Life-cycle funds are also known as target date funds. They are balanced funds that combine shares with bonds in such a way to reflect the different phases of the investor's life-cycle. The target or maturity date should preferably correspond to the point in time when you intend to free up your capital to achieve your goals.
At the beginning, life-cycle funds focus on the potential returns offered by shares in the long term. As time goes by and the target or maturity date gets closer, the funds will gradually invest more defensively by reducing holdings of shares in favour of fixed-income investments. This ensures that the reserve build up in the fund is better protected and you are shielded from any unexpected setbacks.