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Heavy Reliance on Social Security for Income Stream, A Solution Provides Guaranteed Lifetime Income

The story of saving for retirement today has two key factors: the industry you are in and your company size. Newly released retirement-readiness scores show workers in two blue- and gray-collar fields, Engineering and Protective Services, are better prepared for retirement compared to all workers – outpacing even white-collar employees – reports The State of America’s Workforce, a national study commissioned by the Indexed Annuity Leadership Council (IALC).

Yet overall, blue- and gray-collar industries are less prepared for their golden years, with eight of 11 scoring below average. The numbers are especially bleak for workers in the Food Preparation and Personal Care industries. The bottom-ranked industries show a barrier of access to employer-sponsored plans, which traditionally have provided accumulation and lifetime income opportunities.

In fact, more than one-third of workers who are unprepared for retirement say they don’t have access to retirement plans or products, leaving them to create a self-driven plan for saving enough and making it last as long as they do.

“Long-term planning is hard enough when we know all related variables, but retirement planning is riddled with unknowns, whether you have an employer-sponsored plan or not,” notes Kristen Berman, co-founder and principal at Common Cents Lab at Duke University and a collaborator on the study. “One option to introduce certainty into the retirement equation is exploring a savings vehicle that provides a guaranteed lifetime income, like a fixed indexed annuity. This type of annuity leans into our desire for certainty by providing a steady stream of funds, helping Americans solve the complex math problem known as retirement savings.”

The quest for a stable income you can’t outlive is a goal shared by the majority of America’s workforce, with almost 80 percent reporting this as their number one retirement need. Unfortunately, more than three-quarters of workers plan on meeting this need by relying on Social Security.

Given the sustainability concerns of Social Security, it is important to consider additional savings vehicles, like fixed indexed annuities, which also provides guaranteed lifetime income, in addition to principal protection from market declines and tax-deferred growth. However, currently only two percent of pre-retirees are taking advantage of this option.

“A diversified portfolio is a proven strategy for income growth and wealth protection,” said Jim Poolman, Executive Director of the IALC. “Fixed indexed annuities can be combined with Social Security, independent accounts, and other employer-sponsored options, if available, to help ensure a balanced financial plan, while also being the one product in the mix to assure a lifetime income stream that keeps going.”

Financial planning is not only saving for retirement, it is also about securing retirement income to last the long haul. Financial resources such as online calculators and budgeting tools can help ensure an accurate, customized plan is in place to ensure funds will last a lifetime. For workers getting close to retirement age, financial retirement goals shift from accumulation of wealth to principal protection and longevity of dollars.

“If you have qualified dollars, from vehicles like 401(k)s or IRAs, and are looking at next steps for when you retire, many wonder how to take what they have accumulated and make it last,” comments Poolman. “A fixed indexed annuity provides principal protection from market fluctuations and guarantees a reliable income check that is predictable and will not stop for the duration of your retirement.”

About The State of America’s Workforce
All data is based on a large-scale, quantitative survey of 2,103 U.S. full-time working Americans conducted during March 2018 by Research Now, a global market research company with more than 11 million panelists. White-, blue- and gray-collar workers, as classified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), were included in the survey population. The study’s retirement-readiness scores are calculated based on the percent of the money needed for retirement that respondents reported already saved.

About the Indexed Annuity Leadership Council
The Indexed Annuity Leadership Council (IALC) brings together a consortium of life insurance companies with a commitment to providing consumers, the media, regulators and industry professionals factual information about the use of fixed indexed annuities. Namely, that these products provide a source of guaranteed income, principal protection from market declines, and interest rate stability in retirement as well as balance to any long-term financial plan.