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Fighting Inflation — Tips for Retirees

From the Investment Fraud Blawg

Robert Powell of recently posted an article entitled “Inflation hits hard when you can least afford it: Four ways older Americans can deal with higher inflation rates.”

The article offers four tips for retirees and those approaching retirement. Most importantly, the article states that retirees should (1) live within their means, and (2) calculate retirement expenses. This is good advice because retirees are as guilty as many Americans for failing to properly budget and plan. In addition, many retirees are told that the only way they can support their retirement is to invest more aggressively. This is not true and, in fact, can be devastating when the stock market experiences broad declines, as has happened over the last 18 months (the S&P 500 has declined from approximately 1,540 to a low of 666.79).

If you are retired, or are approaching retirement, and your financial advisor tells you that the only way you can “afford” to retire is by investing more of your money in stocks or stock-based mutual funds, get a second opinion. Although stocks have provided the greatest historical returns over the long-term, retirees and those approaching retirement need to focus on the short-term. As reported on, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has suffered one-year losses of 18.94% or more in 11 years (see chart).

These one year declines can prove disastrous for retirees. This is why it is important to manage portfolio risk and why the “solution” to affording retirement is not to invest more money in stocks, but rather, to manage retirement expenses. Mr. Powell has also written an article discussing 10 major retirement risks. In this article, he offers tips on how to manage these risks, including stock market risk.

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