It is surprising that many financially unstable near-retirees are not taking advantage of the abundance of retirement income planning tools and investments available to the average investor. One of these investments, the retirement annuity, provides guaranteed and stable income along with the flexibility of early withdrawals and a degree of liquidity that is inaccessible with other investments.

A recent survey by the Society of Actuaries or SOA says that while a third of its respondents worry about outliving their retirement funds, only a fifth are considering the purchase of an annuity and other products that guarantee fixed income for retirement. In addition, less than half of all survey participants from 45 to 70 years of age have enough financial safeguards to buffer against the increasing costs of living, as well as comparatively expensive healthcare in retirement. Also, less than 20% of all surveyed are planning to buy insurance to cover the costs of potential disability or incapacity in retirement by buying insurance for long-term care. These findings were based on information from over one thousand participants.

Longer Life Expectancy Requires Stronger Assets

The SOA also released information that showed longer life expectancies for the average American worker, and the high probability that most of these individuals will outlive the assets they have accumulated for their golden years. Experts say that members of the Baby Boom generation, who will start qualifying for retirement at the start of 2011, will not have enough resources to live on due to issues like housing rates and the instability of the global financial markets over the recent years. These factors, coupled with the likelihood of longer life spans, are contributing to the lack or readiness the workers of today are saddled with when it comes to financing their retirement.

Almost three-fourths of all respondents to the SOA survey also wish to claim their Social Security benefits before reaching 70 years of age as they do not have ample alternatives. Many retirement advisors recommend claiming Social Security benefits as late as possible so that plan holders can get larger overall payouts and help ensure that they will not outlast their retirement assets.

As for long-term healthcare, seniors are advised to purchase this relatively costly coverage because it can turn into a monetary safety net for older retirees who are bound to require intensive medical attention in their later years. This type of coverage will be able to help retirees, especially those with inadequate funds, strengthen their retirement income planning strategy by diminishing the effects of covering these costs out-of-pocket as a senior ages.

Katherine Smith is an author who specializes in financial topics concerning seniors. Puritan Financial Group gives seniors professional retirement income planning advice and reliable investment options. For more information on how Puritan Financial Group can help you, please visit our website at


May 12, 2011…webcast on Voluntary Early Retirement Authority and the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program. Information on the two programs and the regulations that cover them.

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