Weighing the Value of a Variable Annuity

A VA lifetime withdrawal benefit—especially one with a 'ratchet'—can provide the upside potential and downside protection that many Boomers want in retirement, say researchers Petra Steinorth and Olivia Mitchell. But a life annuity offers a higher dose of "AEW."

Tell Us What You Really Think

At the LIMRA-Society of Actuaries Retirement Industry Conference in Baltimore last week, Scott Stolz from Raymond James, Greg Jaeck from Edward Jones and Jarrod Fisher from Simplicity Financial Distributors delivered frank opinions about annuities and annuity issuers.

Why Indexed Annuity Sales Are So Strong

Many factors are driving the increase in indexed annuity sales: More manufacturers, better products, more distributors, competitive commissions, aging boomers, and relaxed regulation. But does the bubble contain the seeds of its own deflation?

Lessons from a Living (DC) Experiment

Israel has found that even a mandatory defined contribution system can’t resolve all of the behavioral, economic, or administrative issues that prevent low-income and minority workers from saving for retirement. (Photo: Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem.)
Featured

Who’s Afraid of the Fiscal Cliff?

Not Bill Gale of the Brookings Institution. He recommends that we let the Bush tax cuts expire and the automatic spending cuts occur—and then to build a more sensible fiscal compromise on top of their ruins.
News

GDP growth rate of 2.8% predicted for 4Q 2012: Prudential

The 1.5% GDP growth in Q2 was due to weaker consumer and government spending and a negative trade balance. Bright spots were solid business investment spending and housing as well as a rise in inventories, according to Prudential strategist John Praveen.

The Bucket

Brief and late-breaking items from Natixis Global Asset Management, Symetra, Fidelity, Allianz Life and Genworth.

“Quote” of the Week

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise"--F. Scott Fitzgerald, from "The Crack-Up."

On Moshe Milevsky’s “The 7 Most Important Equations”

Each chapter in Prof. Milevsky's latest book focuses on a different important mathematical equation, on the genius who created it (or who won credit for creating it), and the application of that equation to retirement income problems.