It's a common narrative the older generation likes to tell younger folks...
"When I was your age, I could get a can of Coke for a nickel!"
For all you later generations, that sounds pretty cheap. And it was, especially compared to today...
In 1960, a can of Coke cost just $0.05. In today's dollars, that $0.05 is equal to about $0.47. But in reality, today, you'd have to pay around $1.19 for one here at our headquarters in Baltimore. That's significant price inflation.
Just think about how the rising cost of goods erodes your buying power...
Let's say you've decided you only need $25,000 a year to live comfortably when you retire in 30 years... That's $500,000 in today's dollars.
If we adjust for 3% inflation (the average annual rate since 1913), you'll actually need more than $1.2 million 30 years from today. And even if you do manage to save up that much, it still might not be enough.
Some expenses might decrease, like childcare, education, and your mortgage, assuming you pay it off before retirement. But other expenses like health care and end-of-life care will increase so much, the additional expenses might surprise you.
According to the Fidelity Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate, a couple retiring today would need $300,000 saved for just health care costs.
You want to be able to enjoy your retirement, not simply survive it.
I recently released one of the biggest warnings of my career...
America is about to experience one of the greatest inflationary periods in our nation's history.
And make no mistake about it: Inflation will push millions of Americans down... out of the middle class, out of private retirement, out of private health care, and out of a decent life with plenty of independence and privacy.
Now it's time to answer some of your burning questions. As always, please keep sending your questions and comments to [email protected].
Q: My question about holding physical gold boils down to how do I use it to make a purchase? What would I receive for the difference in the value of my gold coin or bar and the product that I am buying? Seems like silver would be better. 90% silver coins would be easy to value at time of purchase as would silver bars. – B.S.
A: I'm a big supporter of holding gold and silver as stores of wealth, especially in times of chaos. But if you're looking for something that you could use for daily transactions, silver is the better way to go.
I recommend sticking to pre-1965 dimes, quarters, and half dollars if you're looking for silver, also called junk silver Up through 1964, dimes, quarters, and half dollars were made using silver (as much as 90% silver). In 1965, all of the silver was removed from dimes and quarters. But from 1965 to 1970, half dollars contained 40% silver. After that, silver was completely removed.
I like having these pre-1965 silver coins at hand because:
- 90% silver coins are well recognized – These coins are already well known. The fact is, you rarely find them in day-to-day circulation because people have already gone through their change looking for these valuable coins. And as demand for precious metals increases, even more people will recognize the coins.
- 90% silver coins are easily divisible – Unlike a silver bar or gold coin, junk silver coins are already portioned in smaller amounts should you ever need to use them in everyday transactions.
- 90% silver coins are liquid – There has always been a demand for these types of coins. Thanks to a dealer network and websites like eBay, plenty of buyers are available should you ever want to cash in your gains.
- 90% silver coins do not require verification – The silver content of these coins is so widely understood, you don't need to verify the authenticity and value. Again, there's no collectible value, and everyone understands they're 90% silver.
You can go to your local bank to find pre-1965 dimes, quarters, or half dollars (but this route has gotten more difficult over the last several years). If you're willing to pay a premium, several coin dealers sell bags of these coins.
Q: Still waiting to see your thoughts on butter vs. the alternatives. – D.C.
A: We couldn't find your original question on butter alternatives, so we'll do a rundown of them...
Butter is not inherently bad for you. What is bad is overdoing it. Food companies have done a great job of scaring people away from eating fatty foods, but our bodies need healthy fats to work properly. Fat helps your body :
- Absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K
- Feel satisfied with your meal
- Avoid sugar spikes by reducing the glycemic impact of your meal
- Extra virgin olive oil ("EVOO") – As a rich source of monounsaturated fats, EVOO has been shown to lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. EVOO is great for cooking, but not always a great option for baking because the taste can be overpowering.
- Ghee – Ghee is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation in your body. It's a clarified butter that tastes a little nutty. It can replace butter in a 1-to-1 ratio. However, ghee contains more moisture than butter, so baking at a high temperature is ideal when using this substitute.
- Greek yogurt – High in protein, full-fat Greek yogurt is a great substitute when baking. It also can help balance out a sweet treat by adding a little tanginess to the flavor.
- Avocado oil – Like olive oil, avocado oil contains lots of healthy fats. It has a high smoke point, meaning it's better for cooking at higher temperatures (think: frying and sauteing). Cooking with avocado adds more nutrients to your food than butter. Our two main problems, though, are a lack of peer-reviewed studies on it and the price.
- Coconut oil – We've also seen a few promising studies that suggest coconut oil reduces inflammation in cases of arthritis and bowel disease. But avoid it for any high-heat cooking as it has a low smoke point.
My personal favorite go-to substitute is olive oil. But I'd love to hear what you do... [email protected].
What We're Reading...
- We won't see the death of oil anytime soon.
- Something different: Scientists are still searching for the mysterious Lost Colony.
Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,
Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
September 17, 2021