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Benartzi, Thaler and Previtero Attack the ‘Annuity Puzzle’ (AdvisorOne)

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A new paper, slated for publication next month in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, examines why annuities aren’t a more popular solution for retirees. This is not a new question, but it’s one that’s becoming increasingly relevant as people are living longer, retiring earlier, and saving less.

The authors of the paper, Shlomo Benartzi, Richard Thaler, and Alessandro Previtero, cite research showing individuals with non-negligible financial assets gain substantially from annuitization, as well as research tending to refute supposed explanations for consumer reluctance to purchase them, including fees, prices or inflation concerns.

In fact, the paper states, greater reliance on annuities would help people determine the right drawdown rate and timing of retirement, and also help them avoid over- or underspending in retirement.

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