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Mike Riedmiller

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November/December 2021

Inflation: Retirement's Nemesis

Inflation Retirements Nemesis

Thinking about retirement can bring with it some mixed emotions. You may be looking forward to leisure time but still have some concerns about whether you’ll have enough money to live the life you want without a steady paycheck. Creating a realistic spending plan is essential, as is planning for economic changes.

Inflation is Inevitable
Inflation — an increase in the prices of goods and services — makes it more expensive to buy food, drive a car, and heat and cool your home. Over time, even low inflation can erode your retirement savings. So, as you create your retirement spending plan, account for rising prices in your budget.

Location Makes a Difference
Housing, food, and even gas prices may vary depending on where you live in retirement. Rising prices can affect rents, association fees, and property taxes. While you can’t control inflation, you can be realistic about living costs before you decide whether to move or stay put.

Don’t Forget Health Care Costs
Health care could be one of your biggest expenses in retirement. Even if you’re relatively healthy now, your medical expenses are likely to increase as you age. If you’re eligible, consider saving money in a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) to pay future health care costs.

Inflation: What Can You Do?
Adding investments to your portfolio that are less affected by inflation is a good place to start. Here are just two of several types of investments to consider.

  • Stocks have historically earned returns that outpace inflation. But stocks from some economic sectors, such as energy and consumer staples (household goods, food, hygiene products, etc.), perform better than others during periods of rising prices.

  • Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) are indexed to inflation. As inflation rises, the principal increases (or decreases with deflation). Interest payments based on the principal are made twice a year. Investors receive either the adjusted principal or the original principal at maturity.

Consult your financial professional to discuss investment selections for your portfolio that offer inflation protection.


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