While prospective homeowners may have applauded the Federal Reserve's decision to lower interest rates, others are lamenting the loss of savings or retirement income.

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WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — While prospective homeowners may have applauded the Federal Reserve’s decision to lower interest rates, others are lamenting the loss of savings or retirement income.

A certificate of deposit, or CD, is a fixed-rate, fixed-term, low-risk investment that until recently yielded around 5 percent or higher annually. But a random survey of banks and lenders shows that rates have dropped mostly to less than 4 percent.

That may not be enough to shelter investors from inflation and a projected recession.

Eric Soiland, a certified investment-management consultant with Wachovia Securities in Walnut Creek, Calif., said that other investments such as bonds, treasuries, bank-preferred stocks and mutual funds can have a higher risk but also a higher rate of return.

“Unless a couple is in their 80s, own their home and only need to maintain savings, I wouldn’t suggest only investing in CDs,” he said. “You’re lucky to get 4 percent right now and it’s probably going to go lower.”