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In the past few weeks, you’ve probably heard a scary term in the news: inflation!

According to Investopedia, “Inflation is a decrease in the purchasing power of money, reflected in a general increase in the prices of goods and services in an economy.”

In other words, you’ve probably noticed a lot of things are getting a little bit more expensive these days. The price of things like bread and milk at the grocery store are up more than 2 percent since last spring. Overall, prices for common, everyday items are up about 5 percent since this time last year. That’s the fastest increase since 2008, based on the Consumer Price Index, a common measure of inflation.

While inflation may be hitting your wallet now, it’s something you’ll definitely have to think about in the years (or decades) to come.

How will inflation — the rise in the cost of things you need — affect your retirement?

No matter if you’re in your 30s or in your 60s, you’ll be retiring at some point — and you need to be ready! You may need to save more for retirement than you originally thought, and that takes careful planning, saving and investing through multiple channels.

Here are just a few tips to get you started:

Save Early, Save Often. One of the best ways to save is through automation. Have your employer take some money out of your paycheck every week and put it directly into your 401k. (Find out how much you need to save to maximize any company match.) No 401k? Make sure when you direct deposit your paycheck, allocate a portion to an investment account automatically. If you don’t “see” the money and it gets put into a savings account automatically, you won’t spend it!

Save When the Opportunity Strikes. Did you get a tax refund this year? Did you get a bonus at work, or an unexpected windfall? While that new 70-inch TV looks mighty tempting, you will probably be better off later if you decide to save that money now for retirement or other future expenses.

Make More to Save More. If you want to save more, consider turning that hobby into a part-time business. The extra money you make from that hobby can help pad your retirement account — especially if your employer doesn’t offer retirement benefits or if you’re not starting to save for retirement until you’re in your 40s or later.

You can get a lot more information from our free OneSource webinar this week. In "Reviewing Your Portfolio", Timothy States, our CommonWealth One Financial Network Financial Advisor, will cover how to evaluate your investments (including 401k, TSP, & 457 Plans) and how to re-balance portfolios to ensure that your goals, risk tolerance and performance are compatible.

Sign up for this webinar on the date and time that works best for you! The webinar will be offered on Tuesday, July 27 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm and Thursday, July 29 at 11:00 am. Register at www.cofcu.org/events. Unable to attend? Request a complimentary one-on-one consultation instead.

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