Retirement

Inflation - Back to the Future

Inflation sometimes seems like one of those afflictions of an era long since passed into the history books. While it’s true that double-digit inflation has been absent for the last 30 years, you may remember the high inflation years of the 1970s.¹

Will the levels of U.S. public debt and loose monetary policy revive the inflation rates of yesteryear? No one really knows. However one thing is certain—even low inflation rates over an extended period of time can impact your finances in retirement.

Pay Yourself First

Each month you settle down to pay bills. You pay your mortgage lender. You pay the electric company. You pay the trash collector. But do you pay yourself? One of the most basic tenets of sound investing involves the simple habit of “paying yourself first,” in other words, making the first payment of each month into your savings account.

Americans’ saving patterns vary widely. And too often, short-term economic trends can interrupt long-term savings programs. For example, the U.S. Personal Savings Rate jumped from 3.5% to nearly 8% in May 2008 during the housing and banking crisis. It then rose and fell sporadically as the economic environment appeared to stabilize.

Volunteering in Retirement

Those of a certain age will recall these Jefferson Airplane lyrics as a call to action, though for a different period and place. Even with the passage of time and through a lifetime of changes, the desire of baby boomers to make an impact on the world has not diminished.

Retirement is no longer about the hammock or unending hours of golf. It is a period of rejuvenation, second chances, and renewed growth. For many, this new phase includes contributing their time and talents to an organization in need.

Does Your Portfolio Fit Your Retirement Lifestyle?

Most portfolios are constructed based on an individual's investment objective, risk tolerance, and time horizon.

Using these inputs and sophisticated portfolio-optimization calculations, most investors can feel confident that they own a well-diversified portfolio, appropriately positioned to pursue their long-term goals.¹

However, as a retiree, how you choose to live in retirement may be an additional factor to consider when building your portfolio.

Your Changing Definition of Risk and Retirement

During your accumulation years, you may have categorized your risk as “conservative,” “moderate,” or “aggressive” and that guided how your portfolio was built. Maybe you concerned yourself with finding the “best-performing funds,” even though you knew past performance does not guarantee future results.

What occurs with many retirees is a change in mindset—it’s less about finding the “best-performing fund” and more about consistent performance. It may be less about a risk continuum—that stretches from conservative to aggressive—and more about balancing the objectives of maximizing your income with sustaining it for a lifetime.