A quarter of Americans are reconsidering their plans to relax on the beach and play pickleball, telling the BMO Real Financial Index that inflation under President Joe Biden is forcing them to delay retirement.
"Prices across the board—from cars and gasoline to groceries and other everyday essentials—are rising at the fastest pace since the 1980s," said BMO Harris Bank executive Paul Dilda. "Consumers must think differently about their finances in this inflationary environment."
Inflation hit a 40-year-record high under the Biden administration. Many economists, including former Obama administration advisers, have blamed the sky-high inflation numbers on Biden's policies. While the president in a May 30 op-ed acknowledged the country's economic woes, he blamed inflation on Vladimir Putin, energy markets, and supply chains.
The research showed that 21 percent of Americans have reduced their retirement savings and 36 percent of Americans have reduced their overall savings. Younger Americans were most affected, as more than 60 percent of those surveyed between the ages of 18 and 34 said they have reduced contributions to their savings.
Almost 60 percent of all surveyed individuals said inflation adversely affected their personal finances, a quarter of whom said they have suffered a major impact. A large majority of Americans surveyed, 80 percent, said they plan to alter their lifestyles by changing how they grocery shop, minimizing driving, and eating at restaurants less, according to the index.
"Some Americans likely will delay retirement in response to higher inflation," American Enterprise Institute senior fellow Andrew Biggs told the Washington Free Beacon. "However, low-income Americans who receive most of their retirement income through Social Security are largely protected against inflation via Cost of Living Adjustments."
Other causes for late retirements, Biggs said, include the COVID-19 pandemic and the decline in the stock market.
BMO surveyed more than 3,400 individuals during this index, which lasted from March 30 to April 25.