About Ken Tumin

Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

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Federal Reserve Study Shows Big Declines in Retirees' Income


Federal Reserve Study Shows Big Declines in Retirees' Income

A Federal Reserve study has been highlighted by several news media reports which have primarily focused on how family net worth has been hurt by the financial crisis and the recession. This USA Today article reported that "The median U.S. household lost nearly 39% of its wealth from 2007 to 2010". Much of this lost wealth is due to large declines in home values. I reviewed this Federal Reserve study and found some other findings that show the problems of the Fed's zero interest rate policy.

Part of the study looked into how incomes have changed from 2007 to 2010. The study broke down the incomes by categories, and one category is "Retired". Table 1 on page 11 shows that the mean income of families with a retired head of household has fallen from $53.5K to $44.4K. That's a decline of 17%. It's likely that much of this decline can be attributed to the big decline of interest rates. This reduction is probably becoming much worse as retirees' long-term CDs and bonds mature.

In a March Congressional hearing, Chairman Bernanke claimed that "something less than 10 percent of all savings by retirees is in the form of fixed-interest instruments like CDs." According to Chairman Bernanke, most of the savings were in assets like stocks which depend on a strong economy.

This Federal Reserve study has data that contradicts Chairman Bernanke's claim. On page 27, table 6 shows the median values of family financial assets in 2007. According to this table, the median value of CDs for retired families is $31.4K and the value of bonds is $83.3K. The value of stocks is only $30.1K (and that's before the market crash). The table shows a value of $81.9K for pooled investment funds and $52.4K for retirement accounts. These categories aren't useful in my opinion since these could hold stocks, bonds or CDs.

This Federal Reserve study shows that CDs do make up a significant portion of the financial holdings of retirees. The study also shows that retirees have seen a large decline in income from 2007 to 2010. This is understandable based on the big decline in interest rates during this time. I hope Chairman Bernanke and the other Fed members on the FOMC consider these costs. I'm afraid we'll see much bigger income declines if the zero interest rate policy continues for multiple years. Eventually, all CDs which had decent yields will have matured.

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Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
Ken, it is obvious, based on his actions and even recent mention of retirement income, that BENANKE doesn't care what you or I think about his direction with the Fed and interest rates.  As long as he is in charge, there is not going to be any change in that policy, and we are just wasting our time and efforts if we think that we can change his mind. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
You can't change his mind.  He will do things to help his cronies.  Too bad Ron Paul didn't win the nomination.  He would end the fed.   He is an honest politician
Shorebreak   |     |   Comment #3
I don’t know where Bernanke’s claim that “"something less than 10 percent of all savings by retirees is in the form of fixed-interest instruments like CDs and most of the savings were in assets like stocks which depend on a strong economy”  can be confirmed.

“Just about half of seniors (49 percent) received interest from assets held in bonds, treasury notes, IRAs, certificates of deposit, and interest-bearing savings and checking accounts in 2010. And 19 percent of retirees received dividend payments from stock holdings and mutual fund shares.”


“About 14 percent of current retirees are using stocks or funds to pay for part of their living expenses.”


“Only about 42 percent of retirees say they receive income from stocks or stock mutual funds. Perhaps due to low interest rates, the proportion of retirees who count savings accounts or CDs among their retirement-income sources has declined from 57 percent in 2007 to 50 percent in 2012.”


Although the percentages are all over the map they don't come any where close to what Bernanke claims.



Paoli2   |     |   Comment #4
It really blows my mine to think how far Bernanke will go to convince seniors that the place to put their money is in the stock market!  I personally think that 10% is nowheres near the real figure of how many seniors put their hard earned and saved assets in CDs or other risk free savings.  Even tho rates are rock bottom, the biggest goal in our later years is to be able to "keep" what took us so long to save.  We don't have another 50 years to make it up if it is lost in stocks or other such type investments.  Really gives one confidence in the Chairman of the Fed!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
Well, that is one comment of yours, Payoli2, that I agree with, 100%.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
Two stock market crashes in twelve years and Bernanke wants seniors to roll the dice again with their retirement savings.  Shame on him. When we've got Bernanke working as a shill for Wall Street you know you are in trouble.  
Randy   |     |   Comment #8
This less than 1% interest is killing me.  It is a drive-by shooting to seniors.

CuriousDave   |     |   Comment #9
From this retiree's perspective, the Federal Reserve's actions in forcing interest rates down to current levels are tantamount to taxation targeted on savers. In effect, savers are paying a form of transfer tax, in the sense that the "proceeds" of this tax are being utilized to bail out the banking system. If, instead,  Congress had attempted to increase income tax rates on interest income, the legislation would have been DOA. By using the Federal Reserve system (and let's not pretend that the Federal Reserve is actually "independent"), the powers that be have effectively pulled off an end run around the constitutional prohibition against taxation without representation. Also, there is no need for tax "collection" because the forced reduction of interest rates automatically provides the funds needed to make the "transfer" to the banks. At the same time, the rate of interest on the National Debt is substantially reduced. It was a brilliant play. But why rob savers? Because that's where the money is!
Shorebreak   |     |   Comment #10
Re: CuriousDave (anonymous) - #9, Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 5:45 PM

Very good observation. I never thought of it in those terms. You might have something there.
Maecl   |     |   Comment #11
No suprise in this article.  My husband and I are living it.
Kaight   |     |   Comment #12
Bernanke is a putz.  And you can take that to the bank.  These days, it's about the only thing you CAN take to the bank.
Shorebreak   |     |   Comment #13
And people like this is what savers really need:

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans quote...

"I've been in favor of pretty much any accommodative policy I've heard about. Extending the Twist would be useful."
- Charles Evans on June 12, 2012
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #15
Would we be like Europe with their problems without the Fed? I certainly would rather be in the US rather than have the problems of Europe. We can make our own decisions and not wait for many countries to agree to a plan. In the 80's we tried to be like Japan and we are in the situation that Japan has been in for the last 20 plus years. (Low interest rates) 
mak1118   |     |   Comment #17
What is this loser's anonymous?  If I can't make my own money let me have somebody elses. We the savers should help bail the people out that bought homes they couldn't afford, wannabe alert!!! If more people new how to hoard money maybe we wouldn't have had to bail out so many people that couldn't and never will be able to live within their means.Somebody call a waaaaaaaambulance. If we promoted saving like we did spending we wouldn't be in the mess we are in now.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #19
Well, I see this site, like all others has it's TROLLS.  Must have lost their pacifier somewhere on the floor.
Maecl   |     |   Comment #22
Anonymous 14:  That is Marxist ideology.  Savers aren't dependent on taxpayer money.  It is our money to do with as we please.  Government should be limited.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #23
Basically, the best comment I have heard on this subject is the Fed is artificially keeping the interest rates low to prop up the banks.  So when a bank get money for free, it can loan it to the fed reserve at a small rate above zero and make a profit on free money it stole from the taxpayers.  Congress gets their cut.  And the only cut grandma is getting is for dinner tonight she will be choosing between dogfood and catfood as that is all she can afford at these near 0% rates of return on the safe cds.  I don't know why the general public doesn't know this.  There was a question about the private banking system in a youtube video where a 12 year old girl from Canada asked this exact question why private bankers get to loan the money and earn interest from the taxpayers.  So if a 12 year old can figure out the problem, why not the general population.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #24


#23  It's not that the general population can't figure out the problem.  They just don't want to think about it and get angry at the people who try to do something about it.  Let's hope that 12 year old girl is a sign of a "new" courageous population who will not go like "lambs to the slaughter" without a fight.



Anonymous   |     |   Comment #25
What gets me is Bernanke can get in front of the banking committee(and public television) and pass misinformation that retirees depend on less than 10% of income from CDs and other fixed income products.  This misinformation should be verified and passed on to the appropriate committee member so Bernanke can be confronted with it next time he reports to Congress. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #27
#25  When Bernanke speaks to congress he talks so much above their level of understanding.  Congress doesn't understand what he's saying and doing.  So they just take his word for it and let him have his way.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #26
we need politicians who can make decisions without influence of the bank lobbyists and they need to rework the fed or get rid of it.  Bernanke should not me helping out Jamie Dimon whose bank needs to be broken up.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #28
I think that the general population is increasingly aware that the banking industry has government in their pocket.  Perhaps I was naive, but as a kid I used to think how much better it was in the US because it must be very difficult to live in a country that has rampant corruption.  Today, I see the US as being very corrupt and the problem is getting worse.
William L. Zimmerman
William L. Zimmerman   |     |   Comment #29
I’m just guessing, but I expect that Bernanke’s  figures for the portion of retiree savings in any asset category reflect the investments of large pension funds, which are indeed in stocks.  But I would think that at the individual level you’re correct.  When elderly people invest, safety and preservation of capital is foremost in their minds.  So individuals go for CD’s.  Pension funds don’t.  And so, yes, low interest rates are hurting our income.  But we all need to sacrifice from time to time.  Keynesian economics appears to work from an inductive empirical point of view.  That’s why America is not experiencing the pain the Europe is today.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #31
#29    That’s why America is not experiencing the pain that Europe is today.


Maybe the printing press is just delaying the inevitable...... we'll know sooner or later, might have to buckle up. 

BTW, I think the constant meddling in markets is what causes not solves.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #32
I believe the general population does have it figured out.  But the general population doesn't vote for right politicians who will carry out the will of the general population.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #33
#32 I think you have figured out the problem.  I also think it is because they get indoctrinated too much by what they hear and see on tv and other media.   People can be programmed by what they hear especially if it is coming from a media personality who they like and listen to a lot.  That is why I like to listen to "panels" of different people debating the issues and then "I" sort it all out and decide who I think I want to run my country.  I don't like others thinking for me.  This election is going to be a toughie and who we elect will decide whether we can make it back "up" that financial mountain.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #34

And I don't need one candidate telling me what their opponent did or didn't do.  I already know that.  What I want to hear from each candidate is what he or she is going to do, if elected, and how they propose to do it.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #35
#34  That's what I am referring to!  We don't need to hear all this garbage about what they did or didn't do when they were teenagers.  We want to know what they are going to do for US if we elect them!  I have been hounding the Republican Party about their platform because many people will vote for Obama due to being programmed by others.  WE need a leader who is not just going to "talk" but knows how to "walk the walk!"  I would love to see millions of voters put what you wrote on big boards and carry them up and down their streets so people in cars can learn how to really elect the "right" politicians.   Please make sure you tell your family, friends, and even strangers what you have shared here so they, too, will really think before voting and maybe we can finally get leaders in Washington.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #36
For years I have been posting that the FEDs lie and mislead Congress on every testimony for the past 4 years.
Don't expect any future changes in the statements nor the interest rates.
Bernanke got to go, he support the present administration blindly and accommodate them by printing money to satisfy the deficit.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #37
To Anonymous - #34,

Don't be naive, no politician will ever tell you the truth.
Obama will promiss you the sky just to vote for him.
Romney will dwell on his past record.
We have to vote for a lesser evil and we all know what they will say just to sway you on their side.
Inforay   |     |   Comment #38
Scary times.  I had counted on my CDs to support me in retirement and now this is in serious doubt.  It is impossible to know where to turn in order to obtain a decent, risk-free return on money we have saved for 30 plus years.  I have written to the Federal Reserve countless times and I simply get a form response.  They don't care about us.  They only care about giving big banks and businesses huge sums of money at zero percent.  They say that the recovery is weak, how about ensuring that retirees and seniors have some money to spend? How is it possible that so much power has been placed in the hands of one individual, Ben Bernanke?   He probably has a large portfolio of stocks and wants to see that increase in value and will engage in all possible shenanigans to ensure that the stock market rises.  At least Alan Greenspan had his money in bonds and so was fair to savers.  I have written to the Mitt Romney campaign and hope that some discussion will be had on this issue when the debates begin.  The Obama campaign was useless, to say the least.
Kaight   |     |   Comment #39
Inforay remember:  President Obama is supportive of Bernanke and will reappoint him.  Romney has promised he will not reappoint Bernenke.

But that's no guarantee a vote for Romney is the way to go.  There is no certainty Romney is the answer to our prayers.  Consider that it was BUSH, and not President Obama, who first appointed Bernanke.  And while Romney will get rid of Bernanke, he might appoint in Bernanke's place someone equally horrid.

I will be voting for Romney myself.  But it's far from a sure thing that he will help us.  Former Massachusetts Governor Romney is not a Conservative.  Only a true Conservative would solve this and help us.  None is running for President.  Romney is merely the lesser of two evils.
algonkwynn   |     |   Comment #40
34 and remember to sign the petition we need to get it passed for thoe most elusive 6 percent cds
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #41
Inforay:  I agree with your post.  It does seem like nothing we can do will help but we have to "try"!  If you have not signed the Savers Petition yet, will you please consider signing it.  The writer needs another ten (10) signers for her purposes.  Just "Opt Out" for Emails and you won't have to be getting any from MoveOn.  One of our posters keeps posting about 6% CDs.  I don't think we will see 6% CDs with this Petition or "any" Petition in the shape our economy is in.  That is not what the Petition is about.  We are trying to get a message to Washington that we won't sit back quietly and accept what they are doing to us.  People are suffering and we want Obama and all of the politicians to know we WILL give pay back at the polls.  We want them to read all the notes on the Petition from signers who are very upset about the interest situation.  Let THEM be concerned for their jobs as we are for trying to survive on such low interest rates.  Will you please help us?  The writer needs 10 more signers.  Please let it be from those on Ken's Blog/Forum.  Thanks to anyone who will help us and themselves.
Maecl   |     |   Comment #42
To all petition signers:  We all want to go back to 5.50% savings accounts and 6% and higher CD's, but a petition won't make it happen.  Government doesn't run that way.

We need a change in leadership on both sides of the isle.  Leaders with courage to make the tough choices, not the kind giving out the free candy.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #43
Maeci:  Did you not understand what I posted?  NO one I know who knows anything about the way the gov runs would expect us to be able to get higher interest rates "at this time" with this Petition or any other.  The Petition is "a means to an end".  It is a way to get a group of same-interested citizens together to voice a "problem" to our government.  It is the same type of method when people take up signs and march or rally in Washington.  They are trying to get a point across to millions of others that something is seriously wrong with our government.  If you don't want to voice your concerns in this particular way, that is your right.  But please don't make others think that what we are doing is wrong. 

Ken has checked out the writer's Petition and seems to think it has a place  in what we are trying to do.  If not, I assure you, he would not allow it to be a part of his Blog/Forum.  Thank you anyway but your signature would have been greatly appreciate as would any others who will  sign.
Maecl   |     |   Comment #44
To Anonymous #43:  I don't think what you are doing is wrong.  I'm just saying a petition won't change what those in charge are doing.  There are just a few willing to make the changes needed.  I have written and called Congress, but they remain on the wrong path.

I do hope your method gets the attention of the many you are trying to reach. 
mak1118   |     |   Comment #45
Allen Stanford got 110 years for stealing people's cd money, imagine how many years Bernanke would get.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #46
Mak1118:  Unfortunately, what Bernanke is doing is not legally "stealing".   He's just doing his job the way he feels is best!  Just like that gov group who spent over $800,000.00 of taxpayer's money on their trip will never have to pay it back.  They were just enjoying a trip!  As they say "the maniacs are running the asylum".   
mak1118   |     |   Comment #47
#46   I know, I was just throwing some humor in.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #48
not to be repetitive but i will vote

that bernake doesnt care but does know

the facts that exist.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #49
#48 Are we voting??  Before you vote on Bernanke why don't you just sneak your sig on our "you know what" http://signon.org/sign/the-feds-zero-percent 

and it will actually be a vote "against" what Bernanke is doing.  Thanks!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #50
Everybody here seems so fixated with the 5% CD or  6% CD or whatever risk free number they feel they're entitled to get for their savings. Setting aside the sense of entitlement , what I also find interesting is that no one talks about the relationship between that number & the real inflation rate. Considering that the average age here appears to be 75 , I'd haveb thought that people would have gron up a bit in understanding how things really work in this economy.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #51
#50:  Not all of us are 75 so maybe we, younger ones have not achieved the wisdom you seem to have on financial products.  When it comes to what I need to get from a CD, I could care less about 5%, or 6% rates. I also could care less what the inflation rate is.  I go by the amount of income I need to bring in to help my family survive financially.  I would love to get higher rates but one does what one has to do to survive and what one needs.  I am going after a certain CD rate and it's adjusted to what has happened in our economy.  That is why it is always important when we are young to save "more" than we think we will need in our senior years so we can adjust and survive on lower rates while we have to.  I just don't think our country had to allow itself to get in such a bad position financially.  It has so now we have to readjust and survive.
Maecl   |     |   Comment #54
#50:  I don't feel I'm entitled to high rate CD's and I'm not 75.  As for the real inflation rate,  all I know is what it takes to pay bills and have our savings last.   Our taxes are high.  That isn't figured into inflation.  We are retired and don't live the high life.

Most of us just want a government that doesn't take what we worked for and saved.  They are taking our money as if they are entitled.  I just want a decent return on my savings.
Shorebreak   |     |   Comment #52

Just do the math…

US households’ net worth plummeted by $17 trillion during 2007 to 2009.

From 2007 to 2009, the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury pumped $17 trillion to banks and corporations around the globe.

The math is really quite simple, now isn’t it?

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #53
For myself and I am sure others that are retired and on fixed incomes, what real matters is the inflation rate of items we need to live with:  food, energy, health care, utilities, taxes and insurance premiums.  How is it the government eliminates these items to skew the real inflation rate to make the numbers look better.  Sure they're volital, but we are forced to pay ever increasing prices for all of them.  The inflation rate on those items alone is sky high with no end in sight.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #55
Shorebreak:  You do the math if that's what you like.  My math is the amount of money "I" need to survive on and I could care less about government figures.  There are lots of ways to get around inflation so maybe one day our nice gal who writes the articles will share them with you.  Right now I am too busy trying to stop the politicians from ****ing up our social security payments and Medicare.  Anyone on here feel like writing up a Petition on that?  No takers.  Ok.  I'll go it alone with the help of that nice AARP who wasn't too helpful with the Savers Petition.  What's wrong with people and their civic responsibilities??
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #56
Today, I actually heard Obama referring to "Retirees" as hurting in one of his campaign ads.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #57
#56  I'm so glad I didn't hear that campaign ad!  How hypocritical can one be to make such a statement knowing they are the "cause" of the reason retirees are hurting, imo.  He is not going to take the blame for anything of course.  Any bad problems can all be blamed on Bush!  Enough is enough!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #58
To #55,
Writing up a Petition will not do the trick with the  socialist in the white house.
He considers you rich if you have CDs and he wants a piece of it.
Only November can put us out of the misery we are now in.
Organize your neighbors and lets get to work, that is my petition to all of the readers.
Anonymous #50
Anonymous #50   |     |   Comment #59
Ok, I understand a lot of people are ****ed off because of low interest rates etc. but I'd just like to point out that none of this has been a surprise. For the past few years the Fed has been remarkably clear in stating exactly what they planned on doing going forward & have by and large stuck to that script. In a nutshell, they've said that they intend to keep interest rates very low through at least 2014 & that they would inject liquidity into the system if they felt that the economy was weakening &/or if the credit markets showed signs of freezing up a la 2008. They've also stated that they view the stock markets as a strong indicator of economic strength. I mean what is that telling you?

Also, the idea of "risk free" returns is an illusion, always has been so. I'll give you an extreme example. Back in the 80's there was a brief period where you could get 14-15% or even more on a FDIC insured CD. Was that RISK FREE? Not really. Because though we were sure we would get our principal plus the 14-15% interest back..............we really didn't know how much of that 14-15% was going to be wiped out by inflation & decrease in purchasing power. It's always easy to look back & say that one should have done this or that, but the truth is that there was a real RISK back then that things would get out of control & getting 14-15% would seem like nothing. 

Solutions? First you have to erase "risk free" from your mind. Once that is done, if you're leaving principal intact & planning on living on "interest", then just buy a basket of companies that pay increasing dividends through a mutual fund or ETF. It's not that difficult to get a 5-6% yield right now. I have no idea what the stock market will do tomorrow, next month or next year. Anyone saying they do is full of crap. But I do know that if you're not touching your principal then your main concern is that dividends remain stable.............& they can be regardless of the daily ups & downs of the market. Furthermore, & evidence from the Japanese stock market to the contrary non-withstanding, I'd bet my bottom dollar that the US stock matket will be higher 7 years from now as compared to today.  So you'll get your 5-6% dividends & have some capital appreciation in the longer term to boot. If I'm wrong about this then I'd say that most of us will have much much more important concerns than what we can get on our CDs............Instead it'd be more like where we can get our next meal. :)
mak1118   |     |   Comment #61
#59    That is all well and good but some people can't handle the ups and downs of the market plus I don't think you can get 5% or 6% on quality stocks... maybe mortgage reits and high yield junk, some closed-end muni-bond funds... most stocks have climbed and the yields have come down. Utilities are getting expensive and so are drug companies,even the telecoms..... People have been chasing higher yielding defensive stocks so they have gotten expensive,imo.. The only advice I can give to people if they want to enter the market is do it over time, maybe on pullbacks and stretch it out over a couple years or just put in a set amount every month for a couple years.

I also have a high yield bond fund(junk)and a mortgage reit etf along with some high yielding stocks but I've had them for a while.
I personally always have some money in the stock market, I mainly use index funds, like VTI..... I add when it drops a lot, I try not to add when the market has already had big moves.
mak1118   |     |   Comment #60
shorebreak #52    I am not so sure that 17 trillion is the correct number. You might have to check on that but my understanding is, that is a cumulative number. Loans were made then paid back and more loans were made, sort of like your credit card.... say my credit card bill at the end of the month is $2000, I pay it off, then the next month my credit card bill is $2,000 again.... I pay it off again......and so on for the whole year. So actually I only owe $2,000 at any given time not $24,000, $24,000 is the cumulative total. So the way I understand it the fed did not loan out 17 trillion all at one time.... at least that is the way I understand it. If that is correct then the 17 trillion number is not what it seems.
mak1118   |     |   Comment #62
One more thing.... I really don't trust the market right now, that is why I would average in.
Anonymous #50, #59
Anonymous #50, #59   |     |   Comment #63
Mak118......You can't get a 5-6% yield on any given quality stock, but you can get them in aggregate. Hell if you threw in mortgage reits like you mentioned, you'd do way better than that. Yes prices have gone up but you still get a 5% on a Verizon or AT&T, for example. There are many others. 

And of course no one is suggesting to jump in all at once. I'm assuming that the reality is that you'd get into it as your old cds mature anyway. Your point about the market is well taken. All I'm saying is that it just seems that the collective attitude here seems like one of throwing up ones arms & giving up, when it doesn't have to be that way. There are palatable options out there imo, if one gets past the fixation with the FDIC insurance thing.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #64
#63,  Apparently you didn't lose any principle in the 2007-2008 market crash.
mak1118   |     |   Comment #66
#63   My mortgeage reit etf(rem) pays almost 11%, I bought at&t at $26 it is now $35 and under 5%. but I agree with you that one can not be all in CDs now and also if things go really wrong I am not sure how good that fdic backing will turn out to be.

#65  I'm not saying stocks or nothing.. I am saying there is a place in everybody's portfolio for some risk and when you can't change the world to your liking,you have to adapt.  I have less than 25% of my portfolio in the stock market but then again I still have some 5% and 6% CDs left, after they are gone I too will have to make a decision.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #65
Ok I think we need to ask Ken to change the name of this site to Deposits, Stocks and ALL Investments Online!  If stocks are so great, why doesn't Ken start giving us a page where we can scroll through the best brokerages and best Mutual Funds, individual stocks paying dividends etc. etc.  If you check his work, Ken mainly has focused on CDS!!!  So I didn't mind being called the "Petition Waving Fanatic" but now I think I have been replaced by the "Stock Waving Fanatics".  If I want stocks, I'll go back to Fidelity, Vanguard or an entire mirad of brokerages who would love to advise me on the "best" ones at this time.  Bonds too. If I come up with a Petition about stocks, I bet I could get thousands of your signatures on it!  Have a nice day hugging your dividend paying stocks and bonds. To each his own.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #74
#65  Why do you object to any comments that are meaningful but not to your liking?  These replies are relevant to this site.  We are all investors.  Talking about CDs without talking about other alternatives is crazy.  Ken doesn't only discuss CDs.  He provides alternatives with a focus on CDs.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #75
#74:  My biggest problem posting in groups is I keep forgetting that you can't tell if I am kidding, being sarcastic, or just other ways.  I was not being serious about Ken changing the name of this site.  I also read most of all of the other info even if it is not about CDs.  It just seems lately some posters are focusing more on "other" investments.  I was just giving an opinion and did not expect you to think otherwise.  I guess I should read more and post less so my feelings will not be misunderstood.  Sorry it bothered you. 

BTW, if you also read my post #73  to #72 you should see that I am complimenting the poster on his choice of investments and they do contain stocks and other alternatives to CDs.  Just because something isn't my choice does not mean it is not a good alternative choice for others.

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #67
Being in the stock market is a psychological torment.
If you have less then 10% of your money in it, you may be OK, otherwise, any bad news will put the stock market in tailspin and you may not be able to get out for years without incurring a loss.
There is no easy solution for the low interest rates, either live with it or take risks on your hard earned money.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #68
AT&T range was $22.00 - $42.00 for the past 5 years.  How can a retiree sleep at night with this type of instability.
mak1118   |     |   Comment #69
#68   The answer is simple, buy it nearer the $22 not the $42..... when I bought at&t I think it was paying a dividend of 7%.. I don't exactly remember,now it is at 5%. 

I would never expect a retiree to have all their money in the stock market but an amount that allows you to be able to sleep at night is the proper amount.

I'm sure there are dividend etfs that provide a nice dividend and diversification.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #70
If you put money in the stock market that you are going to have to pull out in a couple of years then stocks aren't for you and if you sell your stocks at a panic sell off instead of buying that is your mistake... don't blame it on the stocks, blame it on yourself.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #71
#70  There is a lot of truth in what you post but you seem to forget one of the main  reasons people like myself steer away from stocks.  No one knows what emergencies will happen in their lives when they may need a large amount of income.  If one has CDs, you may have to pay the EWP but you will be able to get the entire amount back that you put in.  However, with stocks, if one is forced to sell to get a hold of the needed money and it is not a good time in the stock market, you might loose a lot of the principal you invested.  Stocks are only a "buy and hold" investment, imo.  I am not against stocks if purchased knowing what one is getting into and being willing and able to accept the lost if you need to get out of the market "at the wrong time".  Seniors do not have the years left to "buy and hold" and make up for any lost, imo.  Once retired, frankly, I think we have to protect every dollar we have spent all those years saving.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #72
#71  I'm 56 and I don't have to touch my IRA for 14 more years so I keep 50% or more of my IRA in stocks and you are absolutely correct.... I would never put money in the market that I might need. I am a buy and hold investor mainly, I just may lighten up when they are running and increase when they are dumping. My money outside my IRA is in CDs,EE bonds(still getting 4%) and I bonds(1.6% and 3% base rate) no stocks.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #73
#72    I am so glad to read you seem very in control of your finances.  A good financial advisor would probably say you have done your homework and are in control of your finances.  I am so glad to hear this.  You seem to understand where I am coming from and I am glad of that also.  We can learn a lot from one another on Ken's site  and I don't just read these posts for CDs.  I never want to stop learning when it comes to finances.  Thanks for your input.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #79
algonkwynn, did you find your pacifier yet?
Maecl   |     |   Comment #80
To #'s 77,78 & 79:

Your comments are out of place.
Truthseeker   |     |   Comment #81
Of course, Bernanke was lying when he said that only 10% of retiree income arises out of savings. He was placed into office by the international banking cartel and he knows his job, which is to use the unlimited printing press inherent in irredeemable fiat currency to help the big banks. The corrupt Federal Reserve, like other corrupted central banks, including the Bank of England, ECB, etc., work closely with this small group of crooked bankers to manipulate worldwide interest rates and the values of all assets.

Collectively, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and Citigroup are debtors on something on the order of $600 TRILLION worth of derivatives, when their American ($292 trillion) and European operations are combined. Most of those are interest rate swaps. These are used to artificially suppress the rise of interest rates when huge numbers of "counterfeited under color of law" currency notes are printed.

There has been a massive increase in the US monetary base, between the time that the multi-billion dollar hedge fund, Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) was bailed out by the Fed, in 1998 and now. Fed credit has increased by something on the order of more than 5x since then, including the recent counterfeiting precipitated by the 2008 Financial Crisis which continues. If not for the offsetting action of the hundreds of trillions worth of interest rate swaps, over the past decade, interest rates would have risen to 20-30% per year, and we would have a mini-hyperinflation (not like Zimbabwe but very very bad). Even with them, we now have a true inflation rate of about 10% per annum, if the current statistical gimmickry is removed, and the 1982 CPI formula is used to calculate it. That is a rate similar to the "Great Inflation" of the 1970s. Meanwhile, banks are paying nearly zero interest rates!

The banking cartel, which engineered all this, needs ultra-low interest rates to avoid bankruptcy. With the hundreds of trillions worth of swaps, even a small rise in rates, now, would result in collapse of the 5 largest banks in America, as well as Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays and a few others. So, it isn't going to happen. This need will continue until at least 2016, but more likely 2020, assuming that they are trying to unwind or hedge the swap derivatives with opposing positions now and in 2011. As the swaps are unwound, there will be heavy inflation, and, once completely unwound, unless the Fed raises interest rates into the 30-50% per year area, the Federal Reserve Note version of the US dollar will collapse into worthlessness.

For the next 5-10 years, the only viable savings accounts will be ones denominated in gold, silver or platinum. Since those do not exist, the only answer is to buy those metals. The banking cartel periodically hits them with price attacks, because, if it didn't, the metals would quickly displace the irredeemable "dollar", Euro, pound, etc., which they print and promote.

The time to buy precious metals is after the big price dips created by banking cartel attacks. Meanwhile, stay liquid in the highest paying money market accounts you can find, so that you can easily move the cash into metals when the attacks happen. This website does a good job of identifying the best liquid transactional-type accounts which, in most cases, are outside the cartel banks. Remember, the American cartel contingent includes JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Keep your money in the smaller community or regionally oriented non-cartel banks. Meanwhile, put your long-term savings into precious metals. The appreciation, each year, will be far greater than the interest from even the highest paying CD or investment grade bond available.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #82
bernanke SUCKS
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #83
This ZIRP sucks.  I saved and did everything right and now I need to spend my savings to live on.  The people who saved nothing get all types of freebees.  Free medical, free food, cash assistance and much much more.  They are leading a better life than I am.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #85
The free loaders need to get a job.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #86
I agree with 82,83,85.  When I retired I was getting 5-7% interest on my CDs.  Now I can't get much more than 1%.  I had to go back to work but still need to withdraw on my savings to make ends meet.  It's not right that I am paying taxes to help support "ABLE BODY" people who don't work but collect all type of FREE goverment programs (medical, food stamps, cash, etc).  They pay no taxes either.  Does anyone see this and agree with me?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #88
86:  You are so right and now our generous gov is practically begging people to get on food stamps!  Why should "we" have to go back to work when we worked so hard to have a better life in our senior years?  I think it's all pathetic what our country has come to! 
Inforay   |     |   Comment #92
Expecting a reasonable return on your savings, such as 4% or 5% is not free loading.  Most of us have saved for decades in hopes of living off our interest income in retirement.  Now we are forced to dip into our principal because we cannot even get 1% return on savings.  Remember, the government charges 6.8% interest on student loans and banks charge 13.99% interest on credit cards and about 4% for home loans.  So why cannot savers expect 4% return when they put their money in the Bank in long term CDs?  Because of Bernanke's policies, Banks are flush with money but they do not increase lending to individuals.  Rather, they lend to the Government and make a risk free return and then profit and give their executives big bonuses.  Sweet deal!  I do hope that people will vote in a way that results in the present corrupt politicians being out of office.  The worst of all is the Federal Rserve and Ben Bernanke.  He is only interested in stock market returns.  Any time the stock market starts down-sliding, he puts his foot on the accelerator to rev up the returns, and this is done at the expense of savers.  Savers unite.  We need a petition to get Ben Bernanke thrown out of his cushy position.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #93
Inforay #92  Well stated.  I agree with you 100%.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #96
Inforay:  "We need a Petition"  I can't believe you posted that!  Have you been out of the country since this past April!  Basically Elle's Petition is a "sound off" against what Bernanke and the Feds are doing to us.  If Obama takes the time to read the comments on it by signers, he has to see how angry people are with Bernanke and the Fed.  If "you" decide to start a Petition "just" against Bernanke, let me know where you have it and I will be first in line to sign it! 

BTW, Shorebreak posted a great article about how it seems we savers are being sacrificed on the alter of the Stock Market by Bernanke and the Fed.  You can read it at:


I have been reposting it to Twitter, Facebook, AARP, USN, and every other place we have tried to promote the Savers Petition.  American savers have got to know how they are being misused in order for Bernanke to help the Stock market.  I guess if you have stocks, this is good news but seniors looking to protect what they have, don't usually have the bulk of their savings in stocks, imo.
Inforay   |     |   Comment #98
Federal Reserve New York says that Stock Prices would be 50% lower without the fed action.  See:


This has been done at the expense of us savers, by pushing interest rates to zero.  Completely outrageous.  And yes, I would love to have a petition just to remove Bernanke and his current cohorts on the Federal Reserve.  But our outrage has, thus far, yielded no results.  The Chairman of the Federal Reserve is the most powerful person in the U.S. and his is not even an elected position.  He is in office until 2014 and most likely, whoever is President will keep him on.Sad :(
AnonymousPaoli   |     |   Comment #99
Inforay:  That's the article I posted every place we had the Petition on so others could read it.  They may force Bernanke on us again but we don't have to sit back and take it without some kind of an outcry.  We should flood Washington with letters and post to every group we think gives a toot!  Taking this quietly should not be an option and if we do, we deserve what they are doing to us. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #100
Let's make no mistake about it, the Fed's 0 interest policy is soley for the benefit of their croonies in banking/financial/insurance, who have figured out how to profit emensly from it,  The notion that Ben is doing this for the economy is ludicrous. And the idea that it benifits the borrowers is also ludiicrus - how affordable did low interest rates make housing ? it just pushed up the prices of the houses, so you pay a lower interested rate but paid MORE in interest on the larger amount.  They are running a similar scarm on college education costs - they are "Makeing it more affordable" - affordable evidenlty means over 50k in student loans. They, the bankers, the wall street'rs and the politicians are and have been lying to from top to bottome - everything they've told you and lead you to beleive is a LIE, including the - Inverst in the market and live off of the interest/dividen/bond income when you retire, yea Right....  how about  "We'll create new jobs" while they ship them to COMMUNIST China.  It's been one lie after the other from them. I just wish i could meet one of them face to face, I'd take the jail time just for the pleasure of spitting in their face.