On Friday, June 10th, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 1.0% in May after rising 0.3% in April. Worse, over the past 12 months, the Consumer Price Index increased 8.6%.
According to BLS, “the increase was broad-based, with the indexes for shelter, gasoline, and food being the largest contributors. After declining in April, the energy index rose 3.9% over the month, with the gasoline index rising 4.1% and the other major component indexes also increasing. The food index rose 1.2% in May as the food at home index increased 1.4%.”
On a 12-month basis:
Inflation in the United States has averaged around 3.3% from 1914 until 2022, but it reached an all-time high of 23.70% in June 1920 and a record low of -15.80% in June 1921.
Most will remember the high inflation rates of the 70s and early 80s when inflation hovered around 6% and occasionally reached double-digits. But so far, in 2021 and 2022, inflation seems to have gone up every month – which you no doubt already know – because you’re feeling it.
Inflation decreases the purchasing power of your money in the future. Unfortunately, many don’t factor inflation into their retirement plans.
Consider this: at 3% inflation, $100 today will be worth $67.30 in 20 years – a loss of 1/3 its value.
That same $100 will only buy you $67.30 worth of goods and services in 20 years. And in 35 years? Well, your $100 will be reduced to just $34.44.
Therefore, your long-term retirement strategies must account for inflation and prepare for a decrease in the purchasing power of your dollar over time. It might be best to assume that inflation will be more than 3% – its historical average.
It’s true that inflation today hovers over 8% – quadruple the Federal Reserve’s target inflation rate – but a better assumption might be based on the last 100-years of data.
If you’re wrong and you find that the inflation rate for the next 25 years turns out to be 2%, then the purchasing power of your retirement savings will be more, not less.
As your advisor, I can create models with various inflation scenarios so you can better understand – and account for – inflation’s true impact on your retirement.