“Moderate-growth monthly income generator.”
“Slightly illiquid higher-return retirement vehicle.”
Sorry, just playing around. Because if you take stock in surveys (and we all know I do), it looks like consumers aren’t all that into the word “annuity” – but they’re very much into what an annuity does.
In May, Allianz ran an informal online survey in which 80 percent of respondents said they’d prefer ”a product with 4 percent return and a guarantee against losing value over a product with 8 percent return and subject to market risk.” Fifty-six percent chose an annuity when only given the description of what it would do – moderate growth opportunity, monthly income, but limited access to the lump sum – over a similar vehicle that’s completely liquid but may run out of money.
Those with assets between $300,000 and $500,000 felt even more strongly about the “annuitylike” product: Seventy-seven percent preferred it to the latter option.
Which sounds great! It’s what we’ve known all along, right? People love annuities – especially people with money.
Not so fast, though. Seems as if consumers, when faced with the actual A-word, slam on the brakes: In the same survey, 54 percent of Americans aged 44-75 expressed a distaste for the actual word “annuity.”
Makes me wonder if there are other words the industry uses that are holding it back. “Critical illness” sounds so dire, doesn’t it? “Critical” makes me feel as if I’m being rushed into something. “Illness” just makes me feel sick. What about… “Lump sum diagnosis-triggered bill payment enabler”?