When my parents retired, they had no issues when it came to retirement income.
In addition to Social Security, they both had retirement plans that offered a guaranteed monthly income for life. They also had investments, but they were the icing; the cake was those monthly checks. They didn’t need to dip into their savings, because their income was more than enough to live on. It even adjusted for inflation.
While these types of retirement plans still exist, they’re getting more and more rare.
Take me, for instance: Soon I’ll be eligible for my full Social Security benefit, but it won’t be nearly enough to support my lifestyle. And unlike my parents, I won’t be getting additional monthly checks. So my savings aren’t the icing; they’re the cake. It’s up to me to figure out how to convert my savings into monthly checks, and up to me to make sure it will be enough to last a lifetime.
According to some researchers, retirees who have a predictable retirement income are happier than those who don’t. Makes sense: Worrying about running out of money doesn’t sound like a barrel of monkeys.
Solution? For many approaching retirement without a guaranteed income, it’s an annuity: an insurance contract that converts a lump sum of cash into a monthly income for life.
But while annuities might seem like the ideal solution to the retirement income problem, it’s not all wine and roses. While ideal for some, they’re not a perfect solution for all.
That’s what this week’s “Money!” podcast is about. We’re going to talk about annuities, offering both pros and the cons, so you’ll be able to decide whether they’re right for you.
Sit back, relax and listen to this week’s “Money!” podcast:
Don’t listen to podcasts?
A podcast is basically a radio show you can listen to anywhere and anytime, either by downloading it to your smartphone, or by listening online. They’re awesome for learning stuff and being entertained when you’re in the car, doing chores, jogging or, if you’re like me, riding your bicycle.
If you haven’t listened to our podcast yet, give it a try, then subscribe. You’ll be glad you did!
Want more information? Check out these resources:
- 4 Reasons to Buy an Annuity — and 4 Reasons to Walk Away
- Ask Stacy: Should I Buy an Annuity for Retirement Income?
- Your Top 5 Retirement Questions, Answered
- 6 Ways to Guarantee Yourself a Steady Retirement Income
- 7 Ways Retirees Can Fatten Their Bottom Line
- Investopedia: The Pros and Cons of Annuities
- Credit Karma: Annuities: Pros and Cons
- CNBC: Annuities: More cons than pros?
- Motley Fool: Are Annuities a Good Investment?
- U.S. News & World Report: 16 Things You Need to Know Now About Annuities
- Subscribe to the Money Talks News newsletter
- Take our course The Only Retirement Guide You'll Ever Need
- Take our course Money Made Simple
- Miranda Marquit’s website