The White House Conference on Aging that concluded this month was remarkable for its acknowledgement that too few Americans are assured of a secure late-in-life retirement. The conference did not, however, fully spell out how to solve the problems it raised.
The conference’s final report also concluded that the three-legged stool of Social Security, personal savings and employer savings arrangements is a little wobbly, putting millions of retirees in danger of running out of money in old age. In addition, as retirees age they often see their incomes fall and face unplanned medical and long-term care costs–thus magnifying the problem.
The Conference on Aging listed the favorable qualities of annuities, mentioning that income annuities “reduce the risks that retirees will outlive their savings or that their living standards will be eroded by investment losses or inflation.” More