Is Retirement Just Too Dang Risky?
Wednesday, 8th February 2012 (by Robert Brokamp)
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3. Savings to the rescue…or not.I won’t trot out all the stats about how people don’t save enough, or how the baby boomers, as a group, are entering their golden years with too little gold (that is, net worth — I’m not suggesting that every retiree hoard the shiny metal). That’s bad enough. My concern is that for these (often-too-meager) savings to last, investment markets have to cooperate, and, as we’ve seen over the past decade or so, they often don’t. I’m not predicting Armageddon or anything like that; most of my longterm savings are in the stock market. But investing can be risky; we just don’t know for sure how much a certain stock or even a bond will be worth a decade or two from now. Yes, you can play it safer with CDs or Treasuries, but only if your money will last as long as you do — and keep up with inflation — while earning 2%.
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Funny, he stumbled on my hot button. Gold. Specifically bullion. Silver. Even nickels!
On FBC, there’s an add where the retired couple goes to their bank to get their retirement savings and the teller gives them stacks of blank paper.
Maybe my depression era grandparents are too much on my mind, BUT, (and there is always a BIG butt), they loved cash and savings.
I remember the Metropolitan Life guy calling on my grandmother when I was being watched for my Mom. (Maybe I was 4 or 5?) And, she pay him some small amounts for “insurance” on a whole bunch of people. “Eddie”, my paternal grandfather, would called to pay for “his relatives”, and he’d come out with his Chock Full A Nuts coffee can where he had “his change”. He had gold coins in that. I remember they’d argue cause “he was going to jail if the government found out he kept them”. (Wonder what ever happened to those?) And, later, I remember she’d go weekly to the Harlem River Savings Bank, to put something away or even just to have her interest “put in the book”.
And you wonder why I have a tin foil hat?
So, even some of the most conservative financial writers don’t spurn 5 – 10% in “metals”. Of course, they mean “paper” (e.g., a gold ETF).
How did that work out for the counter-parties of MF Global?
Imagine my favorite mental experiment? Henry Hackel’s “box of money.” or my mythical pirate’s’ chest. “Open that pirate’s chest and what do you want to see: greenbacks, Confederate currency, or gold coins?”
At the very least, every time, you go to the bank, buy a roll of nickels. 2$. Put them at the back of the “junk closet”. Even today the melt value is 7½¢ each. How can you go wrong?
Lest you hit retirement and one of the many risks in this article comes to pass. You’ll always have your “bullion” stash. Your own personal “pirate’s chest”.
And, no estate tax if I am wrong.
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