Although markets are at all time highs, it feels as though retirement unease is also as high as they’ve ever been. The World Economic Forum white paper details the $224 trillion gap between retirement needs and what we’re on track to save by 2050. This triggers some difficult questions we need to take on as a society, such which broad based approaches to take to resolve this issue and which sacrifices we’ll need to make to guarantee a safe and healthy retirement for everyone.
This month, annuity prices didn’t change much. We also discuss the value of an income annuity, and highlight a study by Morningstar on the impact of guaranteed income on safe withdrawal rates from portfolios.
There were no major changes in annuity pricing this month. With the volatility in recent interest rates, we highlight research from a Princeton professor on the relationship between interest rates and annuity pricing. In summary, every 100 basis points of change in the 10 year T-note has resulted in a 65 basis point change in annuity payout rate.
The 10 year T-note finishes the month at 2.4%, around where we were in November, stopping insurers from increasing annuity rates this month. Additionally, the uncertainty on the direction of interest rates has us working with clients to create long-term income purchase plans instead of one-time purchases. Finally, we are hosting a retirement income webinar to help you understand whether a Retirement Spending Analysis is right for you.
The market’s near all-time highs. It’s great for the value of your retirement account, but now’s the time to be extra vigilant. Some ideas how: pay less in fees; learn about how health and wealth go hand in hand; and stop guessing how long you’ll live.
This Sunday’s New York Times featured the article “Making Your Money Last as Long as You Do” by Mark Miller which quoted our CEO Matt Carey. The decline of traditional pension plans and increasing longevity present a significant challenge to Americans nearing and planning for retirement. The article outlines four strategies you can use to mitigate this risk, including the consideration of annuity as a part of your retirement strategy.
Bond yields continued to go up in early December, which has caused annuity payouts to go up again. Based on the fact that yields have declined over the last couple weeks, we expect annuity payouts will more likely than not decline or stay the same when carriers next update their models. It varies from insurer to insurer, but there’s typically a couple weeks to as much as a month of lag between when bond prices change and when they’re reflected in annuity pricing.
Here goes nothing: let’s spend some time talking about dying. But not in a morbid or pessimistic way. There are incredible new developments in how we think about aging and end-of-life care.
A word of advice: don’t use your retirement portfolio to predict the future. This month provided a case study as to why. Better to keep contributing to your retirement and stay invested through rain and shine. And that includes through changes in who is running the country. Not only were the vast majority of predictions about who would win the presidency incorrect, so too was the conventional wisdom about the impact of the election on financial markets. We dig in below about the difficulty and folly of predicting the future.
Big changes are happening with public sector [glossary slug='pension']pensions[/glossary] and hardly anyone is taking notice. The latest shoe to drop in a decades-long shift away from pensions and towards what’s called a [glossary]defined contribution[/glossary] system comes from the US military. They’re moving away from a traditional pension plan and towards a [glossary]401(k)[/glossary]-like plan in the coming months. The tie-in to longevity? With a pension, you don’t have to guess how long you’ll live in order to budget for retirement. In a defined contribution system, you do.