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When seniors should invest in 1-ounce gold bars (and when they shouldn't)

Computer graphics of two gold bars stacked over layer of hundred dollar US bills. Fine gold bar ingots and money.
Seniors have lots of good reasons to invest in gold bars, but not all seniors should take this route. Getty Images

Gold's long-standing reputation as a store of value may be attractive to many seniors looking to protect their retirement savings. Given gold's recent price trajectory, its appeal may be even stronger in today's market. Record gold prices in April and May surpassed the $2,400 per ounce mark and some experts anticipate the gold price hitting $2,500 before year's end.

Fortunately, there are many ways to invest in gold, and one of the most popular options is 1-ounce gold bars. These bars are attractive because they offer a convenient size for easy storage and handling and they can hedge against inflation, which is especially important for seniors on a fixed income. 1-ounce gold bars also may provide greater liquidity than other gold options.

Still, gold investing isn't for everyone. For example, gold doesn't provide income or dividends, which retirees often seek to supplement their retirement income. However, 1-ounce gold bars are a popular option that could benefit many seniors.

Find out what your top gold investing options are now.

Why 1-ounce gold bars may be a good option for seniors

Many seniors are seeking a better place to store their money than traditional savings accounts, which don't keep pace with inflation. According to May's Consumer Price Index report, inflation stands at 3.3% over the same period a year ago, still higher than the Federal Reserve's stated goal of a 2% inflation rate. 

As such, buying gold bars could help you preserve your money since gold often has an inverse relationship with the dollar. When the dollar loses buying power, the value of gold tends to rise.

Even so, experts like Werner commonly advise against investing more than 10% of your portfolio in gold. 

"A gold investment is always a good idea for seniors as long their gold investment has liquidity, and the senior doesn't over-invest in gold by following the 1% to 10% total portfolio allocation rule," says Werner.

Learn more about how the right gold investment could benefit your portfolio.

Why 1-ounce gold bars may not make sense for seniors

Gold tends to perform well as a hedge against inflation over a longer time horizon. However, short-term investors could get burned as gold can experience volatile fluctuations on a shorter timeline. 

Also, gold and silver don't produce income or dividends. So, if you're looking for more income, equities and other investment options may be a better option.

Alex Ebkarian, COO and co-founder at Allegiance Gold, notes that gold investing isn't for all seniors

"It depends on their time frame for ROI, risk tolerance and understanding of the costs and fees associated with buying physical gold," Ebkarian says. 

And, seniors should understand the fees involved in purchasing and storing gold before investing in the precious metal. 

"Storing physical gold and silver safely can incur additional costs and logistical considerations, such as insurance and secure storage," Ebkarian says.

Why are 1-ounce gold bars popular among seniors?

There are several ways to invest in gold, including bars of various sizes, gold IRAs and gold ETFs. So, what makes 1-ounce gold bars an attractive option for seniors? 

"The main reason 1-ounce coins or bars are popular is because this is one of the smallest gold positions someone can take in physical gold," says C3 Bullion CEO Chris Werner. "Depending upon portfolio value, they can be purchased in greater numbers to bring the gold allocation of the portfolio to a 1% to 10% of total portfolio value."

Another key advantage of 1-ounce gold bars is their high purity and cost-effectiveness. 

"They are known for their high purity level [and] don't carry as heavy a premium as gold coins. And, they are very easy to resource and purchase, as well as liquidate if necessary," Ebkarian says. 

The bottom line

Investing in 1-ounce gold bars can help you hedge against economic instability and inflation, which could be advantageous in today's financial environment. Adding a small slice of gold to your portfolio may also provide diversity and stability to your holdings. Of course, investing is a personal decision based on your unique financial situation. 

"The question of investing in gold versus other asset classes comes down to a person's investment objectives, time horizon and other portfolio holdings," says Robert R. Johnson, a professor of finance at Creighton University and CEO at Economic Index Associates. "In general, gold is more appropriate for a person seeking to protect wealth rather than build wealth over a long time horizon."

If you decide to invest in gold, it's essential to choose a reputable dealer that offers authenticity guarantees.

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