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August 24, 2012

The Paul Ryan Retirement Dilemma

The Clinton-Bush-Obama- errr… Paul Ryan Retirement Dilemma

Surprise! The pundits have jumped on the opposing party to denounce its fiendish economic plans and the Armageddon inducing consequences that will occur as a result. A similar thing used to happen in my house when it came time to decide on a summer outing. The scenic drive v. amusement park v. the zoo (again!!!) debate would take place every year with the same ferocious intensity. Each side would warn of the dire consequences that would result if the trip did not go in his/her favored direction. These portended results would range from car nausea to societal disaffection to actual mass casualties. (“If I see one more (deleted) monkey I’m going to grab one of their metal feed bowls and go postal on the heads of everybody there.”) Of course, now we’re grown up and we don’t do that anymore. Now when we discuss issues we do so with the full blown earth-shattering rhetoric that only the truly pompous can utilize. Depending upon who wins the election, you can expect the following to happen: senior citizens will be relegated to having no intrinsic worth, a health care crisis will cripple the nation, and the current economic system will grind to a quick and explosive halt. Following the demise of the superpower once known as the United States, the international economy will then self-destruct, insurgent governments will become the new norm, and my brother-in-law will be put into a position of managerial authority. (Although that last prediction is not well known, it may perhaps be the most frightening.) With the media screaming at you from both directions, how are you supposed to put into action any kind of plan for financial security? The obvious answer would be to stay away from those asset classes that are affected by media-induced frenzies, and instead focus on assets over which you have some element of control. If you understand local real estate, then that’s a good option. If you have certain technical skills that can be parlayed into a business, then that’s good too. Whatever it is, just make sure that it’s not something which will be dependent upon a mob mentality (like Facebook and Groupon stock.) If you want to put these common-sense assets into your retirement portfolio, then the platform of choice (of course) is the self-directed IRA. Find something you know, develop it with the funding of a self-directed IRA, and finally get some stress-free sleep at night. You shouldn’t be ruining your health with the ever present stress of a retirement fund living on the wild side of Wall Street. And if Obama or Romney wins, please give me a call. I have a grandmother that I need to get off the street.

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