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Should seniors add gold to their retirement accounts this May?

Gold on weight scale
Gold could be a smart addition to your retirement portfolio, but it won't be right for every senior investor. Gunay Mutlu/Getty Images

As more investors seek out ways to protect their portfolios against persistent inflation, precious metal investing has been in high demand, sending gold prices on an accelerated upward trajectory recently. For example, gold's spot price hovered near $1,800 an ounce in early 2023, but the price of gold had grown to about $2,100 per ounce by March 2024. And, it has continued that upward climb in the time since, with the price of gold now hovering near $2,360 an ounce.

This sustained price surge, coupled with today's economic challenges, has helped to attract a new wave of investors to gold. After all, gold has traditionally been viewed as an effective inflation hedge since its prices tend to rise when the cost of living increases. And, with inflation still stubbornly high despite the Federal Reserve's efforts to temper it, more investors are now turning to gold as a store of value.

However, while gold investing does offer unique benefits, it isn't right for every type of investor. And seniors, in particular, need to be more conservative about the investments they make before or during retirement in order to protect their hard-earned nest eggs. So does it make sense for seniors to add gold to their retirement portfolios this May? Let's find out.

Discover the benefits of adding gold to your retirement portfolio here.

Should seniors add gold to their retirement accounts this May?

As seniors approach or enter retirement, managing their investment portfolios becomes increasingly crucial. In turn, there are a few important things for seniors to weigh when it comes to investing in gold this May.

The first is today's inflationary environment. The current inflation rate is 3.5%, which is well above the Federal Reserve's target of 2%, so seniors on fixed incomes may find their purchasing power diminished. But gold has traditionally helped protect investors' portfolios against inflation, and can be especially useful in preserving the value of retirement savings over the long run. So, adding an appropriate allocation to gold could help protect seniors' nest eggs from the corrosive effects of persistent inflation.

During periods of economic uncertainty, such as what we're experiencing in the current environment, gold has historically maintained its value better than paper assets. This crisis insurance can provide peace of mind for retirees who are fully reliant on their investment portfolios for income. And, gold generally has low correlation with other asset classes like stocks and bonds, which can help reduce overall portfolio risk through diversification benefits. 

But while gold can be an effective diversifier and inflation hedge, it typically does not generate income in the way that stocks, bonds or real estate can. It primarily tracks inflation over long periods. So, seniors seeking to enhance their retirement income may want to consider other income-generating investments alongside gold.

And while gold prices have historically grown over time, the price of gold can also experience significant short-term swings, exposing investors to volatility risk. This could be a concern for seniors with shorter investment horizons. There are also costs associated with buying, storing and insuring physical gold, which should be factored into the decision-making process.

Learn more about how gold could be a good addition to your asset mix now.

Why seniors should add gold to their retirement accounts now

While the invest-in-gold debate has merits on both sides, there are a few reasons seniors may want to consider adding gold to their portfolios this May:

Inflation protection

With inflation still running hot, every dollar of seniors' nest eggs matters. Adding a 5% to 10% allocation to gold to their portfolios could allow seniors to better maintain their purchasing power over time versus just holding paper assets. The inflation hedge rationale becomes even stronger if you expect price pressures to persist.

Asset diversification

Senior investors are generally advised to take less risk as they get older in order to protect their retirement savings. Adding a small gold allocation to a stock/bond portfolio could improve overall risk-adjusted returns without dramatically increasing volatility. After all, an asset mix with low correlations across its holdings can produce higher risk-adjusted performance over full market cycles.

Wealth preservation

Gold's status as "real money" makes it an ideal asset for preserving wealth across generations. Unlike paper currencies, which can lose value over time, gold has maintained its purchasing power for centuries. And, for seniors looking to leave an inheritance, gold could be an attractive way to pass on a portion of their retirement savings in a hard asset that can't be inflated away.


Gold is one of the most liquid asset classes, enabling investors to buy and sell quickly at transparent prices. This liquidity provides flexibility for seniors who may need to access funds in a pinch for healthcare or other purposes. 

The bottom line

While gold may not be an essential holding for all senior investors, it can potentially play a useful role for those seeking inflation protection, crisis insurance and improved portfolio diversification. With gold near historic highs and economic risks elevated, this could be an opportune time for seniors to initiate a small allocation to precious metals within their retirement accounts.

Of course, investors of any age need to carefully evaluate their financial situation, risk tolerance and time horizon before buying gold. But for retirees concerned about maintaining their lifestyle through turbulent times, gold may certainly be worth a look this May.

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