PBS NewsHour | Yes, there is a way for older Americans to receive guaranteed lifetime income that, for many of us, is more than three times the current rate on 10-year Treasuries. It is through the purchase of a Single Payment Immediate Annuity (SPIA), perhaps the least-known, best retirement deal on the market today.
In finance, the word “annuity” refers to a series of payments made to a person (called the “annuitant”) for life or for a set number of periods. In this post, we refer to a fixed, life annuity, a plain vanilla annuity that will guarantee a set income each month for the rest of your life, no matter how long you live or what dumb mistakes you make along the way. If this guarantee looks familiar, it should, since it is pretty much what we get from Social Security as well as from a traditional “defined benefit” pension — if we are lucky enough to have one. Both are forms of life annuities because both pay until you die.
TREAT SOCIAL SECURITY AS INSURANCE AGAINST ONE OF LIFE’S MOST EXPENSIVE ACCIDENTS:
Virtually every economist who studies retirement issues feels that annuities are generally the best way to close a lifetime income gap. In fact, economists are very surprised that relatively few retirees choose to invest at least some of their savings in a life annuity. They even have a name for this strange behavior, which they call the “annuity puzzle.”
Matt Nelson, president
Income For Life LLC
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