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Hi fools. Looking for some advise. As I near retirement, I'm becoming interested in protecting part of a sizable IRA. The wife is insistant that she wants zero risk of loss of principal. She wouldn't listen to T-bill funds. So the question is: Can I somehow purchase T-bills at auction with IRA funds in such a way as to not run afoul of the IRA regulations? Lacking that, does anyone have any suggestions on how I might satisfy the lovely lady? TIA.
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The wife is insistant that she wants zero risk of loss of principal. She wouldn't listen to T-bill funds.

It is hopeless. Even if you keep the money as dollar bills in a safe deposit box, a sufficiently organized bunch of criminals could get it out. Perhaps a tornado could. Or nuclear attack. I suppose, however, that is the nearest thing to zero risk of loss of principal, though.

But, unless she thinks inflation is at an end (along with Roger Bootle, author of The Death of Inflation, there is the risk of loss of purchasing power even though the dollar amount does not go down. With a 3% inflation rate, the purchasing power of that money is cut in half every 24 years. That is a risk, too. At least with treasury bonds (e.g., long bonds), you roughly keep up with inflation. Even that has an opportunity cost.

While I would not presume to change her mind, you might. Have her read The Motley Fool Investment Guide and some of the essays on the main Motley Fool website and Fool's School. Education is the answer.
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Greetings, JoDaddy, and welcome. You asked:

Hi fools. Looking for some advise. As I near retirement, I'm becoming interested in protecting part of a sizable IRA. The wife is insistant that she wants zero risk of loss of principal. She wouldn't listen to T-bill funds. So the question is: Can I somehow purchase T-bills at auction with IRA funds in such a way as to not run afoul of the IRA regulations? Lacking that, does anyone have any suggestions on how I might satisfy the lovely lady?

If she doesn't want funds, then the only other way is to buy them within an IRA you establish with a broker. You will have to pay the broker a fee for making the purchase, but I know of no other way to buy the instruments themselves within an IRA.

And BTW.... JeanDavid's comments about safety, inflation, and education are right on the money IMHO, particularly the latter. If you can convince your better half through education that some risk is far better than no risk at all, perhaps she might come around.

Regards…..Pixy
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<<Hi fools. Looking for some advise. As I near retirement, I'm becoming interested in protecting part of a sizable IRA. The wife is insistant that she wants zero risk of loss of principal. She wouldn't listen to T-bill funds. So the question is: Can I somehow purchase T-bills at auction with IRA funds in such a way as to not run afoul of the IRA regulations? Lacking that, does anyone have any suggestions on how I might satisfy the lovely lady? TIA>>

No such thing as "zero risk loss of principal". Not when you consider inflation. Read O'Shaughnessey's latest book "How to Retire Rich", for some excellent information.

Try this link: http://www.superstats.com look for actuarial tables. (Sorry, I don't have the full URL.)
At age 65, the unisex life expectancy (50/50 chance of survival) is another 20 years. Look back 20 years in the past and see how prices have increased. A new car that cost $5000 in 1978 costs you $20,000 now. Project that into the future. And consider that with the huge advances in modern medicine, that there is a very good chance that you both will blow out the candles on your 95'th birthday cake.

People that retired in 1978 with a [very generous] $20,000 annual T-Bill income still get the same $20,000. But today that is nearly poverty level. Dunno about you, but I'd hate to see my wife have to become a waitress at age 85, in order to eat. (Alpo at $25 a can in 2025??!!)

Regards,
Ray
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<< The wife is insistant that she wants zero risk of loss of principal>>

Sorry, Fixed income investments have more risk than a mixture of fixed income and stock overtime. Your T-Bill investments will leave you without enough money when you are to old to go back to work. You have to get your wife to do some reading or go to some investment classes. Fixed income only is a mistake. It could be a very big mistake. Might pay to find a fee only financial planner. One who does not sell investments.
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