As our nation celebrates its 235th birthday, we wanted to pass along some positive news about something America is working on to help its citizens prepare for their ultimate Independence Day: Retirement.
Last month, the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), in its Report to the Chairman, Special Committee on Aging, U. S. Senate, made an extremely strong case for annuities in retirement planning.
The report could not have been more straightforward about its findings. The opening sentence bluntly states:
"Financial experts GAO interviewed typically recommended that retirees systematically draw down their savings and convert a portion of their savings into an income annuity to cover necessary expenses, or opt for the annuity provided by an employer-sponsored DB pension instead of a lump sum withdrawal."
The authors go on to provide compelling evidence that income annuities help retirees avoid the following risks everyone faces when they retire:
- Risk of underperforming assets
- Risk of outliving one's assets (Longevity risk)
- Risk of inflation diminishing one's purchasing power (when an inflation-adjusted annuity is purchased)
Not surprisingly, the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) welcomed the findings and agreed with the conclusions.
"This report demonstrates that for many people, annuities
represent more than a choice - they are a necessity."
President & CEO
American Council of Life Insurers
Annuity vs. "Draw Down" Strategy
Financial planners routinely recommend a "draw down" strategy for meeting one's financial needs during retirement.
This strategy requires a retiree to allocate assets across various investments designed to earn a certain rate of return and then systematically withdraw enough each year to live on in hopes that rates of return, financial needs, portfolio balance and life expectancy will all align properly to ensure the retiree has enough money until death.
In effect, they self-insure their longevity risk.
This recommendation often makes a great deal of sense and can be part of an effective strategy but it requires some guesswork, particularly as it pertains to life expectancy.
The risk of living too long (and ending up broke) is very real given everyone's increasing life expectancy, also referenced in the study.
In one of the most overlooked explanations on the case for life annuities, the study's authors conclude, " . . . it is more efficient to pool the risk of outliving one's assets than to self-insure . . ."
That's what insurance is. That's what annuities do.
A lot of people buying a lot of annuities ensures that those who do live "too long" will have the money they need when they need it.
Essentially it guarantees them a "paycheck for life."
So when your Financial Independence Day approaches, I hope you'll think seriously about everything this report covers. Setting up your own paycheck for life, at least using part of your retirement savings, is a very smart move few people will ever live to regret.
Thank you for the opportunity to be of service and best wishes for continued Struccess!
Dan Finn, CPCU, CSSC
Certified Structured Settlement Consultant
We have written about the challenges retirees face in many of our blogs and newsletters. The Finn Financial Group is committed to helping clients meet their long-term financial security needs in a numbers of ways:
- Structured Settlements
- Attorney Fee Structures
- 401(k) and IRA rollovers
- Annuity purchases from savings
- Structured Sales
- Commission Deferrals
- Structured Celebrity Endorsements
- Many other fixed income needs
If YOU need help evaluating your options and we can assist you in making important choices about your future, please call or write for a free, no obligation consultation. We're here to help!