Recently, a new Chipotle Mexican restaurant opened in Concord, and my son, David, could eat there every day and still not get enough. It’s unreal. After he went through the line last week he handed the cashier a hundred-dollar bill. She looked a little worried and called the manager over to inspect the money. They could not get their gadget to work that verifies the authenticity. The manager joked and asked if the hundred-dollar bill was real, and informed David that they could not accept it.

That wasn’t a comforting feeling. Can you imagine taking a hundred-dollar bill to the next restaurant or gas station and being informed that they could not take it and this process kept repeating? What if nobody accepted the dollars in your bank account? After all, the only value our paper currency has is the faith we put in it.

Former Congressman Ron Paul has been warning that there is a “dollar bubble.” He recently said, “It’s not so much that the dollar is a great currency. It’s the fact that nothing else is any better. The fundamentals are a disaster. The economy is in bad shape when you have more than half the people hardly making ends meet.”

In fact, CNBC just reported that one in four renters use over half of their income to pay for rent and utilities, according to analysis of Census data by Enterprise Community Partners. Rental prices have skyrocketed since the housing crisis in 2008, and little has changed since then. The problem is that wages have not kept up with rising prices, thus creating a greater divide between the have and the have nots. The middle class is dissipating.

According to another CBNC report, “52 percent of people are currently not investing in the stock market—either by buying individual stocks or mutual funds, or through a retirement account such as a 401(k) or IRA, according to a new survey. Among the non-investors surveyed, 53 percent said they don't have the money to invest and 21 percent said they don’t trust stock brokers or financial advisors.” This brings up several issues.

First, the sting of the last stock market crash in 2008 rings strong for many investors and they seemingly had no desire to participate in the six-year stock market bull run. Most economists agree that the stock market is due for a sharp collapse any day. The stock market has never seen seven consecutive bull years.

Second, when such large numbers of workers are not using government incentivized retirement strategies, it draws the eye of greedy Uncle Sam. In the 2014 State of the Union address, Obama introduced the “MyRA” which is the beginning of the retirement plan government takeover. Remember, universal healthcare took years to orchestrate, so young workers who are investing in 401k and IRA programs are most at risk for their retirement savings to be tampered with.

The final conclusion is that Americans do not have the extra money to fund retirement accounts. Remember, there are over 50,000,000 Americans using some sort of government food assistance program.

There are too many “what ifs” happening right now to leave your retirement aspirations and well-being to the stock market or stock broker or lose it to inflation in the banks. And since the banks have become so bloated with quantitative easing money, when another bank bailout is needed it won’t happen. There will be a bank bail-in and your money in the bank will be used to keep the bank solvent. Think you’ll just withdraw your money when it happens? Think again. The banks will be closed for weeks or months while this happens. I hope you have some money somewhere to use in the meantime. I hope you are preparing. We invite you to attend our free dinner seminar next Tuesday to learn ways you can begin preparing.