In a recent article in the New York Times, Jean Chatzky, the financial editor for NBC’s Today Show, offered some insight into how deferred annuity products like indexed annuities are poised to make a difference in the financial future of a class of retirees facing a number of unique issues such as increased longevity and insecurity in pensions and social security.
“They are addressing the primary fear that baby boomers in particular seem to have about retirement, which is that they are going to run out of money before they run out of time,” she said.
With people living much longer than ever before, it is extremely important to build up a nest egg that can sustain you for two or three decades. It is more important than ever that those approaching retirement employ a savings strategy that is fit to last you through the years by focusing on accumulation and lifetime income, rather than pure growth. It is impossible to predict how long one might live, but adding conservative financial vehicles to your retirement plan, such as a fixed indexed annuity that can guarantee income for life–no matter how long that may be–can eliminate some of the guesswork when it to outliving your savings.
Chatzky is not alone in her favorable perception of annuities for those preparing for retirement. Suze Orman has been singing the praises of indexed annuities as a way to shield your retirement nest egg from market volatility for some time. In her 2001 book, “The Road to Wealth,” Suze Orman tells readers that “if you don’t want to take risk but still want to play the stock market, a good index annuity might be right for you.”
As many boomers witnessed their retirement savings take a big hit due to the financial crisis and recession, it is evident that this advice still holds water in today’s economy. Indexed annuities are unique because unlike investments, these insurance products offer a guaranteed minimum return, so you are protected from the negative effects of market volatility. However, because interest returns on an indexed annuity are based on an external index, such as the S&P 500, there is still potential for market-linked growth when markets are doing well. Those saving for retirement can add some balance to their financial plans—particularly in risky markets—by providing protection when the markets are down and potential for additional interest when the markets are up. Your personal risk tolerance can serve as a guide to determining the perfect balance for your retirement portfolio.
For more information about the basics of indexed annuities, check out our educational video.