Do You Get Your Money’s Worth From Buying An Annuity?

Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ebauer/2021/07/08/do-you-get-your-moneys-worth-from-buying-an-annuity/?sh=380f33612082&fbclid=IwAR1dlxEjlWlmPSetMplHWU6BdPjzzo7ju983c73QKr5KKKn29PjurCq_YmA

Excerpt:

But measuring the value of annuities, generally speaking, does tell us whether consumers are getting a fair deal from their purchases, and here, a recent working paper by two economists, James Poterba and Adam Solomon, “Discount Rates, Mortality Projections, and Money’s Worth Calculations for US Individual Annuities,” lends some insight.

Here’s some good news: using the costs of actual annuities available for consumers to purchase in June 2020, and comparing them to bond rates which were similar to the investment portfolios those insurance companies hold, the authors calculated “money’s worth ratios” that show that, for annuities purchased immediately at retirement, the value of the annuities was between 92% – 94% (give-or-take, depending on type) of its cost. That means that the value of the insurance protection is a comparatively modest 6 – 8% of the total investment.

But there’s a catch — or, rather, two of them.

In the first place, the authors calculate their ratios based on a standard mortality table for annuity purchasers — which makes sense if the goal is to judge the “fairness” of an annuity for the healthy retirees most likely to purchase one. But this doesn’t tell us whether an annuity is a smart purchase for someone who thinks of themselves as being in comparatively poorer health, or with a spottier family health history, and folks in these categories would benefit considerably from analysis that’s targeted at them, that evaluates, realistically, whether annuities are the right call and whether their prediction of their life expectancy is likely to be right or wrong.

Author(s): Elizabeth Bauer

Publication Date: 9 July 2021

Publication Site: Forbes

The Time Has Come To Talk About Senior Poverty In America

Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2021/07/09/the-time-has-come-to-talk-about-senior-poverty-in-america/

Excerpt:

If 40 million Americans were suffering from the same severe problem, you might think it would be the subject of considerable media attention, a host of government programs, infusions of business capital and a hot topic of national conversation.

That is certainly what I thought several years ago when I began researching the reality that nearly half of all people of over 55 — one in seven Americans — had no money saved and risked heading into poverty or certainly into dire conditions that would make their lives desperate for decades to come.

…..

The average Social Security check is a meager $1,543 a month and about 40% of older Americans rely entirely on Social Security for their income.

Author(s): Joe Seldner, Next Avenue

Publication Date: 9 July 2021

Publication Site: Forbes

U.S. Retirees’ Experience Differs From Nonretirees’ Outlook

Link: https://news.gallup.com/poll/350048/retirees-experience-differs-nonretirees-outlook.aspx

Graphic:

Excerpt:

The differences in reliance on income sources between those who are already retired and those who are not yet retired are likely attributable, at least in part, to apprehension about the Social Security system, as well as the rise of 401(k)s accompanied by a decline in work-sponsored pension plans.

57% of retired U.S. adults say they rely on Social Security as a major income source, and 38% of nonretirees expect it to be a major source for them.

Likewise, 36% of retirees and 19% of nonretirees say a work-sponsored pension plan is or will be a major income source.

Nonretirees are most likely to say a 401(k) or other retirement savings account will fund their retirement (49%). Meanwhile, 35% of retirees mention 401(k)s as a major funding source of their retirement.

Author(s): Megan Brenan

Publication Date: 18 May 2021

Publication Site: Gallup

NJ Retirees – Politicians

Excerpt:

Public servants often spend multiples of what their salaries will be in the jobs they seek in order to get those jobs since they have other incentives. One of those is likely the pension, even for part time employment, that comes with the job.

Though job-hopping makes it impossible to finger all the mayors or council people who game the system, here are some whose last employer was the Office of the Governor, Senate, or General Assembly who, based on data on retirees in the New Jersey Retirement System taken from the the state pension website are getting over $50,000 annually – along with some other familiar names.

Author(s): John Bury

Publication Date: 1 February 2021

Publication Site: Burypensions

NJ Retiree Update – December, 2020

Excerpt:

Based on state pension data updated through December, 2020 there are 358,277 retirees getting annualized pensions of $12,024,013.

Through December, 2019 there were 352,416 retirees getting annualized pensions of $11,675,297,749 .

There are now 4,195 retirees getting over $100,000 annually. Of those 91 are getting pensions of over $150,000 annually:

Author: John Bury

Publication Date: 26 January 2021

Publication Site: burypensions