It was never supposed to be this daunting. At least that's what we were told.
But according to a recent study by the National Institute on Retirement Security, 85% of Americans are either "concerned" or "very concerned" about their ability to achieve a secure retirement.
My guess is you might be one of them.
In fact, we did a little internal polling among StreetAuthority readers not too long ago. Despite the fact that nearly half of respondents who were aged 55 and older reported having investment portfolios worth $500,000 or more, only 54% of those surveyed answered "yes" when asked "Are you confident you will have enough money for retirement?"
Now you can read into that 54% response however you would like, but I think it's pretty good. Just not good enough. And here's the thing: I'm willing to bet that number is actually high when compared with the general population.
If you find yourself in the camp of those with portfolios of $500,000 or more, then congratulations are in order. But I wouldn't blame you if you still felt like you were on shaky ground. After all, it takes more money now than ever before to achieve a secure retirement.
And for the rest of you... Well, it goes without saying that there's probably still work to be done.
Newsflash: The Deck Is Stacked Against You...
If you're anything like the average StreetAuthority reader, you worked hard, put food on the table, owned a home, put kids through college -- and still managed to put something away for your golden years. And now most of you are probably hoping that between your savings, investments and either a pension or Social Security, you'll have what you need.
But you're just not sure.
It doesn't take a PhD in economics to understand why you should be concerned, either.
Central banks around the world are devaluing their currencies and pushing interest rates through the floor. As I write this, the 10-year German "bund" (or bond) yields just 0.38%. Shorter durations (ranging from one year to nine) actually have negative yields. And that's from one of the stronger members of the Eurozone.
On the other hand, a 10-year Swiss bond will get you just -0.11%. And Japan, meanwhile, offers a 10-year at about -0.03%. The list goes on and on...
|Bond Name and Duration||Yield|
|U.S. 1-Year Treasury||1.29%|
|U.S. 10-Year Treasury||2.32%|
Think about that. In many of these countries, instead of earning interest on your savings from these "safe" investments, you're essentially paying the bank to hold your money. And these central banks are getting away with it. It's one of the worst deals you're likely to ever come across in the market.
The situation is only slightly better in the United States. After years of maneuvering in response to the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve willingly admitted that it has nearly exhausted all of its resources to try and stimulate the economy. Things have picked up a bit, and now we're on the slow road to "normalizing" interest rates. But a 10-Year Treasury Bond still only yields a paltry 2.32%.
Any way you slice it, policies like these punish savers. It doesn't matter that the Fed has just recently started to lift rates by a hair -- they've gone so low that it will take years for a return to normal. So even if you've diligently saved your money and are looking to put it to work in a safe asset earning a modest return, you still may be out of luck.
Then, of course, there's the blatant disregard of ethics (and the law) displayed by many of the Wall Street banks. Not to mention the harrowing state of the Social Security Trust Fund, and what it could mean for those who retire in the next 10-plus years. (But hey, that's a topic for an entirely different essay).
It's Time To Take Charge Of Your Retirement
After considering all of this, you'd be hard pressed to find any rational investor trying to prepare for retirement who didn't feel like the deck was at least a little bit stacked against him. And that's because it is.
It's no wonder then that a survey we came across from the National Institute on Retirement Security found that 61% of all respondents feared outliving their retirement savings more than they feared death.
Read that statement again: A large majority of American workers fear retirement more than they fear death.
Right before our eyes, the social contract between regular working Americans and their employers (and the U.S. government) is being rewritten -- whether we like it or not.
The question is: what are you doing about it?
Unfortunately, we here at StreetAuthority can't force the Fed to change its policies and offer better yields to investors. We can't stop the government from reducing your retirement benefits, and we can't protect your employer's retirement plan, either. But what we can do is make sure you have the tools you need to earn enough income and protect your livelihood.
I don't bring all of this up to simply get your blood boiling. Instead, what I want you to take away is this: If you're already retired, please, whatever you do, don't believe the lie that it's too late. Feeling discouraged and throwing your hands up in exasperation and saying "I give up!" won't accomplish anything.
The fact is, despite all of these challenges, it is possible to achieve a secure retirement. And it's never too late to do it.
To prove my point, here's what we told readers of one of our premium newsletters, The Daily Paycheck, back in November 2015:
Anne Scheiber didn't start investing until after she retired. She had an annual pension of $3,100. She had also squirreled away roughly $5,000 in savings. When she died, Anne's investment portfolio was worth $22 million and was generating roughly $750,000 a year in dividends and interest alone.
Granted, Anne lived to a ripe old age of 101. But it really doesn't take long to build an income portfolio -- especially if you have a few years to reinvest your dividends as Anne did.
For instance, 2010 was The Daily Paycheck's first full year in operation. That year, the portfolio generated $9,714.11 in dividends. By reinvesting those dividends to buy more shares, [the] portfolio was able to generate even more income.
By continuing to reinvest dividends each and every year, at last count, the Daily Paycheck model portfolios have generated a total of $115,515 in dividends. That's a long way from just $9,700 less than seven years ago. And here's the thing: This didn't occur through any sort of exotic trading technique. We didn't take on an unnecessary amount of risk. We simply found the best dividend payers on the planet, bought shares, and then reinvested the income she earned to buy more shares.
It's that simple.
Here's my advice: Don't worry about what you're up against. Focus on the task ahead. We can give you the tools you need -- in fact, we have a tell-all information guide on how to earn more income starting right now.
At the end of the day, the best weapon you have is yourself. We can give you the keys, but you have to open the door.
Go ahead and get started today.
To learn more about how Daily Paycheck subscribers are fighting back and reclaiming their own financial destiny, go here.