A Serious Question

In the last quarter my TIAA-CREF retirement fund sustained another net loss. I do not live in a state which pays into Social Security, so this is my only retirement fund. Since I am theoretically a young person I have the funds allocated to relatively, although not outrageously high risk enterprises. I have recently had these adjusted to my very best advantage by a very sophisticated computer. I was glad to discover that I could retire at age 75 with enough money to live on until age 93.

But I think the economy is tanking permanently and if I had a choice, I would not have money in stocks. I would have it in land, gold, gas wells, and most importantly, underground lakes full of fresh, unpolluted water and the purest of algae and fish. Because in practice, the weak stock market may just gnaw at it our retirement until it is gone – do you think?  The financial advisors will say to trust the market to rise again, but does this apply? Or in other words, is the economy tanking permanently?


4 thoughts on “A Serious Question

  1. I could not possibly supply an answer, although some of the signs — the cost of the war in Iraq, the changing climate, the likelihood of further natural disasters due to climate change — all suggest pressures on the economy.

    I think that one of the great things to do would be to own some land. That way if you ever need to retire, you can theoretically live on the land, if not live off it.

  2. In the days when I had employer plans, I did backwards somersaults to avoid anything to do with TIAA-CREF as I found their investment strategies irresponsible. Fidelity or Vanguard allow much greater control including ‘cash’ bond funds. Cynical as I have been about the US economy, my money was moved to ultraconservative bond funds two years before this recent collapse. The idea that we should all have magical 8-10% yields, together with unicorns and ponies, is a ridiculous myth and even Warren Buffett himself has attempted to disabuse Americans of this notion. Before, people said I was silly for “low-return” investment (4-5% as it turns out), now we all see my investment is secure while theirs have lost money. Money cannot grow perpetually on trees. I see the next dangerous juncture as the US election. Better move your money to cash before a Republican president is elected.


  3. “Is the economy tanking permanently?”

    A better question might be: will the United States continue in its present form permanently?

    I think not. Therefore, “the economy” tanking goes without saying. Permanently? Mais bien sur.

  4. CS – you’re right. Jennifer – I agree. Lessons – I also agree. We can’t take our $ in Louisiana until we’re 55 and not unless we also separate from Louisiana at that point. It is a good argument for doing so – at least one doesn’t lose the $ by staying, and thus having to leave it in the stock market. (Perhaps I should move from TIAA … although others here have done worse with the other options.)

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