10 Forces Conspiring Against Your Savings
Added to the mix are family expenses. The Merrill Lynch survey found that 56% of mass affluent parents have paid or expect to pay more to send their first child to college than they had expected when the child was born.
Rubbing salt into the wounds caused by inflation is the current low-interest rate environment. Interest rates on those "safe" investments such as Treasury notes are minuscule thanks to Fed policy.
It is a double-edged sword for many planning for retirement. Even though higher interest rates would help their portfolio, shifting mortgage rates may slow home sales -- bad news if selling your home is part of the nest egg plan.
Nobody likes rising gas prices, but are they really so bad? Is a hike of 50 cents a gallon really the budget buster many feel it is?
For many, the answer is no. But there are psychological as well as mathematical factors at play. Because gas prices are volatile, can change quickly and fuel is a weekly purchase, we are even more aware of those changes than other costs we face. When consumer confidence dips, many may hold off upping their 401(k) deferral or pumping extra bucks into an IRA.
And if you don't keep an eye on the various holdings of your mutual funds and ETFs you may take a hit from the impact of fuel costs on food companies, airlines, retailers, auto makers and transportation interests.
Higher gas prices also traditionally lead young workers to cluster closer to where they work, forgoing the longer commutes that come with living in the suburbs. Once again, bad news if selling your home is part of your getting-ready-to-retire planning.
Talk of supermarket inflation and high gas prices may obscure the biggest drain on even the most robust retirement plan.
According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, health spending, as a percentage of after-tax income, was about 16% in the year 2000; it estimates that share to rise to 35% by 2030.