June 11, 2015

Make your money last as long as you do

While there are a variety of strategies for spending down retirement investments to try to last for a lifetime, the only sure way to accomplish this is through the purchase of single payment life annuities (SPIAs). Lewis Mandell, Ph.D. explains why annuities are ideal for accomplishing this task in his book "What to do when I get stupid: A radically safe approach to a difficult financial era." See: http://lewismandell.com/. At the same time that our ability to make prudent financial decisions declines with age (after peaking at age 53 and really declining after age 70), confidence in our abilities actually increases! This is a scary combination well documented by extensive research. "The two major questions posed in the book ask how we can generate sufficient guaranteed real income to last the rest of our lives, not matter how long we live and what are the best ways to protect our lifetime income against possible irrational decisions of our future selves" (p. 152). This is a MUST READ for everyone approaching or in retirement AND for their children. I've heard too many stories of how elderly parents were taken advantage of by financial professionals with dubious interests, and by outright fraudsters, draining assets meant for heirs and leaving the adult children to support their parents.

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