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Inflation is impacting more than just our trips to the gas and grocery store

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Milk Prices

CARTERVILLE, IL (WSIL) -- Back in March the U.S. inflation rate his 8.5%, the highest in 41 years.

That's according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This impacts everything from the groceries and gas you buy, to your retirement fund and beyond.

So Monday News 3's Brandon Merano talked to people to see what their biggest concerns are as inflation continues to be a problem for most Americans, including most in our region.

"A lot of sticker shock, we've been to several stores today and I even commented about how high some of the prices were on different things. Things that used to be $30.00 now they're $59.99 you know something like that," said Pearson. 

But the price of milk, eggs, meat and pretty much anything else on your shopping list is just one of Kevin Pearson's worries as inflation is the highest it's been in decades.

"My 401k since the first of the year I believe has lost around 15% since the first of the year. And does that worry you as you're heading into retirement? It makes you wonder if you're even going to get to retire or not if everything keeps going the way that it is I'm sure there's a lot of people that won't get to retire." explained Pearson. 

A recent study by Fidelity Investments found the average American's 401k has dropped nearly 20% since the start of the year.

This has forced more than a million recent retirees back into the workforce.

"I feel bad for them because the economy is so hard on the older people and you only get a certain percentage to live on and if they want anything extra they are going to have to go out and do stuff and a lot of them don't have the health to do that. And it makes it really hard to try to shop and buy things on this limited income," said IGA employee Shirley Hensley. 

Shirley Hensley says you'd be surprised at the number of people who have sacrifice some of their basic needs just to get by.

"Oh yeah they pick and choose and decide I can't afford this or I can afford this or I need to get this but we don't have it. That's the thing you know?" added Hensley. 

Experts say these high prices will likely be with us well into the new year..

Some of the issues with inflation include supply chain shortages, increased commodity prices leading to higher energy and food prices.

For example the average price of a gallon of milk this time last year was about $3.20 -- today I saw milk going for more than 5 dollars a gallon.

Then there's gas. According to AAA right now the average gas price in Illinois is $4.80, Missouri is at $4.16, and in Kentucky it's $4.28.