Spiritual Advisor

Good advisors think of themselves as healers, in a way. Larry Ford takes that concept to a new level. Has he totally lost his mind, or is he onto something?

Drama in Des Moines

Rejecting a takeover bid by Athene and MassMutual, fixed index annuity issuer American Equity will partner with Brookfield Asset Management. The deal releases up to $350m in capital for American Equity, and makes it a 'Bermuda Triangle' player. Photo: AEL headquarters in Des Moines.

The Five Most Important Retirement Income Decisions

'Many of the decisions presented here are beyond the skills of most pre-retirees and retirees,' writes the author, a research scholar at the Stanford Center on Longevity. 'They’re going to need help.'

A Closer Look at CLOs (and Other U.S. Credit)

Bond mavens, check this out. A new SEC report describes how most of the $54-trillion dollar U.S. credit market survived last spring's financial crisis. It covers securitized 'leveraged loans,' which provide high-octane fuel for fixed indexed annuity issuers.
Featured

The Variable Annuity Market in Five Acts

Actuary Timothy Paris, CEO of Ruark Insurance Advisors, Inc., charts the evolution of the variable annuity product and its market in this article, which first appeared as a blogpost on the Society of Actuaries' Riskpertise site.

Will Boomer Retirement Melt the Markets?

An editor at IPE.com says decumulation by Boomers won't spell disaster for the equity and bond markets--thanks in part to inequality. "The wealthiest 1% of US baby boomers own almost one-third of the cohort’s financial assets (and can live off the income without selling)," he writes.
News

Partial lump-sum payouts for Social Security?

Researchers suggest that instead of giving Americans increasingly higher monthly benefit for waiting past age 62 to claim benefits (to a maximum age of 70), the Social Security Administration might present the premium for delay as a lump sum.

Lower-income 60-somethings are raiding their IRAs

Among households ages 71 to 80, those whose withdrawals exceeded the RMD amount were withdrawing more than twice as much, proportionately, as did those who withdrew the minimum required amount.

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from Northwestern Mutual and Jackson National Life.