Faculty Publications

Title

How To Mitigate Inflation Risk In A Retirement Income Plan

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-30-2014

Abstract

My grandfather always reminds me that a hamburger only used to cost him ten cents when he was young and not the few dollars it costs today. While this is a familiar story to many people, the hidden lesson is the impact of inflation over a lifetime. While inflation typically only slightly increases the cost of goods and services from year to year, it represents a serious risk and challenge for retirement income planning, as its impact is magnified over an extended period of time. For example, if an item costs $1 today, after one year of 5% inflation it would cost $1.05. However, after ten years of 5% inflation that $1 item would cost nearly $1.63. The impact of inflation is often referred to as a decline in purchasing power, as one dollar does not buy as much in ten years as it does today.