A bright eye in a dark blue face (Image: Allison Bell/ALM)

U.S. annuity prospects claim to be thinking about their investments roughly the same way now  as they were thinking before the COVID-19 pandemic locked America down — but they are looking at their children differently.

(Related: IRI Unveils Ideas for Curing COVID-19 Nest Egg Blight)

The AgeUp team has included data on that shift in a new summary of results from a survey of about 1,400 U.S. residents ages 50 through 75 that was conducted in February, and a second, similar survey that reached a sample of about 1,300 U.S. residents ages 50 through 75 in late March.

The AgeUp team describes AgeUp as being a deferred income annuity product from Haven Life and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.

The AgeUp team found that the first sample of survey participants and the second sample gave similar answers to most questions, including questions related to lifespan.

When the team asked, “Do you worry about running out of money in your later years?”, the share of participants saying “yes” was 66% in February and 63% in March.

The share of participants who said they had a 50% chance of reaching age 100 was 11% in February and 12% in March.

But, when the team asked, “Who will take care of you financially if you outlive your retirement savings?”, the share saying “my children” increased to 43% in March, from 35% in February. The percentage who said “the government” fell to 23%, from 28%.

The team also asked, “Who do you expect to make the majority of your financial decisions if you reach your 90s?” The percentage who said “my children” soared to 52% in March, from 39% in February.

In other survey news:

MassMutual gave 1,500 Americans ages 55 through 65 a Social Security literacy quiz.

MassMutual found that the quiz takers were most aware of the fact that people who wait until full retirement age to collect benefits get higher monthly benefits than people who collect benefits early: 94% of the quiz takers knew that waiting to collect benefits leads to higher monthly benefits.

The quiz takers were least aware of what happens to permanent residents and other noncitizens who’ve worked in the United States. Many noncitizens can collect Social Security benefits, but only 28% of the quiz takers knew that noncitizens could collect Social Security benefits.

The Alliance for Lifetime Income surveyed 1,202 U.S. residents ages 61 to 65 in early March, before COVID-19 lockdowns had started but after stock prices were already gyrating. All of the participants said they were working at least part-time, and all said they had $100,000 or more in investable assets.

The alliance is a group for big annuity issuers and distributors. Some of the questions it asked were about the survey participants’ response to post-COVID-19 investment market volatility.

The alliance found that the “buy and hold” philosophy has sunk in.

Only 16% of the survey participants said they were very concerned, and 39% said they were not very concerned, or not at all concerned.

When the alliance asked about the participants’ investment decisions, 71% said they had made no changes and were staying the course, and 9% said they planned to buy more stocks or planned to buy more stocks.

In spite of that apparent long-term investment outlook, about 43% of the participants who said they were not very confident whether they would retire at the planned age admitted that they lacked confidence because their actual retirement date “depends on what the stock market is doing at that time.”

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America conducted a survey in March of 558 Americans ages 18 and older who were in an employer-sponsored retirement plan.

One set of questions was about the Secure Act.

Allianz Life discovered that members of Generation X — people born from 1965 through 1980 — seemed noticeably more interested in the idea of annuitizing their retirement plan assets than either older participants or younger worker participants were.

About 79% of the GenXers said they’d consider adding a lifetime income option, and 68% said they’d consider adding an annuity.

Only 73% of the boomers and 77% of the millennials in the sample said they were interested in a lifetime income option.

Just 48% of the boomers and 61% of the millennials said they would consider adding annuities to their plans.

— Read Want to Work in Retirement? Life May Have Other Planson ThinkAdvisor.

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