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Have you ever heard the phrase “”What was once old is now becoming new again“?  Of course you have. We all have heard this at one time or another.  A perfect example of this came to me through our twelve year-old daughter when she came running up to my wife & I at an electronics store and was BEGGING for us to buy her this ‘really cool’ camera called a Polaroid.  My wife & I listened with smiles on our faces as our daughter explained how these cameras can ‘print the picture right out the camera and you shake it…and then the picture will become real after a minute or so.’  It got me thinking about how some things that are OLD can become NEW again – but this time to a new generation.

Annuities are EXACTLY this.  The ‘Insurance Way’ of retirement is the OLD way.  It is the way of your grandparents and parents.  It is the way of the old pension plans.  It is the way that was used to safely build a retirement account.

But, then along came a NEW way – known now as the 401(k) plans.  This was was the ‘Wall Street Way’.  It is risk.  It is chance – but you could also possibly hit it big.  Sounds very similar to a casino, doesn’t it?

Now, as retirees and pre-retirees are needing a stable retirement income that they cannot outlive, they are often advised to ‘take a look at the NEW way’, which is actually the ‘OLD way’ – but it seems to be new now.  Annuities have been pushed back for decades and decades by Wall Street to the point that they are now ‘NEW’ – but here are some facts:

  • Detailed recordings of annuities first appeared in published form as early as 1483.
  • Annuities were included into our tax code by the Tax Reform Act of 1913.
  • Babe Ruth used annuities to avoid the risk of the stock market and thus was not hurt by the stock market crash of 1929.
  • In modern history (1913 forward), no one has EVER lost a penny in an annuity because of insurance company insolvency.

Sometimes, that old Polaroid camera seems pretty cool – even if it has been around for decades.


Matt Nelson, president and host of Income For Life Radio

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