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Protect Against Nightmare Scenario
By Patrick A. Heller
October 08, 2013

Over the years, I have been known for making some forecasts that, on the surface, may have seemed outrageous or extreme. While I cannot claim a perfect record as a prognosticator, my forecasts have been accurate more often than not.

In my Numismaster column four weeks ago, I repeated my warning that I expect the U.S. government to seize private retirement account assets, probably replacing them with U.S. Treasury IOUs, and then keeping the residual assets that may still exist at the time a retiree dies. Among the 401(k) and IRA accounts that would be affected by such seizures would be all precious metals IRA accounts.

Nothing has changed over the past month in terms of such a development getting closer to happening. However, people with more stature than me in the financial world have been saying that they consider the U.S. government’s seizure of private retirement accounts to be a given.

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In an April issue of Forbes, Steve Forbes wrote that he does not expect the U.S. government to keep its hands off private retirement accounts. He repeated this discussion in the Oct. 7 issue, available at, when he analyzes the impact of Poland seizing private retirement accounts in that country. In this latter column, Forbes mentioned that earlier this year there was some effort to begin the legislation in the United States to pave the way for such asset seizures.

In recent interviews, commodity guru Jim Rogers has also predicted that the U.S. government will eventually seize all private retirement account assets.

It’s one thing for a coin dealer to suggest that the U.S. government might take such extreme measures. But, when two respected and well-known financial giants say the same thing and call this an inevitable future development, it is long overdue for investors to make plans to protect the wealth held in their precious metals Individual Retirement Accounts, other IRAs and 401(k) accounts.

It’s also long past time that dealers, who advocate that their customers establish precious metals IRA accounts, should disclose the risk that such assets may be seized by the U.S. government.

Patrick A. Heller was the American Numismatic Association 2012 Harry Forman Numismatic Dealer of the Year Award winner. He owns Liberty Coin Service in Lansing, Mich., and writes “Liberty’s Outlook,” a monthly newsletter on rare coins and precious metals subjects. Past newsletter issues can be viewed at Other commentaries are available at “Coin Week." He also writes a bi-monthly column on collectibles for The Greater Lansing Business Monthly. His radio show “Things You ‘Know’ That Just Aren’t So, And Important News You Need To Know” can be heard at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday and Friday mornings on 1320-AM WILS in Lansing.

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On October 8, 2013 Juno Moneta said
The title is "Protect against...", I didn't see any information on how I would do that. Aren't we highly restricted in our personal manipulation of these accounts? Thanks for the information, but what's the next move?
On October 8, 2013 Don Ruppel said
I agree, where is the information on protecting my money that the headline inticated ??  If we take our money out of our IRA's not according to the rules, we'll be taxed and penalized for doing that
On October 8, 2013 M Smith said
GOTS, for more timely info try, the info there is vital for those who are trying to understand what the hell going on with IRA's, 401k's & all savings! Just trying tro help, that all!

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