Would you rather be happy and optimistic in retirement or worried about spending too much? We know it sounds like a silly question; but, what if we told you that retirees who have a greater percentage of their retirement income coming from **guaranteed sources are happier than those who do not. So, now you know – owning an annuity can make you a happier retiree.
One factor confirming this conclusion is the study from Towers Watson that tracked retirement happiness among retirees from 1998 to 2010. Their survey results showed…[continued below video]
**Guarantees, including optional benefits, are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuer, and may contain limitations, including surrender charges, which may affect policy values. During this segment, Dick and Eric are referring to Fixed Annuities unless otherwise specified.
[continued] …that all things being equal such as health and wealth – retirees who have more from pensions or annuities are happier in retirement.
We also know from our own clients that removing the anxiety of worrying about the volatility of their retirement assets improves their attitude, especially when stock markets are in a free fall and their annuity checks are not affected – they just keep showing up every month like a steady paycheck.
We recently heard Tom Hegna tell a similar story that he shares with people when trying to describe the value of lifetime income in retirement.
Can you imagine driving a car through the middle of a remote forest, enjoying the scenery with your family, admiring the changing foliage and wildlife around the road, and enjoying the peace and serenity. Many hours into your trip you realize that you are hundreds of miles away from civilization and your gas tank will surely be empty before you get to your destination. You start to get stressed and the family starts arguing about what speed you should drive to be more efficient. No one is able to enjoy the peace and serenity around anymore because they are all fixated on the gas gauge and the dropping needle. This is synonymous to retirement for most retirees when they become fixated on watching a decreasing asset base- knowing that if they live too long, will eventually run out of money. Conversely, owning an annuity is like having a never ending supply of gas that can guide you smoothly down the road, eliminating the fear of your car suddenly stalling.
Are we suggesting that all your money should be in annuities? No. Use annuities first to take care of your core income needs including some luxuries that make retirement more enjoyable and then you can allocate the remainder of your assets for further safety or in securities that could lose money but will instead (hopefully) provide you with some “bonuses” that you can use to splurge on additional luxuries or allow you to leave a larger legacy.
Want to see more on the study referenced in the blog…
Annuities and Retirement Happiness
by Steve Nyce and Billie Jean Quade at Towers Watson
Prolonged economic uncertainty and high unemployment have been wreaking havoc on the American retirement dream. Over the last five years, most Americans have suffered losses to their retirement savings and home values, while the rising cost of essentials, such as food, gas and health care, is squeezing many household budgets. This Towers Watson’s analysis examines retirement satisfaction over the last decade, including the cushioning effects of annuities.1
The financial crisis and recession that followed put new emphasis on the value of financial security and the risks of market dependence. While adverse economic conditions have affected all workers, older workers and retirees face additional risks, such as outliving their savings (longevity risk) and having less time to wait for markets to rebound. Annuities protect retirees from longevity risk and establish a floor of income — beyond the modest annuity paid by Social Security — safe from investment losses.
While for some retirees, a substantial portion of retirement wealth is annuitized through defined benefit pension plans, the increasing scarcity of these plans leaves more workers staring down retirement with a 401(k)-style lump sum. Many retirees and older workers are wondering whether to buy an annuity and how much of their savings to annuitize. With 76 million baby boomers making or about to make annuity decisions, the stakes are high for everyone — retirees, policymakers, employers, even taxpayers.
Many Americans consider annuities as illiquid and expensive and thus have avoided them in the past, even as research has shown that the security provided by annuities boosts retirement satisfaction. A 2003 study found that retirees with a higher percentage of annuitized income were happier on a cross-sectional basis and maintained higher levels of satisfaction over time than their less annuitized counterparts.2 A 2005 study found that retirees receiving annuities from defined benefit pensions were happier than those without pensions and those with only a defined contribution plan.3
- Retirement satisfaction has steadily declined over the last decade.
- Satisfaction is highest among those with high levels of wealth and income who are very healthy and annuitize their income.
- Among retirees with similar wealth and health characteristics, those with annuitized incomes are happiest.
- Annuities provide the biggest satisfaction boost to retirees with less wealth and those in poor health.
- Despite variations, the satisfaction effects of annuitized income and general decline in retirement satisfaction are long term and extend across all respondents. […Read more at Towers Watson]
Using OutCome Based Planning™ for Your Retirement
We practice and recommend a "Holistic - OutCome Based Planning™ process when considering annuities." This approach has the effect of balancing your overall portfolio so you can meet your retirement objectives by "first identifying the least amount of your investments or savings (if any) that should be considered for annuities." OutCome Based Planning™ analyzes and models multiple outcomes so you can clearly identify your best income and growth opportunities.
"The Annuity Guys will only call if you request help". Hence, when you are ready for specialized help we will be available."Working with an Experienced Fiduciary Financial Planner can help you Avoid a Trial & Error or Risk Based Retirement"
This type of approach does take considerably more time, effort and analysis which will show you mathematically the successful possibilities by comparing various outcomes rather than trying to sell or convince you of that "so-called one best solution." Clients frequently tell us that this process removes some of the confusion and emotion to help them objectively identify a better retirement plan; rather than just ending up with the most convincing salesperson or advisor.
When requesting help you can be assured of working with an experienced Annuity Guys' Retirement Planner who is independently insurance licensed and securities licensed as a fiduciary financial planner having access to the vast majority of annuity companies in helping you choose the best annuities using a holistic-outcome based planning approach. We consider the high quality advisor recommendations we make to our website visitors as a direct reflection back on our commitment to serve all client's with a high standard of excellence in financial planning for retirement.
Based on survey feedback on advisors from our website visitors, we eliminated about two-hundred local advisors and now only recommend a few that we consider experienced vetted Annuity Guys' Fiduciary Advisors. Many local advisors continue requesting us to recommend them as a vetted advisor. However, our reputation and future business is driven only by satisfied website visitors. So, unfortunately we've had to tell the vast majority of local advisors no, since we changed our business model four years ago. At that time we stopped trying to satisfy everyone with local advisors, we now primarily work with individuals who are comfortable using today's internet technology to their fullest advantage by working with a select group of vetted, experienced and knowledgeable Annuity Guys' Fiduciary Planners.
Selecting the Best Annuity & Retirement Income Advisor
Are you willing to work with one of our retirement and annuity advisors based on their experience and expertise as a first priority rather than being limited by a local or regional area? The good news is that technology has forever eliminated our geographical limitations and leveled the playing field for everyone! As a result of today's technological advances, all of us can now work confidently with experts in any field including personal finance. We are no longer confined by regional or local boundaries limiting our choices and ultimate success. A high quality advisor is now as close as a click or phone call away.
"There is no room for trial and error when it comes to choosing MarketFree® Annuities or a Successful Retirement Planner."
"There are no undo buttons in retirement so it is vitally important that you do it right the first time!"
We are fortunate to have a select few who we believe are truly the highest qualified advisors out of about two hundred licensed insurance agents that we eliminated. Your survey feedback is what helps us make these tough decisions. Our advisors have an independent financial practice, specializing in annuities and retirement planning, which helps ensure that you are given the best options available for your retirement planning.
"It takes an experienced expert to know how to structure annuities for income, inflation, growth, return of principal, and tax advantage."
"Anyone can sell you an annuity; however, it takes a truly qualified and experienced advisor to know how to structure them for income, inflation, growth, return of principal, and tax advantage. Typically, there is not just one that can accomplish all of these objectives. It is how an advisor structures multiple annuities in balancing your total portfolio that makes it possible to achieve your most important retirement objectives."
Why Searching for the Best Annuities on Your Own Can be so Frustrating...Almost everyone nowadays turns to the internet for answers on everything - from buying new widgets to researching just about everything under the sun; and finding the best annuity is no exception!At first, it may seem that researching will be straightforward but the more time you spend researching them, the more frustrating it can be. Why is this? First of all, it does not take long to realize that gimmicks abound - such as warnings and alerts from salesmen who just want your attention so they can sell you one or the "too good to be true" claims of 8% to 14% **guaranteed interest and of course the claim that you can get the full market upside with no downside risk! If you have done any research you have heard all of these claims in advertising which are mostly half truths and not fully explained.So how can you find the best annuities on the internet? The truth is... you can't! And what is even more frustrating is all the conflicting points of view from so called experts. There are well over 6,000 different annuities - all designed for different reasons, so is it any wonder that the deck is stacked against the average researcher or do-it-yourselfer. Add to that the fact that they pay high enough commissions to attract a plethora of both good and bad agents. This does not make annuities good or bad; they are simply a financial tool that truly benefit those who use them correctly.How can you find the best annuities for your unique situation?
- Use the internet cautiously;
- Work with a vetted and experienced specialist;
- Do not settle for that one dubious best plan. Compare multiple Outcome Based Plans to decide on the one that is truly best for you;
- Be keenly aware of scare tactics and hyperbole - avoid those advisors and websites;
- Avoid websites that are focused on rushing free reports, rates and quotes to get your contact information they are rushing you to speak with them, instead, take your time and choose someone you are more comfortable with that works on your time-table;
- Know the Five Vital Factors (listed above) that an experienced specialist must answer before helping you select the best options for your situation;
- Watch this telling video "Avoid Annuity Gimmicks, Amateurs and Charlatans"...
** Guarantees, including optional benefits, are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuer, and may contain limitations, including surrender charges, which may affect policy values. Annuities are not FDIC insured and it is possible to lose money.
They are insurance products that require a premium to be paid for purchase.
Annuities do not accept or receive deposits and are not to be confused with bank issued financial instruments.
During all video segments, Dick and Eric are referring to Fixed Annuities unless otherwise specified.
*Retirement Planning and annuity purchase assistance may be provided by Eric Judy or by referral to a recommended, experienced, Fiduciary Investment Advisor in helping our website visitors. Dick Van Dyke semi-retired from his Investment Advisory Practice in 2012 and now focuses on this website. He still maintains his insurance license in good standing and assists his current clients.
Our vetted and recommended Fiduciary Financial Planners are required to be properly licensed in assisting clients with their annuity and retirement planning needs. (Due diligence as a client is still always necessary when working with any advisor to check their current standing.)
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- MarketFree™ Annuity Definition: Any fixed annuity or portfolio of fixed annuities that protects principal / premium and growth by remaining market risk free.
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