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Three gold bars in a miniature shopping cart placed on a flat surface with paper documents

 

With retirements lasting 25 years or more today, ensuring your savings stand the test of time is essential. Gold bars have long been touted as an investment to weather turbulent markets. But are precious metals a wise addition to your portfolio? 

We'll analyze the benefits and drawbacks of owning gold bars for your retirement. 

 

Benefits of Gold Bars for Retirement

So, what makes gold bars attractive for retirement investing? Here are some of the expected benefits you need to know:

1. Hedge Against Inflation

This is one of the most compelling reasons to own gold for retirement. Over long periods, gold has proven an excellent hedge against inflation. 

Retirees on fixed incomes are especially vulnerable to rising inflation eroding their purchasing power over time. Gold provides the stability needed. According to GoldSilver, gold had maintained its purchasing power over thousands of years and retained its value through wars, crashes, and global crises when other assets struggled.

2. Portfolio Diversification

Financial advisors recommend diversifying investments across asset classes to manage risk. Physical gold provides an asset class distinct from stocks, bonds, and cash. Because gold prices often move independently from other asset prices, it can help smooth out portfolio volatility over decades. Holding 5-15% of assets in gold can boost long-term returns for retirement portfolios.

3. Long-Term Price Stability

Unlike many asset classes, gold demonstrates long-term price stability across extended periods. According to Sprott Asset Management research, gold prices remained remarkably consistent - ranging from $250 to $350 per ounce through the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. 

Adjusted for inflation, today's prices are comparable to hundreds of years ago. Gold's long-term price stability makes it ideal for buy-and-hold retirement investing.

4. Tangible & Liquid Asset

Gold bars provide the security of a tangible, physical asset that maintains value over time. While stocks and bonds represent claims on companies and governments, gold is real, hard value in your hands. 

Gold is also highly liquid if cash is needed. Bars can easily be sold or used as collateral for a loan in retirement if required, giving retirees more financial flexibility.

5. Protection During Market Crashes

 

Downward pointing red arrows and numerical indicators reflecting the decrease in the stocks price

 

Market crashes, recessions, and periods of uncertainty can wreak havoc on retirement portfolios over-allocated to stocks and bonds. Gold has historically increased in value during major market downturns as investors flee to safety. 

Having a portion of your portfolio in physical gold helps mitigate losses when crises hit the financial system.

6. Leaving a Legacy

Passing down tangible wealth is essential for some retirees. Physical gold, such as coins or bars, can become family heirlooms handed down from generation to generation. 

For those looking to leave a legacy, gold bars are a gift that will maintain value over the long term. This can't be said for assets like cash or bonds.

Take a look at this article: Gold ETFs vs. Physical Gold

 

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Potential Downsides of Gold Bars

While gold bars offer several benefits for retirement investors, there are also some potential downsides to consider:

1. No Yield

Gold bars do not provide interest or dividend payments like bonds and stocks. Retirees relying on portfolio income may prefer assets that offer regular payouts. This disadvantage, however, is offset by gold's hedge against inflation that protects long-term purchasing power.

2. Storage and Insurance Costs

Properly storing tangible gold bars requires maintaining a secure storage space or paying fees for a safe deposit box at your bank. You may also need to insure your gold against theft or loss. These storage and insurance costs can eat into returns on your investment over time.

3. Harder to Liquidate

Selling gold bars and coins may require more time and effort than stocks or ETFs. You may need to arrange sales through dealers or jewellery stores rather than quickly selling online through your brokerage account. This relative lack of liquidity can be a disadvantage.

4. Tax Reporting Requirements

In some countries, gold is considered a "collectable," and profits may be taxed more than stocks or bonds. Holding gold for over a year may qualify it for long-term capital gains rates. But gold still has extra tax reporting requirements compared to many other assets.

5. Vulnerable to Manias

Gold can become overhyped during speculative buying manias like other assets, and then experience crashes. Due to gold manias, retirees need discipline to avoid buying high and selling low. Timing the gold market is challenging, making long-term, buy-and-hold strategies best.

 

Is Gold Right for Your Retirement Portfolio?

 

A man pondering intensely while seated in front of his laptop

 

Both sides have good arguments for owning physical gold bars in retirement. However, to make a sound decision, it's crucial to take into account the following factors:

Your Time Horizon: Gold performs best over 10, 20 or 30 years. With a short retirement time horizon, you may be better served focusing on assets that provide portfolio income.

Your Risk Tolerance: Conservative retirees prioritizing wealth preservation may appreciate gold's stable value. Those with a higher risk appetite may prefer to invest more in stocks and real estate.

Your Income Needs: If you require substantial liquid income from your portfolio, dividend stocks and bonds may be preferable to non-yielding gold. Gold is more appropriate for the portion of assets you don't need for regular income.

Your Total Assets: Gold is usually held as 5-15% of total investment assets. Adjust your gold allocation to fit your overall portfolio size and diversification needs.

Your Estate Plans: Those who want to leave a legacy of real wealth for heirs may wish to allocate more to physical gold. It becomes a gift that keeps its value permanently.

You might also like to read: How Do You Trade Gold CFDs?

 

The Takeaway 

There are reasonable arguments about whether retirees should invest in gold bars. While gold has advantages, such as providing long-term stability and protection from inflation, it also has disadvantages, like higher taxes and a lack of yield. 

Gold bars can make sense as part of a well-diversified retirement portfolio but should not be relied on solely. 

As with any investment, moderation and discipline are fundamental. Considering your financial situation and goals, you can decide whether physical gold bullion should be part of your retirement investment plans.

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“When considering “CFDs” for trading and price predictions, remember that trading CFDs involves a significant risk and could result in capital loss. Past performance is not indicative of any future results. This information is provided for informative purposes only and should not be considered investment advice.”

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