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Greetings, Dan and welcome.

<<I was using the retirement calculator and found that while my current investing strategy will more than suffice if the inflation rate is 4%, but that I'll end up in a hole if it goes up to 5%. What is the historic rate over the last X years? What should my worst-case scenario be?>>

According to my Ibbotson database, the compounded average annual inflation rate for the 50 years ending 12/31/97 was 3.94%; for 25 years - 5.49%; for 10 years - 3.43%; for 5 years - 2.64%; for 3 years - 2.59%, and for 1 year - 1.92%. From that you can pick your own best, expected and worst case. There really isn't an answer to what it "should" be, only what you are comfortable with.

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