Displaying items by tag: annuities

Saturday, 18 May 2024 12:55

Is the 4% Rule Still Relevant?

The 4% rule has become conventional wisdom when it comes to managing finances during retirement. As millions of people enter retirement over the next decade, it may be time to revise this rule, given higher inflation and longer lifespans.

Social Security benefits are typically equivalent to 40% of a retiree’s income. According to TIAA, retirees should consider pairing the 4% rule with an annuity to generate higher levels of income during retirement. This means that a retiree would convert some portion of their savings into an annuity.

In the first year, this is likely to boost income by up to 32% compared to just using the 4% rule. It also leads to more predictable income and shields retirees from market risk. More predictability can also help with more effective financial planning, leading to a more enjoyable retirement. 

Treasury Inflation Protection Securities (TIPS) are another method to increase guaranteed income, especially with a ladder across different maturities. It also protects retirees against inflation. 

Overall, the 4% rule should be reconsidered, especially in this era. It leads to less spending flexibility and should be augmented with other sources of income. It also doesn’t account for retirees’ individual circumstances, such as tax rates, risk profiles, and cash flow needs. 

Finsum: TIAA believes that the 4% rule should be reconsidered, especially for those retiring now. Retirees may need more income and should consider annuities or TIPS.

Published in Alternatives

The U.S. Treasury Department is seeking to curtail the use of bespoke life insurance policies and annuities by wealthy individuals and families to minimize their tax obligations. The proposal is called "Limit Tax Benefits for Private Placement Life Insurance and Similar Contracts" is part of the fiscal year 2025 "Greenbook"


This proposal aims to reduce the tax advantages associated with private placement life insurance, private placement annuities, and certain variable life and annuity contracts. While few Greenbook proposals are enacted into law swiftly, their inclusion can significantly influence financial services lobbyists and advisors over time.


Issued annually as part of the president's budget proposal, the Greenbook has previously suggested limiting business-owned life insurance and similar arrangements. The new measure could potentially raise $140 million in 2025 and $6.9 billion from 2025 to 2034. Designed for high-net-worth individuals, private placement life insurance and annuities allow customization of benefits and investments, often to gain tax benefits rather than to offer mortality or longevity protection.

Finsum: This proposal could take years to come into law, if it even ever happens, but the landscape could get more progressive if Biden is re-elected. 

Published in Wealth Management

TIAA, a provider of lifetime financial solutions, has unveiled a new gauge aimed at showcasing the potential income augmentation for recent retirees who integrate an annuity strategy into their financial plans, in contrast to solely adhering to the 4% rule. The TIAA Annuity Paycheck Advantage gives retirees an idea of how their retirement package might differ with annuities rather than the strict 4% rule. 


According to TIAA's calculations, a 67-year-old retiree in 2024 could potentially witness a 32% upsurge in their initial retirement income by designating a third of their savings to lifetime income through the TIAA Traditional annuity, coupled with a 10-year guarantee period and withdrawing 4% from the remainder. Kourtney Gibson, TIAA's chief institutional client officer, described the TIAA Annuity Paycheck Advantage as a guiding principle for new retirees, offering the promise of elevated guaranteed payouts and heightened certainty regarding retirement expenditures. 


TIAA intends to annually revise its Annuity Paycheck Advantage index to reflect the contemporary influence of lifetime income on the financial well-being of Americans.

Finsum: While the 4% rule can be a good benchmark, a slightly more complicated strategy can lead to better retirement outcomes for clients

Published in Wealth Management
Tuesday, 07 May 2024 04:53

Annuity Sales Continue Torrid Pace

US annuity sales reached $113.5 billion in Q1, 21% higher than last year. It was also the second-highest quarterly figure on record after the fourth quarter of 2023, according to LIMRA. There was solid and impressive growth across nearly every category, and the organization anticipates that sales will remain strong for the rest of the year. 

Bryan Hodgens, the head of LIMRA research, noted, “The remarkable sales trends over the past two years continued into 2024. Favorable economic conditions and rising investor interest in securing guaranteed retirement income have resulted in double-digit sales growth in every product line.” 

Fixed-rate deferred annuities accounted for the biggest share of sales at 42%. This segment generated $48 billion in revenue, a 16% increase from last year. 85% of fixed-rate deferred annuities had durations of less than 5 years. 

Fixed-indexed annuities set a new record in terms of quarterly sales at $29.3 billion, 27% higher than last year. The next highest contributor were income annuities. Among this category, single-premium immediate annuity sales were $4 billion, a 19% increase from last year, and deferred-income annuities were at $1.1 billion, 35% higher than last year. Registered index-linked annuities saw $14.5 billion in sales and continue to be the fastest-growing segment with a 40% growth rate.

Finsum: Annuity sales maintained their hot streak with a new record for Q1 sales and the second-highest quarterly figure. LIMRA attributes this to high interest rates and unease about the economic situation. 

Published in Alternatives
Sunday, 28 April 2024 11:33

Variable Annuities Have a Huge Q1

Annuity vendors experienced robust performance in Q1, with traditional variable annuity sales rising by 13% year-over-year to $14.5 billion, benefiting from strong equity market performance. Overall annuities amassing $113.5 billion in sales, marking a 21% surge compared to Q1 2023. Although falling slightly short of the Q4 2023 pinnacle, preliminary findings from LIMRA's U.S. Individual Annuity Sales Survey reveal this quarter's sales accounted for 84% of the total U.S. annuity market, the highest first-quarter performance since the 1980s. 


Bryan Hodgens, head of LIMRA research, attributed this trend to favorable economic conditions and heightened investor interest in securing retirement income guarantees, foreseeing continued resilience in annuity sales despite potential regulatory and economic challenges ahead. Variable annuities are expected to tack on another 10% through the end of the year.


Fixed-rate deferred annuities reached $48 billion, a 16% increase from Q1 2023, driving over 42% of the total annuity market. Fixed indexed annuity sales hit a record high of $29.3 billion, up by 27% year-over-year. Income annuity sales soared to a quarterly high, with SPIA sales reaching $4 billion and DIA sales reaching $1.1 billion, up by 19% and 35% respectively.

Finsum: Bond rates could be coming down as the Fed starts to ease rates and other retirement vehicles will become more attractive.

Published in Wealth Management
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