In my opinion nearing retirement means that you are within five years or so from your target retirement date. This is a VERY critical time in that people will become more enthused about retiring and less likely to be watching where their funds are invested. At this point, most people should either be out of the market entirely or in very conservative investments because risking your hard-earned retirement money could decrease very quickly in the event of a market correction. If you think about it, you have saved for perhaps forty years or so. Why then would you want to take risks in the last few working years? Also, remember that in most retirement plans, once you reach age 59 1/2, your funds are eligible to be moved to something of your choice.