4 Tips and Resources to Help Seniors During Periods of High Inflation and Market Volatility

In 2022, U.S. inflation hit a 40-year high, with prices for food, housing, gasoline, and other key staples increasing by nearly 10% over the previous year.1 During these uncertain times, stocks have continued a roller-coaster ride that has given heartburn to financial professionals and investors alike.

For retirees and seniors on a fixed income, the true costs of inflation and market volatility can be much higher—potentially jeopardizing a comfortable retirement. Though Social Security’s annual inflation adjustment is likely to be higher this year than last, this increase may not come soon enough for seniors who are being squeezed now.

With these concerns in mind, there are several ways seniors can navigate the effects of inflation and market volatility.

Don’t Claim Social Security Too Early

If you have not already begun to collect Social Security benefits, it is worth carefully considering whether it is better to claim them at age 62, at full retirement age (FRA), or at age 70. Although the right answer can vary from person to person, you may want to consider that each year you put off claiming Social Security will increase your overall benefit amount. This is one way for seniors to essentially “inflation-proof” their retirement income, as one’s future Social Security benefit amount will also take into account the effects of inflation.

Use I Bonds and TIPS as an Inflation Hedge

Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS) and I bonds are both investments that are designed to keep up with the effects of inflation without putting the invested principal at risk. Both I bonds and TIPS are issued and backed by the federal government, with interest rates and rates of return periodically adjusted to match the inflation rate. These investments are not without some complexities — for example, cashing in an I bond too early can forfeit a certain amount of interest — but are a good way to keep funds safe without allowing their value to erode over time.

Cut Unnecessary Expenses

There often is not much to be done when it comes to the major budget-busters like housing and insurance. But by cutting the expenses you do not need — from streamlining streaming services to switching to generic brands for food purchases — you may be able to free up some money in your budget to put toward other price increases. If it has been a while since you did a top-to-bottom budget review, now may be a good time.

Rebalance Your Portfolio

During periods of market volatility, it is important to ensure your portfolio still accurately reflects your desired asset allocation and risk tolerance. Over time, as the values of different investment classes increase at different rates, your portfolio can become overweight in certain classes. By selling assets in your overweight classes and purchasing assets in your underweight ones, you may be able to regain your desired asset allocation. Having a mixture of cash, stock, bonds (including I bonds), real estate, and other assets can allow you to remain flexible during volatile times.



U.S. inflation hit a new 40-year high last month of 8.6 percent, Politico, https://www.politico.com/news/2022/06/10/inflation-new-high-may-00038786


Important Disclosures

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual security. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial professional prior to investing.

Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS) help eliminate inflation risk to your portfolio as the principal is adjusted semiannually for inflation based on the Consumer Price Index – while providing a real rate of return guaranteed by the U.S. Government.

Series I bonds are guaranteed by the US government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. Minimum term of ownership applies. Early redemption penalties may apply.

Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

Inflation is the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising, and, subsequently, purchasing power is falling.

All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

This article was prepared by WriterAccess.

LPL Tracking #1-05296606


Keri Pugh
Author: Keri Pugh
Keri Pugh is a Wealth Advisor with Fusion Financial Group, an independent financial planning firm and fiduciary based in Denver, CO. Keri has over 20 years of experience in the industry, as both a financial advisor and Principal. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Northern Colorado and is an alumna with national sorority Delta Zeta. Keri holds a variety professional licenses, carries the esteemed mark of Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), meeting rigorous education and experience requirements in key areas of financial planning, as well as the designation of Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®), a symbol of her dedication to upholding the fiduciary standard for clients. As a wife and mother to two young children, Keri is particularly drawn to working with thriving families and women. This is not only reflected within her practice but also in her regular sponsorship of the local PTA and volunteer work with the elementary school. Outside of the office, Keri enjoys traveling, skiing, and the Colorado great outdoors with her family. She often lines up movie marathons for the family and, in line with many clients, is a beginner golfer and a wine enthusiast. To learn more about Keri, connect with her on LinkedIn.