I recently had the privilege of appearing on The Savvy Investor, a weekly syndicated half-hour financial advice program hosted by Mike Canet. I had a great time talking to Mike, and the show gave me an opportunity to touch on a range of issues that I feel are going to be of interest to investors and retirees in the months and years ahead. Our discussion focused most keenly, however, on a topic near and dear to my heart: annuities.
We talked about the difference between index and variable annuities, and about how, in the current economic climate, annuities make a lot of sense for many families and individuals planning for retirement. With the stock market still a gamble and the U.S. economy still struggling to find its footing and establish a clear path to long-term recovery, guaranteed income is, understandably, very appealing. Another reason why annuities have gotten a great deal of attention lately is because of the fact that the retirement preparedness of baby boomers has come under a great deal of scrutiny in recent years. Many baby boomers have worked their whole careers under a false sense of security, or have made false assumptions about what it takes to prepare for their retirement. And with many retirees being asked to support both their parents and their adult children (a phenomenon that has led some to call this the “sandwich generation”), financial pressures around retirement have grown even more urgent.
That said, while it’s important to consider annuities among your retirement planning options, no single income strategy is a magic bullet: it all has to be part of a larger, more cohesive and comprehensive financial plan. It makes sense to talk with an experienced financial planning professional to discuss what types of annuities might make sense for your specific financial circumstances, and to help walk you through the planning process of deciding what financial strategies will best help you meet your individual retirement goals.