How Much Gold and Silver Do You Need For Retirement?

You want to retire soon but you don’t trust debt based fiat currency paper assets. Besides, the stock market looks toppy and bonds have about run their 30+ year bull market to its inevitable and ugly end – as indicated by negative interest rates, QE, helicopter money, ZIRP, central bank insanity and more.

How much stacked gold and silver do you need to retire? It clearly depends upon your individual situation – your age, expenses, other income, medical expenses, and more.

Assume that average annual US wages indicates a rough estimate of your annual retirement expenses. Below are graphs of average annual wages expressed in ounces of gold and silver based on their average annual selling price.

Note that the US average wage, measured in both gold and silver, as I have drawn the dashed line, has been declining for the last three decades. Given that gold and silver have recently emerged from four year corrections we expect their prices to rise more rapidly than wages, so the ongoing decline should continue.



  1. Use average wages (approximately $40,000 per year) as a starting point. Adjust for your situation, taxes, life style, age etc.
  2. Hope you have other income, such as Social Security, a pension, or 401(k), that will pay 25% or 50% of your needs.
  3. Assume about 2,000 ounces of silver or 30 ounces of gold are equivalent to US annual average wages.
  4. Assume the needed ounces for retirement expenses decrease by (at least) one % per year for both gold and silver as gold and silver prices accelerate higher.
  5. If markets crash and central banks can’t prevent a deflationary collapse, gold and silver will probably protect your purchasing power as their prices will fall proportionally less than other prices and assets.
  6. If central banks create hyperinflation, gold and silver will probably rise far more rapidly than prices for what you need.
  7. If “stagflation” dominates, then gold and silver should more than cover the increase in expenses for your needs.
  8. If the powers-that-be create a nuclear war, or manage a total financial collapse, we will have other more pressing concerns than ounces of gold or silver.

Conclusions: (Showing 100%, 75%, and 50% of retirement expenses expressed in gold and silver)


# of Years                         Ounces of Silver                    Ounces of Gold

Retirement                     100%   75%   50%                    100%   75%   50%

Income needed              (rounded to 100)                         (rounded to ten)

        10                   19,100    14,300     9,500               290      210      140

        15                   28,000    21,000    14,000              420       310     210

        20                   36,400    27,300    18,200              550       410     270

        25                   44,400    33,300    22,100              670       500     330

Examples: (Based on several assumptions that should be modified to fit your unique circumstances)

  1. You are retiring now at 65 and expect to live another 20 years. You need at retirement about $40,000 for annual expenses but can cover half of that from other sources. You will need approximately 18,200 ounces of silver or 270 ounces of gold for your retirement if you gradually sell to supplement other income each year.
  2. You are retiring at 70 and expect to live 10 years. You have very little other income and need about $30,000 per year at retirement – 75% of the annual average. You will need approximately 14,300 ounces of silver or 210 ounces of gold for your retirement if you gradually sell to supplement other income each year.
  3. You are retiring at 65 and expect to live 25 more years. You need about $150,000 per year for expenses and expect to receive only about $50,000 from other sources. You will need about 2.5 times the annual average, or about 111,000 ounces of silver or 1,670 ounces of gold to meet your retirement needs.
  4. You are 55 years old and expect to retire at 65. You have ten years to accumulate enough gold and silver. In that time your pension, 401(k), and Social Security could be substantially devalued and your gold and silver could be absolutely necessary. (Social Security is not in sound financial condition and private and public pensions are under increasing pressure, thanks to the Fed’s ZIRP.)
  5. You are 20 years old and can’t even imagine retirement. Good, but stack silver and gold regardless.
  6. You plan to retire in a Manhattan condo that requires $200,000 per year in condominium fees, plus you expect to spend another $500,000 per year. You need a very large amount of gold and silver and you are probably not reading this article.
  7. You expect to retire in a small town in the mid-west of the US, have few needs and simple tastes, a comprehensive medical plan, and a substantial pension. The mathematics indicates you have no need for gold and silver to supplement your retirement, but you have little faith in governments, central bankers, politicians, stocks, bonds, and election year promises. Hence you will sleep better knowing you have gold and silver safely stored outside the banking system in a private and secure vault.

We don’t know what the next twenty years will bring, but based on the last 3,000 years we can reasonably expect massively more debt, more central banker control over economies, unfulfilled promises from politicians, devalued fiat currencies, monetary crises, wars, diminishing middle class, and that gold and silver will remain money and continue as a store of value.

I.Q. Test:


You have $10,000 to invest today and expect to need it in ten years. Do you?

  1. Purchase a 10 year US Treasury bond yielding less than 2%;
  2. Purchase a German bund that guarantees a negative yield;
  3. Put $10,000 in cash in a safe deposit box in a bank;
  4. Put $10,000 into an ETF even though stocks are substantially overvalued and due for a cyclic correction or crash;
  5. Purchase $6,000 of silver bars and $3,500 of gold bars and store them in a private facility. Use the remaining $500 for storage fees over the next decade and to purchase a good bottle of Champagne to celebrate your intelligence and good choices.

The correct answer is 5, but you knew that.


Stack Silver, Stack Gold, and AVOID paper, politicians, and PhD economists.


Gary Christenson

The Deviant Investor

My books on gold and silver are available at Amazon and

8 thoughts on “How Much Gold and Silver Do You Need For Retirement?

  1. F&A right gentleman. My wife and I are in a spot today. She has been a nurse for a long time. She is having to retire at 56. What to do about the retirement nest egg and lost!
    How do you trust those dispositorys to keep you safe and give you access with you know who in the white house. It is hitting the fan this moment. How do you liquidate and purchase that amount without getting ripped off?
    The gold telemarketers seem so helpful , so does you know who, right?
    Where and how do you move fast to put at least 50% in the foot locker?

  2. In my opinion having worked on Wall Street these charts really have any bias.You cannot use the Silver Price Rise during the 1970s when the Hunt Brothers cornered the market as that was Pure Manipulation. You can use the previous but the chart that anyone can look at is our DEBT. Many People in this Country including Harvard, Yale, Princeton and ANY Ivy League Economist cannot simply understand that history can and will repeat itself. As yields go higher and the dollar strengthens Gold and Silver dropped and there could be a lid on it for a while. If you look at a simple chart of our Nations Debt along with Geopolitical and Political Instability that is increasing could solidify a hedge for a bid in Gold and Silver. We have abused the dollar and the Chinese have been studying this along with the Russians who have learned these lessons before. The Dollar has been our ULTIMATE Weapon. Why do you think the Chinese created the AIIB? The Shanghai Accord and Currency Pacts WORLDWIDE. 14 Years ago approx 70% all of goods settled in US Dollars and now we are at approx 60% which you can get from the BIS. If it accelerates and the scale goes below 50% along with rising debt we will need to worry. Try to explain this to any Politician and they will have no clue of what you are talking about or the ramifications of what could happen. The Baby Boomer generation which has become the wealthiest and most complacent As a Nation we are now eating OUR own children. From The US to China has been the Greatest Transfer of Wealth in History from Intellectual Property to Cyber and Economic Warfare and we put Our Nations Security at risk ALL for what?? I will tell you. To Create Shareholder Value!! PERIOD!!!! From the Politician Payoffs, Citizens United, Our Intelligence Agencies becoming Politicized and being able to Buy Titles and Ambassadorships it has been a Grotesque Failure of us as a Nation from Top to Bottom. Rich and Poor. Democrats and Republicans it has become a sickening road and it is time to clean up our own backyard. Not having FBI Directors tweeting wars with Apple in Public forums. This would have been unimaginable even 10 years ago. So yes if you do not own stocks or Bonds you still need to diversify in my opinion and PMs should play a role. Now that the RMB is part of the IMF we may see massive changes in years to come and the US Dollar play a less role on the world stage then Gold & Silver can run. The US, EU & Japan should have NEVER allowed the RMB into the IMF unless there was Intellectual Property laws in place and Monies Set aside to allocate and pay any company the Chinese has stolen from which is pretty much worldwide. Now they are Innovating. Afterall they have had the Best of ALL Worlds from American Technology, to German Engineering and the Entire EU and Japan from Aerospace, Defense, Software, Semiconductors, Robotics Biogenetics to Your Underwear. The Chinese HAVE IT! At least they are cracking down on Corruption. Something The US Should be doing. Ive been hearing the Chinese Economy is going to implode for over 10 years already and yet they have a GDP Growth Rate that we can only wish for with a much greater population. On another note Mr.Rex is Correct when buying Gold or Silver I would stay away from Generic and stick with Government backed Coinage. The Chinese are pumping fake Gold and Silver into the US. You would think we should be doing that to them with our Intelligence Agencies. Last week Fortinet Symbol FTNT a Cyber Security Company missed on their earnings and Revenues and even lowered their guidance. This goes to show how much our US Government and American Corporations are doing about Cybersecurity because its a cost to public traded companies that goes to their bottom line and they have to try each quarter to meet or beat their earnings estimates to appease the “Shareholder” and make sure the stock price stays the same or goes higher. Then we have the Fed who will be raising rates while we go straight into an earnings recession. Its Time to Clean Up Our Own Backyard. I would not want to See Gold go to 10,000 Dollars an Ounce. That would mean a Gloomy America and we can prosper. I encourage every American to listen to Eisenhowers Outgoing Speech as President. He was the only President over 100 Years that was also One of Americas Greatest Generals and One of Americas Greatest Presidents of the 20th Century. Presidents, Politicians and ALL Americans should all Listen to it. Learn and that we do not forget our Moral Compass as a Nation which has hit an all time low. There are crazies running the Country including Politicians on BOTH sides and yet there is nobody in Charge.

  3. I think you will need much less silver for retirement. How can the dollar even still be around? Who would want it?

    All fiat currencies fail.

    I think the best thing to do is just buy as much AG and AU as you can and just put it away. Sure they will come up with a new currency eventually but Ag and AU will most likely be revalued by far.

    I see no better way to save for retirement than precious metals. I don’t care what anyone says about the stock market.

  4. I would stack Pt alongside Au. It is an industrial metal(catalysts) as well as a precious metal. Its also relatively cheaper than Au right now.

  5. First, IMHO it is extremely difficult to determine “annual expenses” when a fiat currency is the metric/measure, (plus the fact that we are already well into the late stage of fiat lifespan, as history shows that such lasts approx 40-50 yrs) and one can never really predict when the other shoe will drop, such as China and other Countries abandoning the petro fiat FRN for trade, as well as US Treasury Securities.

    Also, personally I would strongly suggest foregoing the perceived ‘discount’ of purchasing gold & silver ‘bars’, and instead focus on well known/ valued gold and silver Coins from U.S. Mint or RC Mint as these are much more recognized and preferred over generics, and since there already is fraud and counterfeiting going on, I am certain that when the defecation hits the oscillation, such counterfeiting/fraud will go ballistic and many will not trust generics, thus it will be an enormous benefit to have the original shipping invoice/ receipts from either the Mint, or from reputable well known precious metal coin dealers.


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