A Resolution For The New Year: Reclaim Your Retirement

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.

A few years ago, we did a little internal polling among StreetAuthority readers. Nearly half of respondents who were aged 55 and older reported having investment portfolios worth $500,000 or more.

But when asked they were asked: “Are you confident you will have enough money for retirement?”

Only 54% of those surveyed answered “yes”.

Now, there are a number of ways you can read into these responses. Of course, it’s not exactly scientific, but I’ll give it a shot…

I actually think both the size of these portfolios our readers reported and the number who said they were confident about having enough is pretty good. It’s higher than I thought it would be, but then again, more is always better. But I’m willing to bet that these numbers (portfolio size and those who are “confident”) far exceeds that of the general population.

Why do I think this? Another survey from the National Institute on Retirement Security is pretty telling. It found that 61% of all respondents feared outliving their retirement savings more than they feared death.

Read that again: A large majority of American workers fear retirement more than they fear death.

The Deck Is Stacked Against You…

If you’re anything like the average StreetAuthority reader, you spent your life working hard, putting food on the table, owning a home, you probably put kids through college. And after all that, you still managed to put something away for your golden years. Now you just hope 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. In many cases, savers are getting the shaft, watching their purchasing power erode bit by bit with each passing year. The interest you earn on those savings is next to nothing. It’s one of the worst deals you’re likely to ever come across in the market.

Any way you slice it, policies like these punish savers. It doesn’t matter if the Fed raises rates next year. They’ve gone so low that it will take years (maybe a generation) 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.

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 Time To Take Charge Of Your Retirement

Right before our eyes, the social contract between regular working Americans, their employers, and the U.S. government is being rewritten — whether we like it or not.

If you find yourself in the camp of those with portfolios of $500,000 or more, then congratulations. But I wouldn’t blame you if you were one of those who still felt like you were on shaky ground.

After all, it takes more money now than ever before to achieve a secure retirement.

Regardless of where you find yourself in all of this, it’s probably safe to say that there’s more work to be done.

But this isn’t meant to be a gripe session. 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.

My question for you is: what are you doing about it?

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.

There’s a story a lot of personal finance pundits like to bring up that it’s almost become a little cliché. But it still bears repeating…

Anne Scheiber was born in 1893. After years of working as an auditor for the IRS, she retired in 1944. She never earned more than $4,000 per year in her career, and earned an annual pension of $3,100.

There is some debate about whether Anne started investing before she retired or after. But regardless, this is someone who never had what would be considered a sizeable nest egg. But through extreme frugality and disciplined “buy and hold” investing, Anne’s portfolio was worth roughly $22 million by the time she died in 1995.

Granted, we don’t all have the luxury of living another 50 years after we retire. And we don’t have to live like Anne did, either. But the point is, with a little thrifty saving and some diligent investing, it is possible to build a sizeable income portfolio — especially if you have a few years to reinvest your dividends.

Closing Thoughts

Unfortunately, we can’t force the Fed to change its policies. 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.

Here’s my advice: Don’t worry about what you’re up against. And don’t waste your time worrying about what your neighbors and friends have, either. This is your story.

If you find yourself regretting not doing more (or even starting) 10 or 20 years ago, stop. As the ancient Chinese proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Focus on the task ahead. The yields are out there. You just have to know where to look. And we can give you the tools you need…

In fact, my colleague Nathan Slaughter’s High-Yield Investing subscribers are earning thousands in extra income each month — enough to live a comfortable, worry-free retirement.

That’s because Nathan is finding yields of 6%, 7%, 9%, and more on a regular basis. And many are from the kinds of securities most investors don’t even have a clue exist…

In his latest report, you’ll learn about a handful of picks that he considers to be “bulletproof”. Go here to check it out now.