USAA, which serves the military community, featured a series of financial articles on retirement planning in their most recent spring magazine. The outlook for investors in traditional stocks and bonds is not good.<br><br>Current rates on 10-year Treasury bonds: Less than 2%<br>Dividend yields on stocks: Less than 2%<br>Your bank account? Ditto<br><br>R. Matthew Freund, senior vice president of investment portfolio management with USAA says: "We think stocks will return less than they have historically. Typically, most stocks have shown a 3 to 5 percent real return."<br><br>Based on historical data, a balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds returned a real [after inflation] 4.7 percent return from 1972 to 2011. Freund expects this to be around 3 to 4 percent NOMINAL return (before inflation) moving forward. The future growth of your portfolio is up to the markets, not you, when you invest in traditional equities like stocks and bonds.<br><br>If you are falling short of a savings or retirement goal, there are other options. This is a major reason why my business partner Bob Malecki and I have established a private equity fund invested in residential real estate.