We face a number of financial risks in retirement.  And, when most people hear the word “risk” they automatically think about a stock market crash.  And while those events are possible, one threat always impacts our nest egg.  Every year, everything you buy costs more.  We’ll talk about that in this week’s episode of Monday Morning Money.

Yes there is a Big Mac Index. It was created by the magazine The Economist

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Other things we buy also cost more.

Every Year Everything You Buy Costs More: The First Class Stamp

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Every Year Everything You Buy Costs More: The Big Mac

When I Was A Kid…

What are some of the things you remember buying years ago?  What are some of the stories your parents or grand parents told you about the prices they paid for the things they purchased?

Leave your comments below.

Video Transcript

We face a number of risks in retirement. Most people focus their attention on another stock market crash like we saw in 2008. Rightfully so. That was rough. But there are other threats we need to consider and plan for. One of the most significant ones: Every year everything you buy costs more.

Who hasn’t heard a parent or grandparent tell us “when I was a kid, a loaf of bread was a nickel and a movie was a quarter. And I had to walk up hill both ways to buy both!”

We all know bread hasn’t been a nickel for decades, and when I was a kid, Buck night at the Athena and Varsity in Athens was a treat.  And my parents dropped us off.

Every year, everything you buy costs more.  It is a simple way to explain inflation. Over time, the prices of the things we buy increase.

But we don’t always notice in our day to day lives. It’s not until we look at the cumulative effect over many years, that we see just how much inflation impacts our wallet.

One of the best ways to illustrate this is a first class stamp.

A little more than a month ago, your cost to mail a letter increased to 55 cents. And while this was the largest increase ever announced by the postal service, it probably didn’t seem like a big deal.

But if we go back 30 years, you could buy 4 stamps for a dollar. Over time the cost to mail a letter has increased gradually.  A penny here, two cents there, And now thirty years later, it will cost you more than a dollar to mail two letters.

Stamps aren’t the only thing which has increased in price.

In 1988 a big mac cost two bucks. Now three decades later, this signature sandwich has more than doubled in price. There is actually something called the Big Mac Index.

The same can be said for

Movie tickets,
Ice cream
and electricity.

All of these items cost more.

Prices go up, And this impacts how we need to plan for retirement. When thinking about what you’ll spend in retirement, most people look at how they spend their money right now. And that’s a good starting point. But it won’t remain constant over time.

If something costs a dollar today, you should expect to pay more in the future.

If inflation averages 3%,

That same item will cost $1.16 in five years.

It jumps to $1.34 in 10 years.

In fifteen years, you can expect to spend over 50 percent more.

After two decades, that one dollar item jumps to a dollar eighty,

And after 25 years, the price will more than double.

For years, we were able to depend on Social Security to help us with these rising costs.  But in more recent years the cost of living adjustments have been much smaller.  And on top of that, Medicare premiums have been eating up much of those annual increases.

This means we must rely on our savings to provide the raises we will need in retirement. Without a good plan, Inflation could be as much of a threat to your nest egg as a major stock market crash.

So, what’s your plan to deal with this threat?

Leave your thoughts or questions in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you.

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