Longer life expectancies raise the bar on pensions

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Americans are living longer. That’s good news for people–but it’s creating challenges in the world of traditional defined-benefit pensions. American men are living an average of two years longer than they were in 2000 (the last time the tables were revised), and women are getting an additional 2.4 years of life, according to new mortality […]

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Retirement planning for singles: Three must-do items

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If retirement planning had a soundtrack, a great candidate would be “Love and Marriage,” the old Sammy Kahn lyric made famous by Frank Sinatra: Love and marriage, love and marriage . . go together like a horse and carriage . . . So much planning advice focuses on married couples–and no doubt, that’s where some of […]

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Why 401(k)s won’t offer longevity annuities anytime soon

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Longevity risk – that is, the risk of outliving your retirement savings – is among retirees’ biggest worries these days. The Obama administration is trying to nudge employers to add a special type of annuity to their investment menus that addresses that risk. But here’s the response they’re likely to get: “Meh.” The U.S. Treasury […]

Seven questions to ask about annuities

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I wrote recently about the sales traction that insurance companies are getting with deferred income annuities, or DIAs. In this post, I’ll consider the pros and cons of using a DIA as part of a retirement portfolio plan, and expand the conversation to include the DIA’s first cousin: single premium income annuities, or SPIAs. We’ll […]

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Deferred income annuities getting some traction

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You’ve probably seen this attention-grabbing advertising message on television or on a billboard: “The First Person To Live To 150 Is Alive Today.” Not surprisingly, the ad comes from an insurance company–Prudential–and the pitch is for annuities. You may find the message optimistic, unsettling, or just plain disturbing–but it does highlight the insurance industry’s core […]

Income annuity puzzle: Why don’t more people use them?

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Financial planner Michael Kitces thinks a hybrid income annuity/long-term care insurance policy could be the solution to a riddle economists have puzzled over for years. Economists have long argued that there’s a perfect financial product for retirement: the humble immediate income annuity. It’s a straightforward proposition: Fork over a big chunk of cash to an […]

Transforming your 401(k) into steady income

A job and a paycheck – they go together like coffee and cream. But when you retire from your regular job, does that mean you have to give up the cream? A growing number of 401(k) plans are including investment choices that can help savers convert nest eggs into retirement income. Participants can buy insurance […]