What Should a 90 Year-old Invest In?

What Should a 90 Year-old Invest In?

Let's face it. Those people lucky enough to reach the age of 90 and have a need for investing guidance are the lucky ones among us. In fact, they face a win-win situation in that they have little need for long-term returns AND can enjoy their retirement lifestyle to the max.

But what about those nonagenarians who want to get the most bang for their buck in terms of interest, potential yield, capital growth, a hedge against inflation, and financially sound investing? Fortunately, there are several excellent choices for older folks who desire all those things.

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📋 Finding the Best of the Best

Our team combed through the dozens of options available to 90-year-old investors, evaluating each one based on multiple criteria. People in this age category have a unique set of needs, as noted above. That's why three investments stood out, with precious metals taking the top spot. Bank CDs and dividend stocks, particularly the "aristocrats," rounded out the top three investments for 90-year-olds.

📋 Rankings With Pros & Cons

Consider the following breakdown for the top three, in which we give a bit more data about the number one choice, precious metals, but delineate the basic facts, pros, cons, and conclusions for each item on the list.

What Should a 90 Year-old Invest In?

Top 3 Investments for People Age 90 and Over

#1. Precious Metals

The four precious metals represent a unique opportunity for older investors who want to protect their capital, have access to excellent returns in a short period of time, have a powerful hedge against inflation, and diversify their entire portfolios with hard assets that are not susceptible to the ups and downs of the stock market.

For so many who choose gold, silver, platinum, palladium, or a combination of the four, PMs are a true safe haven investment when the economy is not performing well. This is a relevant point in the 2020s as equities markets are on edge, and even the most reliable corporations are showing signs of financial weakness. Many older citizens who choose this tangible asset are attracted to it for its historical reputation as a reliable store of value.

Why do people over ninety seek out gold, silver, and other PMs to protect their wealth? Here's a representative listing of reasons, along with a couple of possible downsides of precious metals:

Pros

  • PMs never decline to zero value and can't declare bankruptcy like corporations can.
  • It's easy to purchase metals from reputable dealers online or in person. Bullion and coins are officially stamped with verified purity numbers.
  • The upside potential for price increases for all the PMs is unlimited. Gold and silver have the ability to rise significantly in the event of economic and political turmoil anywhere in the world.
  • There's no better hedge against inflation, as precious metals tend to rise in value as inflation surges upward.
  • Investors can store metals in their homes (not advised), in a bank's safe-deposit box, or in a certified depository (the best option).
  • There are many ways to own PMs, including ingots, rounds, rare coins, bullion bars, sovereign-issue coins, and in jewelry form.

Cons

  • Like any asset, there's no guarantee that any of the precious metals will rise in value over a given time interval.

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What Should a 90 Year-old Invest In?

#2. Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

CDs are issued by banks and have a long history of being a go-to parking place for older people who want the security of knowing the exact interest rate, time period, and size of their investment. For example, people in all age categories use CDs to earn a fixed amount of interest for various time intervals, usually six months, a year, or longer, on a specific amount of money. Of course, there's a trade-off in terms of certainty vs. ROI (return on investment). The general pros and cons of CDs for adults who are ninety years of age and older include the following:

Pros

  • CDs have one thing going for them: certainty. You will not wonder how much money is in the account, what rate you're earning, or when it pays out. All terms are strictly fixed from day one.
  • CDs are easy to open. Transfer money from a checking or savings account, or deposit cash, sign a form, and that's that.

Cons

  • Returns are very low, usually only slightly better than what bank savings accounts pay.
  • If you want to take the money out early, you're stuck with a penalty and perhaps little or no interest at all.
  • No matter what the market does, there is zero chance you'll earn more than the stated interest rate on a CD. All values are set the minute the account is opened: deposit amount, interest rate, and maturity.
What Should a 90 Year-old Invest In?

#3. Stocks That Pay Dividends

For decades, people past middle age have turned to dividend-paying shares for cash flow and regular income on their retirement capital. Among these stocks, the so-called aristocrats have a long, stable history of paying regular dividends, making them the preferred choice among those who want to park at least some of the money in the stock market.

The major downside of dividend shares is that, no matter what their history, the corporations could decide to stop the payouts at any time and for any reason. Plus, when share prices decline, as they often do, the dividends also go down because they are based on a percentage of the share price. A quick look at the good and bad points of these instruments offers a clear picture.

Pros

  • Stable companies with long histories.
  • Regular dividend payouts based on stock price.

Cons

  • No guarantee of continued dividends.
  • Dividends can dry up when share prices tank.
  • The current state of the securities markets is highly volatile.

Final Thoughts: Recent Events Make PMs Look Even Better

On the whole, precious metals outshine other possible investment vehicles for people who are well past retirement age, especially those in their nineties. But nothing happens in isolation, even decisions about money. Recent events in the financial world have made gold, silver, platinum, and palladium even more attractive to people of all ages.

For example, recent disruptions in the cryptocurrency sector have given many people a reason to wait until the crisis passes before considering crypto as a possible short-term play. Likewise, the U.S. government's attempts to install a digital dollar are wreaking havoc on bond and currency markets. And the volatile stock market doesn't seem to be on the road to recovery, which makes any equity shares something of a gamble in 2022/23.

Finally, the real estate market is in turmoil, removing one of the only remaining areas in which older investors felt confident. Given all those facts, along with the low returns on CDs and uncertainty of the securities markets, precious metals stand apart from all other asset classes for 90-year-olds and many other groups of investors.