Retirement Crisis: 'Peak 65' Amplifies Demand for Protected Income and Annuities

Retirement Crisis: 'Peak 65' Amplifies Demand for Protected Income and Annuities
Cover Image Source: GettyImages | Graeme Robertson Staff

Retirement security in the United States has undergone significant changes in recent years, leaving many Americans ill-prepared for their future, according to a recent Protected Retirement Income and Planning (PRIP) study by The Alliance for Lifetime Income (ALI). 

Let’s find out the impact of 'Peak 65' on retirement readiness and discuss key findings from the 2023 Protected Retirement Income and Planning Study.

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According to the PRIP survey, the upcoming 'Peak 65' is a historic demographic event when the largest number of Americans ever will reach the age of 65. This occasion is expected to occur next year, with approximately 10,000 individuals turning 65 daily. This number will peak at 12,000 per day. Unfortunately, many individuals approaching retirement age are unprepared, lacking sufficient savings and protected income for a comfortable retirement.

'Peak 65' magnifies the urgency for Americans to secure their financial future.

 



 

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Traditionally, pensions provided a reliable source of retirement income for many individuals. However, a seismic shift has occurred, resulting in the decline of pension availability. According to Jason Fichtner, chief economist at the Bipartisan Policy Center, "Today, many Americans are facing a retirement crisis because they are at risk of running out of money in their retirement. That makes this the first generation where the majority must rely on their own savings efforts to prepare for retirement.” 

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Source: GettyImages | Rob Stothard  Stringer
Source: GettyImages | Rob Stothard Stringer

The study revealed concerning statistics, including the fact that 51% of consumers aged 45 to 75 express doubts about the longevity of their retirement savings, fearing that it may not be sufficient to last throughout their lifetime. Additionally, 32% lack confidence in their ability to cover basic monthly expenses during their retirement. Alarmingly, the study also found that 44% of retired individuals have been forced to return to work due to financial constraints.

Source: GettyImages | Spencer Platt  Staff
Source: GettyImages | Spencer Platt Staff

Amid the ongoing retirement crisis, there has been a noticeable surge in the demand for protected income and annuities. The PRIP study highlights that consumers are increasingly interested in allocating a significant portion, up to 80%, of their retirement savings into safer investment options. Notably, individuals who possess pensions and annuities tend to have a more optimistic outlook regarding their retirement prospects. Annuities, in particular, have gained popularity as they provide a reliable means to convert retirement savings into a steady and predictable income stream. Given the variety of annuity types available, such as fixed, fixed index, and variable annuities, individuals can select options that best align with their specific needs and preferences.

Source: GettyImages | Christopher Furlong  Staff
Source: GettyImages | Christopher Furlong Staff

Annuities serve as personalized pension plans, offering individuals the opportunity to purchase contracts from insurance companies that guarantee a regular income during their retirement years. Fixed annuities provide protection against market downturns by offering fixed interest rates and monthly payments.

On the other hand, fixed index annuities not only ensure principal protection but also offer a minimum crediting rate and additional interest rates based on market indexes. Variable annuities, while providing the potential for growth through market investments, also come with the option for guaranteed monthly income payments. However, it's important to acknowledge that variable annuities carry the inherent risk of market loss.



 

According to Fichtner, considering annuities becomes important when Social Security benefits alone are inadequate to cover basic expenses, when there is a need to protect against the risk of outliving savings due to a longer life expectancy, or when individuals seek to mitigate risk and safeguard a portion of their portfolio. Retirement planning requires a comprehensive approach that takes into account individual circumstances, risk tolerance, and long-term financial objectives. Seeking guidance from financial advisors or retirement specialists can offer valuable insights and assistance in optimizing one's retirement portfolio.

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