The findings of the original Retirement Vulnerability Report revealed that a majority of middle-class Americans are likely to outlive their financial resources in retirement. A significant, guaranteed, lifetime income outside of Social Security, as provided by such retirement vehicles as a lifetime annuity, was a way to help secure one’s retirement future. The updated study reveals that the financial market downturn which began in the middle of 2008 makes this conclusion even truer today. An open mind just may be you’re the answer to a successful retirement.
An open mind and an informed perspective on the value of annuities in retirement just may be the best way to get some badly need security and peace of mind. We are living in remarkable times and uncharted territory. People are retiring earlier and earlier, and living longer. With living longer, we can dream bigger, see more, do more and to invest more time in the lives of those we love. I say, “It’s not about growing older, it’s about growing bolder.” With longevity, comes challenge. We must find a way for our money to live as long as we do. One study (conducted by Allianz Life) surveyed 3257 adults ages 44-75, asking them whether their greatest fear was of dying or of running out of money while they were alive. Sixty-one percent said their greatest fear was of running out of money.
So, what to do? Though there is a lot of confusion, intentional deception (by those who want you to continue to keep all your money at risk in the ‘market’), subterfuge and lack of real knowledge and understanding about how they work, I believe that annuities, when properly integrated into a diversified retirement plan, can be powerful tools in helping a retiree to be confident their money will last as long as they do. Life insurance is purchased in case we die too and to provide for other life uncertainties. Annuities, once understood are purchased in case we live a long life, helping make sure that we will be able to enjoy our retirement years, and to allow us to maintain our independence and dignity.
As a Retirement Income Certified Professional, I know annuities are not the answer for everyone. They are simply a tool. Often times I find they are the best tool to do the job many 55 and uppers have, which is to provide some additional guaranteed income that will last as long as they last.
I do not sell annuities any more than an architect sells hammers, doors or windows. Together with the client, an architect designs the best possible home for someone to live in and then brings it to fruition. The hammer, windows, doors, etc. are merely components and tools of the design. A Retirement Income Certified Professional, together with the client, is designing the best possible retirement, including asset protection and maximizing income for life. An annuity is simply a tool, one tool often utilized to accomplish that task. This brief compendium will help you to see the high view held of annuities as effective tools for the protection and growth of your retirement nest egg. This view is increasingly shared in the media and in the academic community.
The poet Goethe once said that we should never let the things that matter least get in the way of the things that matter most. When it comes to retirement, nothing matters more than having a plan for our money to live as long as we do. Retirement is not a dress rehearsal. It is a one-act play, with one chance to get it right.