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Is Your Retirement Caught Up in the Death Spiral?

Is Your Retirement Caught Up in the Death Spiral?
(Dollar Photo Club)

By Tuesday, 16 February 2016 06:07 AM Current | Bio | Archive


In previous decades there have been predictions of wars and recessions related to oil, but in those scenarios the combatants were fighting over a shortage of the fossil fuel. Back then anyone suggesting future recessions and oil wars would be sparked by having too much oil would have been laughed out of the room. But that’s exactly where we find ourselves today.

With gas prices under two dollars a gallon in many places, it’s tempting to cast a smirk at oil-producing states and think this is what they deserve.  After all, these are the same big oil companies and arrogant nations that had no problem sticking it to us when oil was $110 a barrel.

The problem is it’s also a real threat to the U.S. Layoffs in the oil and gas industries inevitably lead to more layoffs up and down the supply chain; from 10,000 jobs lost in the railroad industry, to the steelworkers who made the pipes oil no longer runs through, to pump equipment manufacturers and more.  Plus the thousands of jobs that sprang up around drilling sites, like real estate, retail and more that are now feeling the bite.  But one threat experts aren’t talking about is the fact that the retirements of millions of Americans in their forties, fifties and beyond are in severe danger.

Officially Oilmageddon

According to a new report by Citi, the world is now trapped in a “death spiral” from the combination of a too-strong dollar, lower commodity prices and a shortage of petrodollar liquidity. All of that adds up to a brake on global growth, particularly in manufacturing. China, which for decades positioned itself as the world’s manufacturer, now faces what Citi analysts call “Oilmageddon,” a crisis that’s decimated China’s equity markets and continues to impact us all.

Another Debt Bomb

In addition, U.S. credit markets are once again under threat. It’s estimated our domestic energy industry accounts for 15 to 20 percent of the high-yield debt market. That’s enough to trigger another 2008-style seizure of the credit markets. As production slows and more rigs close defaults will rise—and the oil production debt bomb will rip through U.S. credit markets much as the housing debt crisis did in 2008.

Odds of a New Recession Increasing

The threat from Oilmageddon and the oil production debt bomb have raised the odds of a U.S. recession to 40 percent by some estimates, with Citi clocking the odds of worldwide recession at 65%. The strong dollar has already handicapped manufacturing, making our goods too expensive for overseas buyers; now the weakness seems to be spreading to the service sector. Those who remember the 2000-2001 bloodbath from the dot-com meltdown also recall how bad things can get in the equities markets, and that was considered a “shallow” recession.

Millions Surprised in 2008 Are Still Not Prepared

For those who worked in the real estate business in the early-to-mid 2000s, the crash of 2008 wasn’t hard to see coming. Yet for millions of Americans approaching retirement it came as a gut-wrenching shock. They watched their retirement nest eggs implode at the very moment they needed those funds most; many ended up being forced to work well beyond the age they’d anticipated enjoying a comfortable retirement. Still others limped into a badly underfunded semi-retirement, facing nightmare scenarios like being forced to choose between groceries and medical care.

The lesson for those planning on retiring in the next ten years is clear: Don’t risk getting caught in another 2008-style meltdown. This time we can see the train wreck coming and there’s no excuse for watching your retirement vaporize before your eyes. There’s still time to adjust your asset allotment to reduce your dependence on equities and increase your holdings in municipal bonds and liquid hard assets. Some of my clients are putting as much as thirty percent of their wealth in gold IRAs because they know that wealth will be there when they need it in the days ahead.

Being taken unawares with too much wealth in paper equities in 2008 was unfortunate; getting caught in the impending recession of 2016 is simply unnecessary. There are many less-risky investment pathways open to those approaching retirement age, several that also provide significant tax advantages. Use those tools now and in the near future you can enjoy your stress-free anticipation of retirement. 

Trevor Gerszt is America's Gold IRA Expert, CEO of Goldco Precious Metals, and holds a position on the Los Angeles board of the Better Business Bureau. To read more of his work, Go Here Now.

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TrevorGerszt
In previous decades there have been predictions of wars and recessions related to oil, but in those scenarios the combatants were fighting over a shortage of the fossil fuel.
Retirement, invest, Death Spiral, stocks
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2016-07-16
Tuesday, 16 February 2016 06:07 AM
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