The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting changes in our lives has put physical, emotional and financial stress on a significant portion of the population, particularly seniors.
A recent survey found nearly half of currently employed Americans between the ages of 56 and 75 polled said they were uncertain about when they would be able to retire as a result of the pandemic. As you may recall when the pandemic first took hold, the stock market plummeted, but has since been on a tear.
This volatility has made things even more uncertain for retirees and people approaching retirement, as reflected by the survey conducted by the Alliance for Lifetime Income, which found that:
- 17% of respondents who are currently working now plan to retire later than they had planned because they need to compensate for losses in their investment portfolios.
- 25% are unsure how the current economic circumstances will impact their decision to retire.
- 70% of older working Americans say the COVID-19 pandemic has made them more pessimistic about their retirement plans.
- 40% have had to rethink how much money they’ll have when they retire.
- 35% say the pandemic has made them reconsider when they plan to retire. This crisis has also impacted what they plan to do and where they plan to live when they retire, and why they plan to retire.
- 63% say the pandemic has made them more pessimistic about their retirement plans.
- 7% say the pandemic has made them much more pessimistic about their retirement plans.
- 10% of respondents with an employer-sponsored retirement plan have recently had their employer’s contributions cut or eliminated.
Make retirement income planning a priority
The uncertainty and volatility illustrate why retirement income planning is so important. Your Social Security income won’t be affected by the volatility fortunately, but if you are relying on a 401(k) or an IRA, your balances may have taken a hit and may not have fully recovered if you were not invested properly to take full advantage of the stock market bounce-back.
If you are concerned about future volatility and that your retirement funds will take further hits, you can create a second source of fixed income for yourself in the form of an annuity.
Safe and sound
Almost eight in 10 annuity owners surveyed by the Alliance for Lifetime Income said that annuities are still secure and safe and are an important source of retirement security – even in these unpredictable financial times.
Twenty-one percent of respondents said the crisis had caused them to reduce their risk, while 22% said the economic situation had prompted them to consider the benefits of protected lifetime income that an annuity or pension provide.
One of the main selling points of annuities is that they protect you from stock market volatility while guaranteeing a set rate of return.
Plus, annuity owners also enjoy the following benefits:
- Income tax deferral until withdrawal
- Penalty-free withdrawals to cover emergencies
- Protection from creditors (in most states)
- Complete control over their money if circumstances change
- Probate-free transfers at death
- The right to convert to a guaranteed lifetime income.