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Annuity ownership tied to confidence in retirement preparedness

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The Baby Boomer generation—those who were born during the post-World War II years between 1946 and 1964—currently number approximately 75 million Americans, according to Pew Research Center. Also this year for the first time, Pew projects that the Millennial generation—those who are between ages 18 to 34 in 2015—will outnumber Baby Boomers in the U.S. this year, as the number of deaths exceed the number of older immigrants arriving in this country.  

However, although the Baby Boomer generation is shrinking slightly each year, it’s still a large and influential group. As the youngest members of this generation approach the age of 51 this year with the oldest turning 69, all Boomers are nearing, or already in, retirement years. But how prepared is this group to handle the financial requirements of retirement?

Not very well, according to the Insured Retirement Institute in its April 2015 report, Boomer Expectations for Retirement 2015: Fifth Annual Update on the Retirement Preparedness of the Boomer Generation,” which is based on a survey of 803 individuals at or nearing retirement.

Overall economic satisfaction among Boomers dropped off significantly in 2015 to 48 percent from 65 percent in 2014, according to the report. What’s more, Boomers are not sure they’ll have sufficient resources to last throughout their Golden Years.

“The percentage of Boomers feeling extremely or very confident they will have enough money to last throughout retirement has declined significantly, to 27% of Boomers in 2015 from almost four in 10 in 2011,” the report states. When it comes to retirement age, an increasing number of Boomers are planning to retire after age 65. More than one in four (28 percent) of Boomers plan to retire at age 70 or later, allowing them to maximize their Social Security benefits, according to the report.

However, owning annuities is closely tied to an increased level of retirement preparedness and confidence, according to the report. “Boomers who have made the decision to purchase financial products specifically oriented toward retirement income are more likely to have taken positive steps to prepare for retirement, such as saving money for retirement, calculating the amount they will need to retired, and consulting financial advisors,” according to the report.

And annuities can also help reassure this group that their financial resources will last throughout their retirement. Boomers who own annuities are much more likely—by more than two-fold—to feel extremely or very confident that their money will last throughout retirement, compared to Boomers without annuities. And boomers who own annuities also feel more economically satisfied, are better prepared for retirement, expect to be able to cover their basic expenses as well as enjoy leisure activities, and are confident they will have sustainable income throughout their retirement years. Says the IRI report:

• About half (47 percent) of annuity-owning Boomers are extremely or very confident their money will last throughout retirement, compared to only 20 percent of those who do not own annuities.

• A full 79 percent of annuity-owners expect to have money for basic expenses and leisure activities in retirement, compared to 47 percent of those who do not own annuities.

• Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of annuity-owning Boomers have calculated the amount they think they will need to have saved to retire, vs. less than one-third of non-annuity owners.

• More than half (53 percent) of Boomers who own annuities believe they will retire more comfortably than their parents, as compared with 31 percent of Boomers who don’t own annuities.

• Nearly half (47 percent) of annuity owners are extremely or very confident in their retirement preparedness, while a scant 17 percent of those who haven’t bought annuities express the same confidence.