eroding the real value of your savings.

For many retirees, retirement savings needs to outpace inflation by a significant margin to provide themwith enough income to last through retirement.

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