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>The Fed Discriminates Against The Elderly

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010
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Your worst retirement nightmare … 
by Nilus Mattive

Dear Don,
Nilus Mattive
Wow! My dad was here visiting over the holiday weekend, and in between a round of golf and some barbecuing, I showed him all the great comments flooding my blog.
He was amazed and relieved to hear that he is not alone. In fact, many of you said you are dealing with the very same issues he is!
Take Don, for instance: Super-low yields are threatening to destroy his standard of living …
“We are just like your Dad, only retired now for the last ten years. We have seen our standard of living impacted severely and are earning little on our existing portfolio. And, we are frightened at the prospect of taking risks with our money in this economic climate.”
Well said, Don! It’s a deadly squeeze — on one side, we have rising prices for food, energy and other necessities; on the other, pathetically low yields on the traditional income investments that retirees use to pay for these things.
The sickest part is that by keeping rates so darn low, the Federal Reserve has CREATEDthis squeeze on purpose. The way I see it, Washington is presenting retirees with just two stark choices:

  1. Take big chances with your hard-earned money.
  2. Starve.
These are the guys who are supposed to have our nation’s best interests at heart?
It’s unbelievable! Worse yet, they’ve flat out told us that they don’t have any intention of changing their policy anytime soon!
Needless to say, I am not going to let my dad take huge risks OR starve — and I don’t want you to, either.
The great news is there are areas outside the Fed’s control — a whole world of investments that can give you both a high degree of safety and much better annual returns on your money.
I’ve proven over and over again to thousands and thousands of investors just how well conservative dividend stocks can do that. And they’re just the tip of the income iceberg!
Meanwhile, like me, David is worried about other family members. He says even though he has a decent nest egg he would really rather keep working as long as he can …
“[My wife] has some IRA and 401k money. I don’t know how much, really, but I think less than I have.
“[But] I am more worried about my 88 year old mother. She has a pension of about $250 per month and much lower Social Security payments than I will have.”
Many of the folks on my blog told me similar stories, like Allen who writes:
“I took over Mom’s finances and when she died she had a new car, a house to live in and more money in her portfolio than she had ever made in nearly 10 years.
“Dad wouldn’t listen and though he started with much more than my Mom, ended up with nothing and living on government assistance in a nursing home.”
That’s my point. You have to get involved … not next year or someday … but right now. The stakes are simply too high to ignore this problem any longer.
Case in point: Last week I mentioned the possibility of long-term care for my dad, prompting bloggers like Lewis to ask,
“Have you considered that it may be both emotionally and financially better for him and for you if he spends that time at home with children and grandchildren?”
Absolutely, Lewis! I would prefer to keep our family together if we can. But I have also seen situations where doing so was nearly impossible. So I still want us all to plan for the worst.
That brings me to today’s critical question:
What IS your worst-case retirement scenario?
And how are you preparing for it right now?
Click here to visit my blog and share your ideas with us — 
and I’ll share some of mine with you as well!
Best wishes,
Nilus
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