Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold vs Cash in a Financial Crisis - Richard_Mills
2.Current Stock Market Rally Similarities To 1999 - Chris_Vermeulen
3.America See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon - Part2 - James_Quinn
4.Stock Market Trend Forecast Outlook for 2020 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Who Said Stock Market Traders and Investor are Emotional Right Now? - Chris_Vermeulen
6.Gold Upswing and Lessons from Gold Tops - P_Radomski_CFA
7.Economic Tribulation is Coming, and Here is Why - Michael_Pento
8.What to Expect in Our Next Recession/Depression? - Raymond_Matison
9.The Fed Celebrates While Americans Drown in Financial Despair - John_Mauldin
10.Hi-yo Silver Away! - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
CoronaVirus Pandemic Day 76 Trend Forecast Update - Infected 540k, Minus China 1715, Deaths 4920 - 23rd Feb 20 -
Ways to Find Startup Capital - 23rd Feb 20
Stock Market Deviation from Overall Outlook for 2020 - 22nd Feb 20
The Shanghai Composite and Coronavirus: A Revealing Perspective - 22nd Feb 20
Baltic Dry, Copper, Oil, Tech and China Continue Call for Stock Market Crash Soon - 22nd Feb 20
Gold Warning – This is Not a Buying Opportunity - 22nd Feb 20
Is The Technology Sector FANG Stocks Setting Up For A Market Crash? - 22nd Feb 20
Coronavirus China Infection Statistics Analysis, Probability Forecasts 1/2 Million Infected - 21st Feb 20
Is Crude Oil Firmly on the Upswing Now? - 20th Feb 20
What Can Stop the Stocks Bull – Or At Least, Make It Pause? - 20th Feb 20
Trump and Economic News That Drive Gold, Not Just Coronavirus - 20th Feb 20
Coronavirus COVID19 UK Infection Prevention, Boosting Immune Systems, Birmingham, Sheffield - 20th Feb 20
Silver’s Valuable Insights Into the Upcoming PMs Rally - 20th Feb 20
Coronavirus Coming Storm Act Now to Protect Yourselves and Family to Survive COVID-19 Pandemic - 19th Feb 20
Future Silver Prices Will Shock People, and They’ll Kick Themselves for Not Buying Under $20… - 19th Feb 20
What Alexis Kennedy Learned from Launching Cultist Simulator - 19th Feb 20
Stock Market Potential Short-term top - 18th Feb 20
Coronavirus Fourth Turning - No One Gets Out Of Here Alive! - 18th Feb 20
The Stocks Hit Worst From the Coronavirus - 18th Feb 20
Tips on Pest Control: How to Prevent Pests and Rodents - 18th Feb 20
Buying a Custom Built Gaming PC From Overclockers.co.uk - 1. Delivery and Unboxing - 17th Feb 20
BAIDU (BIDU) Illustrates Why You Should NOT Invest in Chinese Stocks - 17th Feb 20
Financial Markets News Report: February 17, 2020 - February 21, 2020 - 17th Feb 20
NVIDIA (NVDA) GPU King For AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 17th Feb 20
Stock Market Bubble - No One Gets Out Of Here Alive! - 17th Feb 20
British Pound GBP Trend Forecast 2020 - 16th Feb 20
SAMSUNG AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 16th Feb 20
Ignore the Polls, the Markets Have Already Told You Who Wins in 2020 - 16th Feb 20
UK Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic WARNING! Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham Outbreaks Probable - 16th Feb 20
iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF IBB AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 15th Feb 20
Gold Stocks Still Stalled - 15th Feb 20
Is The Technology Stocks Sector Setting Up For A Crash? - 15th Feb 20
UK Calm Before Corona Virus Storm - Infections Forecast into End March 2020 - 15th Feb 20
The Growing Weaponization of Space - 14th Feb 20
Will the 2020s Be Good or Bad for the Gold Market? - 14th Feb 20
Predictive Modeling Suggests Gold Price Will Break Above $1650 Within 15~30 Days - 14th Feb 20
UK Coronavirus COVID-19 Infections and Deaths Trend Forecast 2020 - 14th Feb 20
Coronavirus, Powell and Gold - 14th Feb 20
How the Corona Virus is Affecting Global Stock Markets - 14th Feb 20
British Pound GBP Trend and Elliott Wave Analysis - 13th Feb 20
Owning and Driving a Land Rover Discovery Sport in 2020 - 2 YEAR Review - 13th Feb 20
Shipping Rates Plunge, Commodities and Stocks May Follow - 13th Feb 20
Powell says Fed will aggressively use QE to fight next recession - 13th Feb 20
PALLADIUM - THIS Is What a Run on the Bank for Precious Metals Looks Like… - 13th Feb 20
Bitcoin: "Is it too late to get in?" Get Answers Now - 13th Feb 20
China Coronavirus Infections Soar by 1/3rd to 60,000, Deaths Jump to 1,367 - 13th Feb 20
Crude Oil Price Action – Like a Coiled Spring Already? - 13th Feb 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Nadeem Walayat Financial Markets Analysiis and Trend Forecasts

The Destruction of Savings by Inflation

Personal_Finance / Inflation Feb 18, 2012 - 01:23 PM GMT

By: Submissions

Personal_Finance

Alasdair Macleod writes: In the past, insurance companies and pension funds have been keen to advertise the benefit of compounding arithmetic for savings. Over the last 30 or 40 years the rate has been lifted by inflation, but to understand the cost inflation brings you have to consider the whole savings cycle: not just the accumulation stage, but also annuity values in retirement. Furthermore, the historical experience of a typical working life should be compared with a theoretical sound-money alternative.


Let us assume a man works for 40 years, during which time he invests a fixed amount annually. This is invested mostly in bonds for a return that gives him a lump sum on retirement. The marketing folk stop at that point, but we shall go on. This lump sum is applied to an annuity to give a fixed income for the retiree’s life expectancy. Let us also assume that $1,000 is invested annually, and we shall use the average return on the 10-year US Treasury bond as our yardstick. The result is shown in the table below under the heading of Paper Money.

Paper money versus sound money

The nominal value of our pension-pot on retirement is an attractive $224,150, but during its accumulation price inflation has averaged 4.44%, so its inflation-adjusted value is only $74,056, implying that the difference ($150,094) is a hidden inflation tax, leaving our saver with only one-third of his savings in real terms.

Assuming the lump sum is then turned into an annuity at a continuing bond yield of 7.18% for a retirement of 25 years, this inflation-adjusted figure gives an annual income of $6,458, and if inflation continues to average the historic rate, the final payment will only be worth $2,075 in inflation-adjusted terms. Note how the purchasing power of the annuity falls over time while our retiree’s health and care expenses can be expected to increase when he can least afford them.

The reason for taking inflation out of the equation is so we can compare the inflationary past with a sound-money alternative. This calculation is dramatically different under the reasonable assumptions in the table’s last column: an average bond yield of 2.5% and price deflation of 1% annually. The deflation-adjusted outcome is significantly better than the paper-money example. Furthermore, the purchasing power of the annuity increases, in tune with the health and care needs of an aging retiree.

Our example is simplistic: bond yields have varied hugely since 1971, and we have ignored management fees and taxes. We have not considered bond yields that are exceptionally low today, so annuities taken out now will yield considerably less than our example shows.

The bottom line is the saver is impoverished by inflation to a greater extent than generally realised. The state has benefited from the transfer of wealth from its citizens’ savings, the result of monetary inflation, but at considerable future cost. The state is left with the welfare, health and care costs for an aging population unable to support itself and with an increasing life expectancy.

The cost of looking after growing numbers of impoverished retirees will become apparent in coming years, increasing government deficits more rapidly than expected. What we don’t know is when the markets will reflect the enormity of these future obligations.

Alasdair Macleod runs FinanceAndEconomics.org, a website dedicated to sound money and demystifying finance and economics. Alasdair has a background as a stockbroker, banker and economist. He is a Senior Fellow at the GoldMoney Foundation. 


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules