USA Today: Baby Boomer Retirees Face Big Money, Big Decisions

retirement fear

The United States currently has 75 million Baby Boomers retiring at a rate of once every nine seconds through 2029, according to John Piershale, a wealth adviser at Piershale Financial Group. They have an average of $147,000 in their 401(k)s, according to Fidelity Investments. Approximately $324 billion was moved from 401(k)s into Individual Retirement Accounts in 2013, and that dollar amount is expected to grow to $500 billion by 2019 as more Baby Boomers retire, according to Boston-based research firm Cerulli Associates.

It’s clear that Baby Boomers have saved a significant amount of money in their 401(k)s. When they retire, the question becomes whether to leave those savings in their 401(k) or move them somewhere else. Dave Richmond, president of Richmond Brothers financial advisers, believes “This is the biggest decision of your life,” and notes that many times the value in question is larger than that of your home. However, oftentimes little thought is given to this big decision.

Joe Heider, managing principal of Ohio region for Rehmann Financial, recommends rolling the funds over to an IRA. “Our general recommendation is when someone retires to move that money into an IRA so they have access to it rather than have to call their employer for the money when they need distribution,” he said. If you leave the money with your former company, Heider warns there may be a lag in the availability of your funds.

Heider praises the higher amount of flexibility and control with IRAs over 401(k)s. “You have a lot more investment flexibility, so you can tailor that IRA around your particular needs.” John Bucsek, managing director of MetLife Solutions Group adds that IRAs offer more investment choices. “Normally in a 401(k), I can have 10 to 15 choices (of mutual funds),” he says, while in an IRA the choices are virtually unlimited.

Piershale adds that IRAs are also preferable when it comes to estate planning: “If you pass away and leave your money in a 401(k), there are options, but they are limited. If you roll your money into an IRA, it’s so much easier. Your employer is not in the business of estate planning.”

A type of individual retirement account called a Self-Directed IRA offers perhaps the most flexibility and investor control of any IRA. The account holder, not the custodian of the plan, is in charge of all investment decisions. The possible investments that can be made with a self-directed IRA are far and wide, including but not limited to real estate, LLCs, mortgages, commercial paper, and physical precious metals. When it comes to control and diversification of your retirement plan, an IRA offers significant advantages over employer-sponsored plans such as 401(k)s. For more information about self-directed IRAs, see American Bullion’s Self-Directed IRA Infographic. American Bullion is the trusted leader in Gold IRA rollovers.

Investing in physical precious metals like gold and silver in a self-directed IRA offers a great way to diversify and safeguard your portfolio. Richmond tells investors their goal should be to “make sure you have gold in your golden years.” Although the phrase is figurative, it is possible to make this a physical reality by holding tangible gold in your retirement account. Gold holds its purchasing power over time more than paper-based assets typically do and is less vulnerable to bankruptcies, market crashes, corporate decision-making, reckless monetary policy, and geopolitical crises. A current IRA or old 401(k) can be easily rolled over to a self-directed Gold IRA, tax-free. Call American Bullion at 1-800-326-9598 to speak with a specialist about beginning a Gold IRA rollover. Invest in something real. Piece of gold, peace of mind.™