A recently retired reader friend is worried about, inflation, deflation, bonds, stocks, banks, and gold.
Worried About Everything
My friend is better off than most. He has a small retirement nest egg but he is fearful of a 2007-2009 kind of drawdown. That's a reasonable fear to say the least.
He's 60-40 or so in stocks and bonds, mostly funds, with a bit of gold. All of his savings are in an IRA. His number one concern is loss of principle.
Anyone heading into retirement with no concerns is 1) somehow oblivious to the risks or 2) has so much money it does not matter what happens.
The dollar could collapse.
Defaults can wipe out junk bonds.
Funds carry selloff and liquidation risks.
Gold is gold but it can fall in price.
Inflation can kill long-term bonds
Deflation may kill equities.
Stocks and bonds may fall for years, even if there is no recession, simply because of valuation and sentiment changes.
Someone worried about nearly everything cannot possibly be getting much sleep with all these recent stock market gyrations.
To reduce risk as much as possible, one needs to largely get out of the market, especially mutual funds.
A TreasuryDirect bond ladder is one of the safest places to be.
Contrary to popular hype, the US is not going to default on treasuries.
TreasuryDirect does not support IRA accounts. However, banks do offer CDs for IRA accounts.