Tags: retirement | social security | gold ira | investment

Is Retirement a Thing of the Past?

Is Retirement a Thing of the Past?

Thursday, 28 December 2017 09:44 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Retirement remains the ultimate dream for every American worker. Almost from the time we enter the workforce, thoughts of retirement are drilled into our heads. Open a retirement account, invest in the company 401(k) plan, do this and that to maximize your savings, et cetera. But for many millions of Americans, retirement remains just that – a dream. By the time they reach retirement age, there’s no way they can retire.

For some of them, that’s because they didn’t save enough or couldn’t save enough through their jobs to be able to afford to retire. Others thought they could rely on Social Security to see them through retirement, only to realize that Social Security payments alone wouldn’t cut it. Still others worked and saved diligently, only to see their savings wiped out during the collapse of the dotcom bubble and the housing bubble. So is the American dream of retirement fading away?

More Older Workers Than Ever

In the United States today there are more older workers than ever. It seems as though 65 is just another milestone birthday and not a trigger for retirement. Almost 19 percent of Americans 65 or older are now working at least part-time, the highest rate since the late 1960s. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2024, 36 percent of 65- to 69-year-olds will be employed. Because the baby boom generation is so large, the number of older Americans still working is far higher than the percentages would seem to indicate. Over 4 millions Americans 65 and over are still employed full time, nearly double the amount who were employed full-time a decade ago.

One-third of retirees eventually come back to work full-time. It’s known as reverse retirement, ending retirement to get back into the workforce. In some cases, it’s because people just want to keep working, as though retirement just doesn’t provide the stimulation they’re so used to. Without the ability to meet substantive goals, life just seems boring. And of course, there are many who continue working part-time just to make ends meet, supplementing their meager Social Security checks with whatever work they can get. If this trend holds, the concept of full retirement may become only a memory to future generations.

Will a Hot Stock Market Prompt More Retirements?

It doesn’t come as a shock to anyone who has been watching stock markets this year that stocks have been on a major run. For those close to retirement or ready to retire who have been putting it off until they can recoup whatever they lost after the financial crisis, the stock market gains of the past two years may push their investments back to and above what they were before the financial crisis.

While some will undoubtedly hope for a continued bull run to maximize their holdings, many others may very well take this opportunity to get out of the rate race. We’ll have to wait and see whether a booming economy reverses what seems to be a trend toward delaying or eliminating retirement.

401(k) Shouldn’t Be Your Only Investment Vehicle

Millions of Americans invest in 401(k) plans, but for many of them that is their only method of saving. They figure that putting aside a portion of their salary and getting their employer’s matching contributions is enough to provide for them in retirement. If that’s all they do, they’ll learn the hard way when the time comes to think about retirement that that’s not enough.

A 401(k) plan has many benefits, but it cannot and should not be the only means of saving. For one thing, most 401(k) plans have only a limited range of investment options. Even a plan that offers the ability to invest in dozens of different funds doesn’t offer much diversity. Dig deep into each fund and you’ll find that many of them are invested in the same stocks or bonds.

Large-cap funds will pick from big Fortune 500 companies, tech funds will invest in the FANG stocks, and mid-cap and small-cap funds will also find mostly the same investment options, just in differing percentages. Bond funds work mostly the same way too. What all of these have in common is that they are all completely reliant on financial markets.

Whatever affects Wall Street affects those funds, leaving your retirement assets completely vulnerable to the booms and busts of financial markets. What your retirement portfolio needs is asset protection, a way to diversify your portfolio so that you’re not completely dependent on Wall Street’s performance, so that if you want to retire you can do so without fear.

The Role of Gold in an Investment Portfolio

One of the most important assets used to diversify investment portfolios is gold. Not only has gold acted as a safe haven for centuries, but it also can help investors maintain the value of their assets. Since President Nixon closed the gold window in 1971, gold’s value has even outpaced the growth of the Dow Jones and the S&P 500, and that’s taking into account the current stock market boom and gold’s undervaluation.

For investors who are nearing retirement and who want to diversify their portfolios because they don’t want to be completely subject to Wall Street, gold can serve both to protect what they already have and to ensure that their holdings continue to provide for them in the years to come. Gold often performs better during times of economic turmoil too, since so many investors flee to its safety.

With a gold IRA, investors can enjoy the benefits of gold’s asset protection while simultaneously receiving the same tax advantages of traditional IRA accounts. And because gold IRAs are treated the same way as other IRAs, you can even roll over assets from existing retirement accounts into a gold IRA. That makes it a perfect vehicle to protect your retirement savings and ensure that you have the choice to retire if and when you want to.

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.

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Retirement remains the ultimate dream for every American worker.
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Thursday, 28 December 2017 09:44 AM
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