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Inflation may not be the most exciting topic, but nowadays retirees may experience it first-hand for as long as 30 years or more. They can see its real effects on the purchasing power of their money over such an extended period.
Just think of what has happened to the cost of buying a new home over the past 30 years. Inflation has run rampant, and it can have such a big impact on retirement spending that it even warrants protection against it as part of an overall financial plan.
How can you account for this risk in your retirement income planning? It’s prudent to have some sort of assumption about inflation in your calculations. You might use an annual inflation factor of expenses rising by 2% per year.
That has been in line with historical inflation of late, although this trend may change with the trillions of dollars in government spending for coronavirus (and those new trillions now floating around in the U.S. monetary supply).
An endless parade of financial articles talks about saving enough for retirement and minding your retirement budget. But what about having more than enough money for your lifestyle goals? Just accumulating sufficient savings to last through your entire retirement is only part of the picture.
"The decumulation of assets in retirement is obviously a much more complex problem than accumulating assets before retirement," said Emmanuel Roman, CEO of PIMCO, in an interview with Advisor Perspectives. He continued:
"Because of its complexity, decumulation is unlikely to be solved with a single solution; we’re going to need to combine a number of good ideas from different corners of the industry to solve this problem. To make a significant difference, one should start with an important problem. A big one is how to protect retirees from sequence-of-returns risk, or the risk related to the timing of retirement.”
Roman then said that lots of research has shown “the devastation that can result from poor returns in the years just before, or just after, retirement. While episodes of poor returns may be less significant in the accumulation phase, an untimely transition to the decumulation phase risks completely derailing the retirement plan and drastically reducing the longevity of assets."
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