How many meetings with widows will it take before you fully grasp the power of guaranteed income annuities in a retirement income plan?
I am yet to meet with a widowed woman who asked me what the rate of return is on the annuities in place after the death of her husband.
When she asks me if she is going to be okay, and I share with her that she will receive guaranteed checks each month for the rest of her life, does she question whether the index crediting method is annual point-to-point or if the variable subaccounts will be rebalanced annually?
Instead, she reaches for a tissue and wipes the tears from her eyes in a way that keeps her mascara intact. She looks as frail as she ever has and in the same moment breathes a sigh of relief as she allows herself to begin the mourning process, free of the financial worry that had gripped her heart and mind since the moments following his unexpected passing.
As advisors, we should absolutely debate the effects of interest rates on various income planning strategies.
We should question whether rising inflation of nursing care costs warrants a traditional long term care policy or a hybrid policy. We should be incredibly analytical and discerning about the product choices we make on behalf of the families we serve. In the midst of doing those things, we must remain mindful of the secure outcomes our clients deserve from the plans we create with and for them.
Because I specialize in retirement income planning, I have the distinct honor of earning the trust of thoughtful aging men who want from me, more than anything else, the peace that comes from knowing that I will stand by the plan we create and care for his wife, should he pass before she does. He’s looking for you to do for her financially, what he would have lovingly done for her, should he have lived forever by her side.
Income annuities, and the unique benefits they provide can be a very powerful planning tool in the right hands and in the right planning context.
Risk-based assets also play a powerful role in proper planning. For some reason, annuities too-often suffer from an identity complex, often under attack by ill-informed pundits. That is, until their benefits are fully felt by a grieving widow who doesn’t care to discuss asset allocation and Sharpe Ratios.
She simply needs income without fail, a box of tissues, and time. An income annuity cannot heal a broken heart, but it certainly can heal a worried mind. Our clients deserve no less.