Inflation discourages saving

What is often forgotten when saving

Not a day goes by without reports of the turbulence on the financial markets. Several current studies show how the saving behavior of German citizens is influenced by what the most important pension goals are currently and where there are still deficits.


19.12.2011 (verpd) Germans are still hard-working when it comes to saving and are still ready to invest in old-age provision. This is confirmed by several current studies by various financial service providers. But one topic is neglected by most savers: the impact of inflation. Financial crisis, debt problems, inflation risks, stock exchange prices that look like fever curves - many German citizens are unsettled. But despite this uncertainty, the willingness to save remains high.

High willingness to save

Savers are currently not being discouraged by the sovereign debt crisis. 55 percent, i.e. more than half of the financial decision-makers in private households, stated that they were saving as much as before, while 27 percent said they were saving less. 18 percent want to set aside more money a month than before. This is the result of a study by the market research institute Forsa Gesellschaft für Sozialforschung und statistische Analyze mbH among 500 financial decision-makers in private households, which was commissioned by a fund financial service provider. Furthermore, it can be stated that the topic of security has increased again in terms of investment preferences. 61 percent of those surveyed (third quarter: 59 percent) consider security to be the most important aspect of investing.

Retirement provision is the most important savings motive

In its autumn 2011 survey, the Association of Private Building Societies examined the motives that drive savers. The numbers reflect different savings motives. They also show that saving and provision are often not the same. Nevertheless, at 65.9 percent, the target of old-age provision is back at the top and has increased by 3.8 percentage points compared to the summer survey. The savings target of consumption or later purchases followed in second place with 57.6 percent (plus 0.8 percentage points compared to summer). Third place went to home ownership (51 percent), followed by capital investments (34 percent).

Insufficient coverage

How much Germans are currently saving for old age shows a study by another fund financial service provider, for which 1,900 citizens over the age of 20 were interviewed by the Society for Consumer Research. 42.8 percent confirmed that, in addition to statutory pension insurance and company pension schemes, they regularly invest money every month in Riester or Rürup pensions, life insurances or fund savings plans. This rate has fluctuated between 41 and 44 percent for years. A good 35 percent stated that they did not save anything for old age. On average, 9.7 percent of savers (second quarter 10.4 percent) put aside between 50 and 99 euros per month, 6.8 percent a sum of up to 49 euros. However, according to financial experts, these are insufficient contributions given the generally large gaps that most citizens are likely to have in their retirement provision. One reason for this may be that many ignore the topic of inflation and therefore expect their future supply gap to be smaller than it actually will be, as a bank survey confirms.

Inflation is underestimated

A nationwide analysis by a banking institute shows that more than half of the respondents (53 percent) consider inflation to play no role. Only twelve percent said they consider inflation when saving for old age. A simple calculation example illustrates the major impact of this negligence: If a 30-year-old today retires at 67 and would like to have 1,500 euros at his disposal according to today's purchasing power, then he must make provisions so that he will get two and a half times that amount, namely 3,740 euros , be available.

Expert advice helps avoid mistakes

If you want to know exactly whether you are actually making sufficient provision for your old age, you can have your expected pension amount calculated by an insurance specialist taking into account statutory and private old-age insurance and the expected inflation rate. Depending on the savings target and personal pension strategy, the insurance industry offers appropriate investment and protection solutions. An insurance expert helps to find the right solutions according to the individual needs and circumstances. Even if you think you have no financial leeway for a pension, you should consult an expert, because some possibilities, for example with the help of state funding, only open up after a thorough analysis.