Inflation During a Recession and How Older Communities Can Prepare

Everybody worries that we’re walking into our next recession. The indicators are there – slowing home and auto sales, increases in gas prices, and hiring freezes to name a few. What’s worse is the crushing inflation, the highest it has been in nearly 40 years. Of course, there are populations that will be disproportionately impacted by the state of our economy, such as the elderly.  

As prices for everything from gas to pantry have continued to rise, individuals on fixed incomes have had to make difficult choices. Families have chosen to forgo Christmas gifts to enjoy a nice holiday meal or cut back on unnecessary items all together, choosing to be thankful for what they have. Though much of what’s happening in the economy is out of our control, there are ways that one can mitigate inflation within their household:  

  • Skip the fluff at the grocery store. By sticking to whole foods, you’re less likely to eat the increased pricing of packaged goods thanks to the subsequent increases manufacturers are facing. Even better is if you can shop your local farmers market for further discounted fruits and veggies.
  • Pay down your debt. Most of us are familiar with the crushing cost of high interest and it’ll be more important now than it ever has been to ensure you’re not paying that price monthly.
  • Research your health rates. Having a procedure done? Need to schedule routine lab work? Shop around. You’ll be surprised to find that a procedure for something like a CT scan will be 10k through your regular doctor but 2k through a specialist.  

Inflation is one thing, but a recession is another. AARP has this great article about how seniors can prepare their finances for a recession. It’s important to keep in mind though that every recession is different and the challenges unique. That said, it might not be a bad idea to meet with your financial advisor to ensure you’re doing everything possible to be prepared for the coming year.  

Though we’re hoping for a soft landing, we need to be prepared for both continued inflation and a recession. What’s more, we need to be mindful of the communities whose suffering will be greater with fixed incomes and an inability to make more money. Mitigating inflation won’t be easy but if you’re diligent, it can make all the difference. 

-Phil Daneman, Head of Accounting and Finance