Weekend Reading: An Annuity Instead?

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading an annuity instead Weekend reading an annuity instead
Weekend Reading

You want a retirement income strategy that will last your lifetime, but what’s the best method of achieving that?


Annuity vs. four percent rule: Here, author Richard Quinn compares the benefits of an immediate-fixed annuity with the four percent withdrawal rule. As a refresher, the four percent rule suggests withdrawing four percent from your investment portfolio in the first year of retirement, while adjusting for inflation annually, to last the span of a 30-year retirement. Using an annuity calculator, Quinn found that a 65-year-old man could receive $54,000 annually from a $1 million immediate annuity with a three percent inflation adjustment, surpassing the $40,000 from the four percent rule.

Despite potential annuity advantages, some argue against it, citing concerns about insurance company bankruptcy. Quinn counters that large insurers with high financial ratings pose minimal bankruptcy risks. Further, the four percent rule comes with its own debate as well, with some believing a higher or lower rate is needed. Ultimately, to address retirement income security with the “right” strategy, you must consider factors that are personal to you, like age, risk tolerance and financial goals, as well as economic factors, such as market cycles and inflation.

You likely have more than one route to get you back home when obstacles are in the way, and the same concept applies to your retirement income. Life is full of unexpected occurrences, so don’t rely on a single strategy to address all of your concerns. Leverage a multi-faceted approach and comprehensive process to ensure your bases are covered.