Retiring Well in the New Millennium

10/03/2017 10:38 am ET Updated Oct 06, 2017

As the Baby Boomer generation moves inexorably towards their Golden Years they are focusing on how to not outlive their retirement funds – a serious concern, as we now live longer and the cost of living keeps rising. Also, many of the younger Boomers have not planned well for their retirement, and what they have saved is not going to cover their costs, regardless of how long they live. The generations following the Boomers are also increasingly concerned about retirement, especially since many of them can’t find steady employment these days. Traditional forms of retirement savings – certificates of deposit (CDs), individual retirement account (IRAs), savings accounts – are paying almost nothing in interest rates, and stock portfolios are increasing in risk levels, as the market is extremely volatile at this point in time. There is an increasing concern Social Security will collapse. This is a serious problem, as those in the middle-to-lower classes who paid into the program are counting on it for their retirement.

Traditional Retirement Options

Traditional options for retirement money are savings accounts, CDs, IRAs, 401(k) or 403(b) accounts, annuities, and KEOGH plans for the self-employed. All are still viable options, but the interest rates on savings accounts, CDs, and investment options in IRAs, 401(k) or 403(b), annuities, and KEOGH plans are, for all intents and purposes, staying barely above the 0% mark. Risk levels on IRA, KEOGH, annuities, and the 401(k) and 403(b) plans are rising, as stock market volatility increases. These options are still good choices, but they require closer scrutiny than before, to manage your risk versus conservative investments. Social Security should not now be your primary retirement income; the Congress is playing games with the fund, and doesn’t look like they’re going to pay back the money they’ve “requisitioned” from it for other things. If it survives long enough for you to use it, that’s great; however, don’t plan on living on it by itself – you will run out of money really quickly if you do.

Retirement options in the 21st Century

Money is evolving in the new century; the advent of digital currencies is giving those who distrust centralized currencies an alternative to using them. The first digital currency, Bitcoin, was created by a programmer, or programmers, identified as Satoshi Nakamoto in a 2008 paper. In January of 2009, Nakamoto released open-source software for the decentralized currency. There are other alternatives to Bitcoin, but it remains the primary digital currency. Digital currency is now available as a retirement option, and to meet IRS regulations, a custodian for your Bitcoin retirement account is necessary. CoinIRA, a subsidiary of Goldco, provides investors the opportunity to save for retirement by investing in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other digital currencies as part of a self-directed IRA. The company’s new program allows individuals to legally own Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and other digital currencies using tax-deferred funds from a retirement account. So is it a safe investment? And why should you consider adding digital currency to your retirement savings? “If you place your digital currency in an IRA, it is protected using two layers of triple-key protection. Normal digital currency wallets (non-IRA) offer no protection. In addition, having your digital currency in an IRA allows you to pass it on to your loved ones in case you pass away (in the form of an Inherited IRA),” said Trevor Gerszt, CEO of CoinIRA. “With a normal digital currency wallet, when you pass away, your loved ones will not be able to take ownership of the digital currency and those coins. Without access to the wallet keys, the currency stored in the wallet would be lost forever.”

Use Traditional Retirement Options or the Newer Ones?

The answer is, use both. Traditional retirement options are still perfectly viable; the risk is your IRA or 401(k) or 403(b) accounts are open to seizure from the banking system in the event of a financial crisis such as the recent one in Greece. Your checking and savings accounts are as well. The G20 has instituted policies giving banks the right to consider your money not as deposits, but as investments in the bank. In the event of another global financial crisis, such as the 2008 crash, signers to the G20 policy – including the United States – may take your money to pay off debts, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. The answer is to invest your money in assets not held in the bank – gold or silver, or now, in digital currencies. Investing in assets or currencies not subject to a central bank gives you a hedge against the banking system’s greedy and reckless policies.

Digital currency is still in its infancy; the number of merchants accepting Bitcoin as payment is small compared to the number of merchants available. However, the number is growing daily. Bitcoin is volatile at this point, almost as volatile as the price of gold; as its use increases, the level of volatility should stabilize. “Bitcoin is a decentralized currency, meaning that it is out of reach of any one national power or central entity to manipulate or inflate. So if the stock market crashes again as we saw in 2008, your digital currencies should hold their value since they aren't subject to the same pressures that affect financial markets,” adds Gerszt. Using alternative currencies as part of your retirement package is a sound idea, and companies like CoinIRA will help you to do so.

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