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Life Annuities Are Most Useful For People Without Pensions

Monday, July 16, 2012 - 3:31 PM
by Scott Burns

Q. You recently addressed a question from a couple whose ages are 75 and 77. You replied “At a later date, you might consider buying a joint survivor life annuity.” Since the couple was in their 70s it got me wondering: what are the tradeoffs to buying a life annuity at younger ages versus older ages? And is there a rule of thumb regarding the most appropriate age to purchase an annuity?

Another question regarding life annuities. My wife and I will retire in a few years. In addition to Social Security and 401(k)s, and some additional savings, we both have defined benefit pensions. Should we consider a life annuity? Or would an annuity be unnecessary if pensions serve a similar purpose of providing reliable income that won’t vary based on market ups-and-downs?

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ShorebreakShorebreak2,670 posts since
Apr 6, 2010
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