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Largest Increase in Inflation Since December 1981
Your long-term retirement strategies must account for inflation – or else
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%.”
- The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6% in May, the same increase as in April.
- While almost all major components increased over the month, the largest contributors were the indexes for shelter, airline fares, used cars and trucks, and new vehicles.
- The indexes for medical care, household furnishings and operations, recreation, and apparel also increased in May.
Largest Increase Since 1981
On a 12-month basis:
- CPI increased 8.6% for the 12 months ending May
- This is the largest 12-month increase since the period ending December 1981
- The all items less food and energy index rose 6.0% over the last 12 months
- The energy index rose 34.6% over the last year, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending September 2005
- The food index increased 10.1% for the 12-months ending May, the first increase of 10% or more since the period ending March 1981
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 single month – which you no doubt already know – because you’re feeling it.
Inflation: The Retirement Killer
Inflation decreases the purchasing power of your money in the future and 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.
Said another way, 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.
What Investors Need to Remember
Therefore, it is imperative that your long-term retirement strategies account for inflation and that you prepare for a decrease in the purchasing power of your dollar over time. You should strongly consider assuming 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 one 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.
Your financial advisor can create models with various inflation scenarios so you can better understand – and account for – inflation’s true impact to your retirement. Click here to meet with a Duncan Financial Group personal advisor that’s right for you.