Reports in the NY Times, Wall Street Journal and Boston Globe this week drive home the message that the Obama administration has come to the conclusion that one of the easiest and most pragmatic ways to boost retirement savings and provide a more secure retirement income for American's is to encourage the use of annuities.
For those of us in the annuity business, particularly those of us who work in structured settlement annuities or work with lawyers on their pension plans, this comes as welcome news but no surprise as to the value of the annuity to lock in guaranteed income you can't outlive, out spend or dissipate.
As we all know, American's have been in the thrall of the real estate and investment business for the last 25 years and believed the numbers tossed around that 11% annual returns can be expected on equities long term or that no one ever lost money in real estate. As the last decade has shown, plenty of people can and do lose money in real estate and that while long term yields on equities over 50 years are quite predictable, 5 and 10 year periods can go negative much to the dismay of investors and advisers alike.
As someone who has been a proponent of balanced investing and the use of annuities for years, this welcome recognition by firms such as Putnam Investments and others that when it comes time to start retirement savings, that an annuity is typically the best option for people, is long over due.
Listen in to this weeks edition of Speaking of Settlements to learn a bit more about the Putnam retirement Summit and get a handle on this sea change in how annuity contracts are perceived and used. As I have been predicting for over 18 months now, we are about to enter a golden age in the use of and appreciation for annuities for the vast majority of Americans and the sooner advisers, lawyers and others get a handle on this the quicker these amazing and fundamentally sound products will gain wider use and acceptance.