Why is it important to factor inflation into retirement planning?
Provided By: Duane J. Silbernagel, CFP®
Inflation is one of the key factors you will need to consider when planning for retirement. Not only will the cost of living rise while you’re accumulating assets for retirement, but it will continue to rise during your retirement, which could last 25 years or longer. This, combined with the fact that you will not likely earn a paycheck during retirement, is the main reason your portfolio needs to maintain at least some growth potential for the duration of your retirement.
Consider this: If inflation runs at 3% (which is approximately its long-term average, as measured by the Consumer Price Index), the purchasing power of a given sum of money would be cut in half in 23 years. If it averages 4%, your purchasing power would be cut in half in 18 years.
A simple example illustrates the impact of inflation on retirement income. Assuming a consistent annual inflation rate of 3%, if $50,000 satisfies your retirement income needs this year, you’ll need $51,500 of income next year to meet the same income needs. In 10 years, you’ll need about $67,195 to equal the purchasing power of $50,000 this year. And in 25 years, you’d need nearly $105,000 just to maintain that purchasing power!1
Keep in mind that even a 3% long-term average inflation rate conceals periods of skyrocketing prices, such as in the late 1970s and early 80s, when inflation reached double digits. Although consumer prices have been relatively stable in more recent decades, there’s always the chance that unexpected shocks could cause prices to spike again.
So how do you strive for the returns you’ll need to outpace inflation by a wide enough margin both before and during retirement? The key is to consider investing at least some of your portfolio in growth-oriented investments, such as stocks.2
1 This hypothetical example of mathematical principles is used for illustrative purposes only and does not represent the performance of any specific investment. Note that these figures exclude the effects of taxes, fees, expenses, and investment returns in general.
2 All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, and there is no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful.
Is a nursing home the only option for long-term care?
If you or a loved one needs long-term care, other choices besides nursing home care may be available. Here are some of the other options.
Most people would prefer to stay in their homes as long as possible. Depending on your needs, you may only need help with some common daily living activities such as laundry, shopping, cooking, and cleaning. First, talk to your family to see if they can help with your needs. There are probably home health-care agencies that can assist you with some of these chores.
Accessory dwelling units
If you or a loved one owns a single-family home, adding an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) to that home may help you keep your independence while getting some help with your daily activities. An ADU, or “in-law apartment,” usually provides a separate living space with a sleeping area, a place to cook, and a bathroom. Check with your local zoning office to be sure ADUs are allowed in your area. Also, the cost of adding an ADU can vary widely, depending on the size of the unit and the cost for materials and labor.
Subsidized senior housing
There are federal and state programs that help pay for housing for some older people with low to moderate incomes. Some of these housing programs also offer help with meals and other activities like housekeeping, shopping, and laundry. Residents usually live in their own apartments in the complex. Rent payments are usually a percentage of your income.
These facilities generally provide more services than offered in subsidized senior housing. You may receive help with bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, taking your medications, and getting to appointments. Residents often live in an apartment and may share meals in a common dining room. Social and recreational activities are usually provided. Some of these facilities have health services on site.
A nursing home may not be your only choice. Discharge planners and social workers in hospitals and home health agencies can explain your options and help arrange your care.
I hope you found this beneficial and informational. For more information about me and my services, visit my website: www.duane.wrfa.com.
Thank you for your interest.
Duane Silbernagel is a Financial Advisor in Lincoln City, Oregon offering securities through Waddell & Reed, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC. He can be reached at (541) 614-1322 or via email at DSilbernagel@wradvisors.com.
This article is meant to be general in nature and should not be construed as investment or financial advice related to your personal situation. The article was written by an independent third party, Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. (Copyright 2017) and is provided for informational and educational purposes only. Waddell& Reed is not affiliated with www.newslincolncounty.com website and is not responsible for any other content posted to this website. (02/18)