If you own an annuity, chances are you’re happy with it: The people who like annuities most are annuity owners, a recent survey has concluded.
And it turns out even people who say they don’t like annuities might actually like them but don’t realize it.
What both groups have in common is they value guaranteed lifetime income in addition to Social Security. In fact, 67 percent of those who responded to the survey conducted by Greenwald & Associates and CANNEX found guaranteed lifetime income highly valuable.
The survey also found that 76 percent of people who own an annuity would recommend one to someone else. What was their most compelling argument for buying annuities? Protection against running out of money in retirement.
Annuity owners cite other benefits as well:
- 88 percent said they worry less about daily retirement
- 86 percent said they can budget more effectively.
- 75 percent said they’re able to use more of their money on discretionary expenses.
- 63 percent said they can take greater risks when investing their other assets.
Greenwald & Associates and CANNEX surveyed 1,005 Americans ages 55 to 75 with at least $100,000 in investable assets. Their research also included a survey of more than 300 financial advisors for comparison. Greenwald is a market research firm; CANNEX provides pricing information for annuities and bank products to financial institutions.
Annuities Give Retirees Confidence That They Can Afford Their Lifestyles
The research complements the results of a study in October by the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute. That study found that the top two reasons consumers buy annuities are to supplement their income from Social Security and pensions and to receive guaranteed income for life.
According to LIMRA, Social Security and pensions are the main sources of income for 70 percent of current retirees. But people who have yet to retire do not expect to rely on either of those options. In fact, just 49 percent of pre-retirees age 55 and up and only 32 percent of younger workers said they expect to rely on Social Security and pensions when they retire.
About half of those workers say they will live on their savings, including 401(k)s and IRAs. Yet those financial tools do not create income that retirees need.
LIMRA’s research found that 70 percent of annuity owners are more confident that they can afford their preferred retirement lifestyles, no matter how long they may live.
Annuities’ Benefits Overshadow the Perceived Downsides
As reflected in the larger CANNEX survey, some consumers see annuities in a negative light. Yet when the same consumers were told about an unnamed financial product with the same attributes as annuities, 36 percent more reacted more positively.
“After hearing how a guaranteed lifetime income product would work in a floor strategy, helping to bridge the gap between Social Security and essential expenses, 71 percent think it would be a good strategy for their own retirement,” according to a summary of the results. “In addition, 72 percent of those who own an annuity with guaranteed lifetime income say the purchase was indeed part of a broader portfolio strategy.”
Forty-six percent of survey respondents believe annuities have too many terms and conditions, cut off access to their money and are too complicated to understand. However, their ratings of the positive features of annuities, which include longevity protection, ability to manage through market downturns and peace of mind, are consistently higher than the perceived downsides. Those perceptions have remained persistent in the last few years.
“There’s strong consumer interest in guaranteed lifetime income products to provide peace of mind knowing they will be able to meet their basic needs in retirement,” study director Doug Kincaid said in a press release.
4 Cited Research Articles
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- Greenwald & Associates and CANNEX. (2019, June 12). 2019 Guaranteed Lifetime Income Study Supplemental Data. Retrieved from http://www.cannex.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/GLIS-2019-Supplemental-Data.pdf
- Greenwald & Associates and CANNEX. (2019, June 12). Fifth Annual Guaranteed Lifetime Income Study (GLIS). Retrieved from http://www.cannex.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2019-GLIS-Key-Findings.pdf
- LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute. (2018, October 30). New LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute Research Shows Consumers Buy Annuities to Create Income for Retirement. Retrieved from https://www.limra.com/en/newsroom/news-releases/2018/new-limra-secure-retirement-institute-research-shows-consumers-buy-annuities-to-create-income-for-retirement/
- Locke, S.E. (2019, June 12). Fifth Annual Guaranteed Lifetime Income Study New Research From Greenwald & Associates and CANNEX Highlights Drivers of Demand for Guaranteed Income Products, Gaps Between Advisor and Client Perceptions. Retrieved from http://www.cannex.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/061219-GLIS-Release-2019-.pdf