Stop Low Interest Rates From Ruining Your Retirement

The current record-low interest rates are — we’re told — supposed to boost the economy by making it easier for businesses to borrow, but these same rates are causing havoc among retirees — and soon-to-be retirees — by slashing their interest income. Here are a few things you can do to stop low interest rates from ruining your retirement.

You have many options to stop low interest rates from ruining your retirement.

Stop low interest rates from ruining your retirement

A May survey from Gallup and Wells Fargo (WFC) confirmed what many people already know all too well: Low interest rates are destroying people’s confidence about ever being able to retire. Fully one-third of those surveyed said that they expect low rates will compel them to work longer and delay their retirement, while 45% of current workers say they think low rates will make it a lot more likely that they’ll outlive their money after they retire.

In particular, the survey points to deteriorating confidence among retirees. Last year, retirees were much more optimistic about their futures. Yet with core inflation outpacing rates on bank certificates of deposit by more than a factor of three in many cases, those living on fixed incomes are feeling the pinch — and will continue to do so as higher prices reduce the purchasing power of their nest eggs.

To counteract this disturbing trend, many retirees are doing something they probably shouldn’t, although they may have little choice.

Almost 20% of retirees have moved their money into riskier investments they probably wouldn’t have bought if rates weren’t so low. For instance, some retirees have turned to dividend-paying stocks, many of which pay out more income than bank CDs and other income-generating investments.

Only you can decide if taking on that added risk is right for you, but keep in mind that there are other options:

The best answer for most retirees involves using a combination of investments to generate income. Dividend-paying stocks may play a role in your portfolio, but putting all your money into stocks involves far more risk than the vast majority of retirees can afford to take.

A well-balanced portfolio can help:

Municipal bonds earn interest that isn’t subject to federal income tax, but they also have higher yields than Treasury bonds of the same maturity — even though you have to pay federal tax on Treasury income.

Managed payout funds make fixed payments to their shareholders over time, and even if the income the fund portfolio generates isn’t enough to cover a payment, the fund can go in and essentially return a portion of your investment back to you to cover your cash flow needs.

Now may also be the time to look into a second career. Work you enjoy — even if it’s just part-time — can help cover the income gap and give you something interesting to do during your golden years.

Low interest rates won’t last forever — although it may seem like it — so now is the time to think outside the box and modify your retirement strategy to stop low interest rates from ruining your retirement.

Click here to read more about what you can do to stop low interest rates from ruining your retirement.

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