A gold backed IRA may take the center stage in the effort to battle underfunded retirement accounts. Since the recession, it appears that few retirements savings accounts are safe from the ravages of the spectacular investment failures in the stock market.
The latest and longest recession of the post-World War II era has uncovered the ugly truth about retirement savings for many Americans. More than one-third of working Americans have no retirement savings and nearly one-fourth of retirement-age Americans are similarly situated. Worse, retirement plans including pensions, suffered tremendously during the recession.
There’s no way to know how many private and public pension plans are underfunded, but a recent report indicates that nearly half of the nation’s top 20 pension plans do not have enough assets to cover their obligations. In fact, the average underfunded pension has enough assets to cover slightly less than two-thirds of what it has promised to deliver to its beneficiaries. What’s worse, the reports on pension liabilities reflect data from 2007. In other words, the true impact of the Great Recession on pension assets won’t be revealed for another two to three years.
Individual savers – those with defined contribution retirement savings plans – haven’t fared much better than investment professionals. A 2011 survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute shows that 32% of all workers have no retirement savings, and 29% of active workers have less than $1,000 set aside for retirement. 56% of workers’ retirement savings accounts are worth less than $25,000 saved for retirement.
The effective retirement age is also rising. According to the 2011 EBRI survey, more than one-third of workers now expect to delay their retirement until after the age of 65, and nearly three-fourths of workers expect to work in some capacity for pay once they retire.
The lack of retirement savings combined with the rising retirement age indicates that the current retirement savings options aren’t working for most Americans. For Americans looking to diversify their retirement investment portfolios, a gold IRA or gold 401k may enable them to take advantage of the stability and value of hard assets like gold, silver and platinum. Precious metals IRAs are available but most retirement investment advisors are still recommending cash investment vehicles like traditional IRAs, which rely exclusively on stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
With self-directed IRAs, gold IRA investments offer stability and growth potential, especially in trying economic times, or times of significant financial and political change.