Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. TESLA! Cathy Wood ARK Funds Bubble BURSTS! - 12th May 21
2.Stock Market Entering Early Summer Correction Trend Forecast - 10th May 21
3.GOLD GDX, HUI Stocks - Will Paradise Turn into a Dystopia? - 11th May 21
4.Crypto Bubble Bursts! Nicehash Suspends Coinbase Withdrawals, Bitcoin, Ethereum Bear Market Begins - 16th May 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.Cathy Wood Ark Invest Funds Bubble BURSTS! ARKK, ARKG, Tesla Entering Severe Bear Market - 13th May 21
7.Stock Market - Should You Be In Cash Right Now? - 17th May 21
8.Gold to Benefit from Mounting US Debt Pile - 14th May 21
9.Coronavius Covid-19 in Italy in August 2019! - 13th May 21
10.How to Invest in HIGH RISK Tech Stocks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 2 of 2 - 18th May 21
Last 7 days
The US Dollar is the Driver of the Gold & Silver Sectors - 28th Jul 21
Fed: Murderer of Markets and the Middle Class - 28th Jul 21
Gold And Silver – Which Will Have An Explosive Price Rally And Which Will Have A Sustained One? - 28th Jul 21
I Guess The Stock Market Does Not Fear Covid - So Should You? - 28th Jul 21
Eight Do’s and Don’ts For Options Traders - 28th Jul 21
Chasing Value in Unloved by Markets Small Cap Biotech Stocks for the Long-run - 27th Jul 21
Inflation Pressures Persist Despite Biden Propaganda - 27th Jul 21
Gold Investors Wavering - 27th Jul 21
Bogdance - How Binance Scams Futures Traders With Fake Bitcoin Prices to Run Limits and Margin Calls - 27th Jul 21
SPX Going for the Major Stock Market Top? - 27th Jul 21
What Is HND and How It Will Help Your Career Growth? - 27th Jul 21
5 Mobile Apps Day Traders Should Know About - 27th Jul 21
Global Stock Market Investing: Here's the Message of Consumer "Overconfidence" - 25th Jul 21
Gold’s Behavior in Various Parallel Inflation Universes - 25th Jul 21
Indian Delta Variant INFECTED! How infectious, Deadly, Do Vaccines Work? Avoid the PCR Test? - 25th Jul 21
Bitcoin Stock to Flow Model to Infinity and Beyond Price Forecasts - 25th Jul 21
Bitcoin Black Swan - GOOGLE! - 24th Jul 21
Stock Market Stalling Signs? Taking a Look Under the Hood of US Equities - 24th Jul 21
Biden’s Dangerous Inflation Denials - 24th Jul 21
How does CFD trading work - 24th Jul 21
Junior Gold Miners: New Yearly Lows! Will We See a Further Drop? - 23rd Jul 21
Best Forex Strategy for Consistent Profits - 23rd Jul 21
Popular Forex Brokers That You Might Want to Check Out - 22nd Jul 21
Bitcoin Black Swan - Will Crypto Currencies Get Banned? - 22nd Jul 21
Bitcoin Price Enters Stage #4 Excess Phase Peak Breakdown – Where To Next? - 22nd Jul 21
Powell Gave Congress Dovish Signs. Will It Help Gold Price? - 22nd Jul 21
What’s Next For Gold Is Always About The US Dollar - 22nd Jul 21
URGENT! ALL Windows 10 Users Must Do this NOW! Windows Image Backup Before it is Too Late! - 22nd Jul 21
Bitcoin Price CRASH, How to SELL BTC at $40k! Real Analysis vs Shill Coin Pumper's and Clueless Newbs - 21st Jul 21
Emotional Stock Traders React To Recent Market Rotation – Are You Ready For What’s Next? - 21st Jul 21
Killing Driveway Weeds FAST with a Pressure Washer - 8 months Later - Did it work?- Block Paving Weeds - 21st Jul 21
Post-Covid Stimulus Payouts & The US Fed Push Global Investors Deeper Into US Value Bubble - 21st Jul 21
What is Social Trading - 21st Jul 21
Would Transparency Help Crypto? - 21st Jul 21
AI Predicts US Tech Stocks Price Valuations Three Years Ahead (ASVF) - 20th Jul 21
Gold Asks: Has Inflation Already Peaked? - 20th Jul 21
FREE PASS to Analysis and Trend forecasts of 50+ Global Markets by Elliott Wave International - 20th Jul 21
Nissan to Create 1000s of jobs with electric vehicle investment in UK - 20th Jul 21
Bitcoin Halvings Price Forecast and Stock to Flow Analysis - 18th Jul 21
Dell S3220DGF Unboxing and Stand Assembly - 32 Inch 165hz Curved Gaming Monitor Amazon Discount - 18th Jul 21
What Does The Fed Mean By “Transitory Inflation” And Why Is It Important To Understand? - 18th Jul 21
Will the US stock market’s worsening breadth matter? - 18th Jul 21
Bitcoin Halving's Price Projection Forecasts Trend Trajectory - 18th Jul 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

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