Strategies to Beat Inflation

Beating inflation is critical to make savings last longer. The spreadsheet below tabulates how much money can be withdrawn (inflation adjusted) annually from a representative investment of $1,000,000 at different levels of after-tax returns assuming a withdrawal period of 60 years starting from the current year- 60-years withdrawal period defines a family in the 40’s yearning for financial independence as early as possible:


After-tax Return Percentage on Your Investments (Projected/Assumed)034681012
Safe Withdrawal Amounts at 3% inflation for 60-year time horizon$6,000$17,000$22,000$34,000$49,000$65,000$81,000
Safe Withdrawal Amounts at 5% inflation for 60-year time horizon$3,000$9,000$12,000$22,000$34,000$48,000$64,000
Safe Withdrawal Amounts at 11% inflation for 60-year time horizon$0$1,000$1,000$3,000$7,000$13,000$21,000


The highlighted figures indicate that even at higher levels of inflation, 2% is a good withdrawal rate, provided the investment beats inflation on an after-tax basis by at-least one percentage point - the highlighted amounts in Red (all above 2% of investment) are what can be withdrawn safely, if your investments beat inflation by exactly 1%. If your after-tax returns are below the inflation rate, the amount that can be withdrawn goes down progressively (amounts to the left of the highlighted figures).

US Stocks have historically outpaced inflation by a much-wider margin over prolonged time frames. This out-performance is correlated to the actual GDP growth rate over the years and should continue moving forward conditional to US being able to grow its GDP. An alternative strategy is investing in a global basket of securities from a representative list of countries that are projected to grow their GDP in the upcoming years. Minor asset allocation adjustments every 5-10 years based on the countries expected to grow GDP highest is a simple house keeping task. It is to be stressed that the consistent return associated with stock investments hold true only over extended periods of time.

A more cautious strategy that GUARANTEES moderate levels of inflation out-performance is the inflation-protected securities. In the US, the Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) and series-I savings bonds are examples of such instruments. The caveats that need to be analyzed with such securities are:
  • The inflation index such securities are pegged against. ie, if the index doesn’t accurately reflect the overall inflation rate, the guarantee of beating inflation may not provide the expected real return, and
  • Tax implications – The tax effects for TIPS in the US makes it less desirable under certain situations. Specifically, the income from TIPS and the inflation adjustment are both taxable. The series-I savings bonds fare a little better in this regard as taxes are due only upon cashing them.

Related Posts:
  1. Exiting the Rat Race - Definition.
  2. Rat Race Exit Strategies
  3. Passive Income - Part 1 - Network Marketing.
  4. Passive Income - Part 2 - Royalties
  5. Passive Income - Part 3 - Rental Income
  6. Passive Income - Part 4 - Dividends.
  7. Passive Income - Part 5 - Pension Plans
  8. Passive Income - Part 6 - Employer Plans
  9. Strategies to Beat Inflation.
  10. Strategies to Reduce Expenses.
  11. Frugal Living - A Definition to go by
Last Updated: 06/2011.






    2 comments :

    Prestito said...

    The base of inflation may be shortfall of money in the market. Hope if a country has a good saving plan than such country has to face less during the situation of inflation.

    Carte di credito prepagate said...

    Hi, the idea of inflation protected securities are great. Hope it is the best source to invest money in it at least we get security during the period of inflation.

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