The baby boomer generation changed the world in many different ways. Not only were they the largest generation, but in many ways there were the most successful as well. For many decades the men and women of the baby boomer generation manned the factories, managed the offices and served the citizens of the United States in a myriad of different ways. Now that the baby boomers are starting to retire en masse, it is time for them to explore their investment opportunities as they enter this new and exciting stage of their lives.

Getting those investment strategies for retirement right has never been more important. With the traditional pension on the decline and workers increasingly having to finance their own golden years, it is vital that retiring baby boomers make the right financial move. Here are some smart investment ideas retiring baby boomers can use to secure their financial futures and live a happier lifestyle.

Immediate Annuities

Baby boomers on the cusp of retirement are often offered one of two choices – a single lump sum payment or a string of future payments for life. From a purely financial standpoint the lump sum of cash is often the best deal, but making it last a lifetime can be a real challenge.

That is where an immediate annuity comes into play. In exchange for a single sum of cash, the annuity provider promises to pay the retiring baby boomer a set amount for life, or for a specific period of time. In essence, an immediate annuity converts that lump sum payment into a steady lifetime pension.

A Ladder of Insured Certificates of Deposit

For baby boomers who are retired and concerned about preserving their cash, a ladder of FDIC insured certificates of deposit can be a great way to invest. When you invest in FDIC insured CDs, you do not have to worry about losing your money, and you are guaranteed a set amount of interest for the specified period of time.

Laddering the certificates of deposit allows you to benefit from rising rates while protecting you from declines in your monthly income. The typical ladder can include CDs ranging in duration from six months to five years or more, ensuring a steady stream of income with no risk.

A Balanced Mutual Fund

Financial experts recommend that retired men and women keep some money in liquid assets like CDs and money market funds and some cash in long term investments like stock mutual funds. A balanced fund provides the best of both worlds by investing some money in fixed income instruments and the balance in stocks.

With a balanced fund, you can spread out the risk and reduce the chances that a down year will harm your finances and reduce your monthly income. The fixed income portion is designed to balance out the risk while the fixed income portion provides a stream of steady cash.