The ravages of high inflation are scarring the retirement perceptions of Americans across the country, as high living costs are pushing the expectations for both current earnings and the expected level of needed retirement savings to new levels, according to reporting at CNBC.
According to a recent survey by Bankrate conducted in June with 2,500 adults, Americans say they would need to earn $233,000 on average, but in order to feel “rich” they need to be earning as much as $483,000 per year on average.
For retirement savings, a recent survey from Northwestern Mutual shows that Americans think they need to have as much as $1.27 million in the bank to retire comfortably, an increase from $1.25 million recorded just one year prior. That survey featured a respondent pool of 2,700 adults.
“Inflation is the main reason why Americans feel like they need to earn so much more than they already are just to feel comfortable,” said Sarah Foster, analyst at Bankrate to CNBC.
The higher levels of inflation are naturally fueling the expectation that prices will grow more exorbitant in the future, Foster said, which she attributes to the “scars high inflation may leave on their wallets,” according to the reporting.
To keep the expectations and realities of retirement grounded, there are two general tips that Foster shares: take “small steps” and keep investment activity consistent, and live within your means.
Other recent Bankrate research found that the number one regret expressed in the realm of finance is not saving enough for retirement.
“[T]aking time out of the market may result in substantial losses, according to Foster, who found investors in their 20s who take a three-year break from investing may lose almost $200,000 in earnings, assuming $200 per month in contributions and an 8% annual return,” CNBC’s report said.
Foster’s advice is to simply not give up, even if the act of saving for retirement is strenuous.
“Take small steps, and don’t put so much pressure on yourself to max out your 401K,” Foster told CNBC.
As someone’s income may go up, it may be tempting to increase spending, but this is an urge that should be avoided according to Alap Patel, a Chicago-based wealth management advisor for Northwestern Mutual who spoke with CNBC.
“Working with a financial planner to better define what that means for you is very important,” Patel told the outlet.