Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It'll be tough to sell advisors on longevity annuities

Longevity annuities--annuities that kick in at, say, age 85--are going to be a tough sell to financial advisors.

That was my gut reaction when I wrote about longevity annuities on this blog. My unscientific sampling of advisors on LinkedIn reinforced that impression. They warned against the costs associated with annuities and suggested other alternatives for providing long-lived income in retirement.

Many oppose longevity annuities

For example, Tom Taylor, principal and portfolio Manager at Thoma Capital Management LLC, said "I have never recommended a longevity annuity to a client or any annuity for that matter. Building a bond laddering portfolio that invests in TIPs and US Treasury notes is a much better way to go."

Patrick Costello of Costello & Associates said, "paying a lump sum now for a benefit that won't be available for 20 years, with no interim access to the sum, predicated on the unlikely scenario that one will be alive long enough to receive a good inflation adjusted return seems like a fool's move."

Some advisors would consider longevity annuities

However, I did turn up some advisors who seemed willing to consider longevity annuities to help clients avoid outliving their assets.

"As with all insurance products, based on actuarial tables, there are winners and losers," said James C Brandon of JCB Capital Performance.

Jeff Motsco of Motsco Financial said, "Some annuities are good, some are great, and some you don't want to go near, but dismissing something based on cost without considering benefit is haphazard."

Al Aldrete of New York Life suggested that a longevity annuity is a good way to hedge the possibility that a client would live much longer than he or she expected. He said, "This is not a tool to be used with everyone. But for clients who have serious concerns about living too long (because their parents and/or Grandparents have lived into the 90's and 100's) and they are not sure about the fate of Medicare, Medicaid (MediCal in California) and Social Security, this gives them a peace of mind that they will have something."

Susan B. Weiner, CFA
Investment Writing
Writing that's an investment in your success

Check out my website at www.InvestmentWriting.com or sign up for my free monthly e-newsletter.

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Blogger Mary said...

Longevity annuity seems like a pretty good idea to me. I would consider buying it. This site talks about the benefits, etc. of longevity annuity, which I found helpful: longevityquotes.com

1:37 PM  

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