Here's a look at 5 of annuities' worst enemies, based on Alliance for Lifetime Income survey data...

5. Apathy

17% of the non-retired ALI survey participants had not envisioned life in retirement at all seriously, or did not know if they had.

4. Lack of Money

37% of the non-retired survey participants said they had too little money to prepare for retirement.

3. Lack of Advice

40% of the non-retired survey participants said they had access to professional financial expertise.

2. Math

72% of the non-retired survey participants said they had not calculated the amount of money they'd need to live in retirement.

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1. Fear

74% of the non-retired survey participants said they lacked a strong belief in their ability to plan for retirement. 7% said they were sure they could NOT do so.

State and federal policymakers are still debating new sales standards proposals that could affect financial professionals who help clients with annuities, and still implementing the new sales standards that have already been adopted.

Members of the Insured Retirement Institute and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors are meeting this week, partly to talk about the U.S. retirement savings gap.

(Related: Alliance Adds Advisor Version of Retirement Readiness Assessment Tool)

The Alliance for Life Income (ALI) — an annuity issuer outreach group — recently released survey data that casts some light on the client side of the conversations.

ALI commissioned a survey that included 3,119 U.S. adults ages 25 to 74, including 2,500 who were not retired.

So, why does getting so many U.S. consumers to prepare for retirement take so much hard work on your part, and so much life insurer concern about sales incentives?

Why aren’t consumers hounding lead-generation companies for lists of life insurance agents, who they might be able to reach, who might, possibly, be willing to offer them the privilege of benefiting from life insurers’ ability to provide a guaranteed stream of retirement income? Why don’t you have a polite but tough AI that decides which consumers get to talk to you?

ALI came up with some data on why so many non-retired Americans are acting like deer frozen in the headlights.

One thing ALI found is that 20% of the non-retired survey participants were not at all anxious about whether their savings would provide enough for them to live on in retirement.

The rest were at least somewhat anxious, and 18% said they were extremely anxious.

For a look at five of the many enemies found that are keeping those anxious consumers from begging for a chance to ask you about buying annuities, see the data cards in the slideshow above.

— Read A Loss of Faith, on ThinkAdvisor.

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