America’s Retirees Need a Retirement Plan Overhaul

Published on June 19, 2013


Blame it on the flailing economy, the high cost of living, or bad habits-   but  Americans are not great savers in general and for their retirement  savings in particular. This is not a new trend and it does not appear to be reversing.

As reported recently in a New York Times article, fifty-eight percent of American workers are not enrolled in a pension or 401(k) plan. For those who do participate in a 401(k) plan or who are heavily invested in stocks and bonds, their assets have ridden a crazy roller coaster over the past 12 years that put a huge dent in their retirement savings.

In addition, the beleaguered Social Security system will get walloped by the baby boomers now reaching retirement age in record numbers. The Social Security Administration* reports that nine out of ten individuals age 65 and older receive benefits.
• These benefits represent 39% of the income of elderly Americans.
• However, for 53% of elderly married beneficiaries and 74% of unmarried persons, Social Security is at least half of their retirement income.
• There is a portion of elderly Social Security beneficiaries for whom the picture is even tougher: 23% of married couples and about 46% of unmarried persons rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their income.

This is not a sustainable model, especially as the government weighs the raising of the retirement age or reducing benefit increases to save the Social Security fund for the long term. Toss in our longer life spans and the rising cost of living and it’s clear the U.S. retirement model needs an overhaul of some kind.

Renovate Your Retirement through Self-Direction

Individuals can renovate their own retirement strategy with a self-directed retirement plan. With all the alternative assets allowed through self–direction, investors can take control of their futures by investing in a broader array of assets beyond stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

Anyone can open a self-directed IRA at any age and start investing in traditional and non-traditional assets, with the potential to build a more lucrative retirement portfolio. If your 401(k) isn’t doing it for you, if you’re concerned about how the stock market will perform in coming years, or you feel that relying on Social Security is not a safe bet,  it’s time to see if a self-directed retirement plan is the overhaul you need to breathe new life into your retirement nest egg.

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