Since the pandemic began, over 131 million people have been pushed down into poverty world wide. The rich have become richer. The poor have become poorer. And the middle class has been slowly slipping away. There are 54 million fewer middle class people living on planet earth thanks mostly in part to the coronavirus.
This dramatic change in wealth can also be attributed to automation and robotics taking over the millions and millions of human jobs. Further decline in wealth has disproportionally forced the labor market into the lower classes. America has the highest income inequity than France, Germany and the UK. China is the only country that has seen the highest rise in the global middle classes.
So, what does all this information mean to you and me? Unless you are part of the very rich, you have felt a decrease in your living standards. Inflation has been the final nail in our coffins. Our way of life will never be the same; will never recover and if it should, we’ll be too old to bask in its glory. We have become the haves-less.
Those of us on fixed retiree incomes are being forced to make downward adjustments to our lives on an almost daily regimen. We have to look at our money in a whole new way. It’s not about how much money we have in retirement to spend. It’s about what can that money we have saved for retirement buy us? Whatever your amount may be, regardless of who or where you are, your money is buying you less and less with each passing day. Inflation is the silent killer for most retirees. Other than prioritize your spending, there isn’t much else you can do.
“Inflation is the silent killer,” said certified financial planner Brad Lineberger, president of Seaside Wealth Management in Carlsbad, California. “It can erode purchasing power to the point where someone wakes up and can’t live the lifestyle they once did because they can’t afford to.”
I’m not a certified financial advisor so I can not recommend any advice to anyone. The only thing I can do is tell you what we are doing personally to combat this double digit inflationary period in our own lives. I have found it to be extremely helpful in our retirement years to have no mortgage, no car loans and no debt. Retirement, regardless of how much income you anticipate to come in, is still no time to be in any form of debt. To be honest, we do have a loan out on our RV but that is a disposable item. It’s not a necessity. The interest rate is very low and the value of our RV has gone up, not down….so we are not upside down on the loan. However, due to the higher costs in gas, DH and I are seriously considering selling it. If we can. Who knows? We decided to wait one year before we make any move on it. We know once we sell it the odds of us buying another one will be zero. RVing is the only way either one of us can vacation……so, we need to think very carefully on this decision. Until then, the payment is very low. The interest rate is also very low. It’s a ‘wait and see’ adventure at this point.
We have three passive streams of retirement income at this time: two social security checks and one pension check. We also have an additional investment specifically developed to compensate us if and when inflation rises or for whatever other reason our three income streams can’t meet our monthly expenses. So far, we haven’t tapped in to this account and it keeps building and compounding. That’s a very good thing. The only reasons why we haven’t tapped in to it so far is because we cut down our expenses drastically and hubby has taken on a part time, seasonal job over this Christmas holiday time. We’re planning on banking ALL of DH’s extra income and hoping it will see us throughout the rest of the year. We hope and plan to do the same thing again next holiday season, if necessary. As of this writing, inflation doesn’t look to abate any time soon. Plus, my experience has been once prices go up they very rarely fall back down to where they originally started out.
Managing your money, in this current financial environment, is a daily necessity. You can no longer visit your financial undertakings once a year or once every six months or once a month. You need to look over your finances every single day. That’s because prices are changing every single day. You may be buying gas or milk on Monday only to see its price rise on Tuesday. So, you need to strategize your spending and be aware of all the price fluctuations if you want to successfully manage your money in these inflationary times.
Cover your four walls: housing, food, utilities and transportation. Everything else is moot at this point. Whatever expenses you have to cut, whatever sacrifice you need to make, whatever it is you have to eliminate and do without in order to cover your four walls, do it! Hopefully this will only be temporary but if it isn’t at least you’ll be maintaining and surviving. Because that’s what inflation is: survival of the fittest.
This is a bad time to be retired on a fixed income. It is every retiree’s nightmare. I’ve been warned about inflation and I thought I had prepared for it but I was mistaken. I don’t think any retiree prepared for over 20% inflation rate. Please don’t believe the government when they state inflation is only at 5.5%. You and I both know that’s a lie because we see it in our wallets each and every day. We have a serious struggle on our hands. We can comfort ourselves by saying it’s only temporary but what if it’s not? We have at least, on minimum, two more years of this hardship (and it is a hardship!)
Maintain your health at all costs. This is NO time to get sick. Eat right. Exercise. learn to love rice and beans as when combined they make the near perfect protein substitute. learn to love and cook with lentils. Those were the salvation of many during The Great Depression. Take a walk. It costs nothing to do so. Get your free annual Wellness Exam with medicare. At least you will know where your health stands and what to do should any section of your wellbeing need any assistance. Take your vitamins. Maintain your social connections, friends and family. Forgive, forget and move onward.
Hope and pray disco comes back! This isn’t a joke. As a survivor of the 1970s horrific inflationary time, the only thing that got any of us through was disco! We’d save all week, buy something special to wear (like a new dress for the ladies or a new shirt for the guys) and every Friday night we’d be at our local disco, dancing and jiving to some of the great dancing music of all time! Man, did we feel good at the disco. No worries. No problems. Just a few drinks and feeling fantastic out on the dance floor. I may be seventy years old but trust me…I can still boogie with the best of them. Has this brought a smile to your face? Then can you imagine how fantastic we felt in that disco back in the 70s in the middle of super high inflation? Best years of my life!!!. Watch this clip of John Travolta dancing to ‘Burn Baby Burn….Disco Inferno” from the hit movie sleeper ‘Saturday Night Fever‘. If you don’t start tapping your foot or better yet, get up out of your chair and start dancing, you ain’t alive. You have to click and watch it on the YouTube channel as YouTube and Word Press are at odds with each other again.
Simply click HERE)
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