Sign of the Times

A 'grey market' phenomenon in more ways than one, Airbnb’s lodging website allows Boomers and others to boost their retirement incomes and, conversely, to afford their dreams of retirement travel.

How Debt Affects Retirement

“Remaking Retirement? Debt in an Aging Economy," was the theme of the 65th annual symposium of the Wharton School's Pension Research Council, held last week in Philadelphia. (Photo: Kitchen and retirement makeovers sometimes occur in tandem.)
Anecdotal Evidence

It’s No Joke: The Fed’s Comic Book is Wrong

The educational comic book from the New York Fed means well but perpetuates the myth that money was created in the private sector to facilitate barter and enabled commerce to flourish. History shows otherwise.
Anecdotal Evidence

Annuities that Pay Cash Back Rewards

Gainbridge, a insur-tech startup, aims to sell fixed deferred and period certain income annuities online. Its sister company, Relay, uses annuities to fund cash back rewards cards. Both firms are part of Group1001 (formerly Delaware Life Holdings).
Anecdotal Evidence

VA Sales Lack Clear Trend

Helped by a bull market that pushed the DJIA over 15,000 for the first time, VA assets under management at the end of the first quarter 2013 reached a new record of $1.72 trillion, up from $1.64 trillion at the end of 2012.
Anecdotal Evidence

VA Issuers Keep On Tweakin’

Carriers filed 97 VA product changes in the first quarter of 2013, down from 101 in the fourth quarter of 2012 and 59 in Q1 of last year. Benefits continue to shrink and volatility controls on subaccounts have become more common, according to Morningstar's Annuity Solutions product manager.
Anecdotal Evidence

A retirement boom as far as the eye can see

“Financial services firms should be looking at the retirement market not just for the immediate opportunity offered by Boomers but preparing for the possibility of long-term, sustained growth as Gen X and Y consumers prepare for retirement,” a LIMRA release said.
Anecdotal Evidence

GAO criticizes “pervasive marketing” of IRA rollovers

Posing as plan participants about to change jobs, the GAO called IRA rollover counselors at 401(k) providers to see if the recommendations were biased in favor of rollovers and against roll-ins to the job changer's next employer's 401(k) plan. (Pdf and video attached).
Anecdotal Evidence

DIA-monds in a rough patch

“Deferred income annuities were a bright spot in a difficult quarter,” said Jeremy Alexander, CEO of Beacon Research. “Ongoing product development and increasing sales underscore the importance of generating guaranteed retirement income for consumers and their advisors.”
Anecdotal Evidence

Quote of the Week

"Selfish and contentious people will not cohere, and without coherence nothing can be effected" -- Charles Darwin, Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871).
Anecdotal Evidence

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from DST, BB&T, and Vanguard.