Hegna's Hotseat

The Research of My Trial Retirement


s many of you may have heard, I took a shot at a “trial retirement” this summer. I gave an update at the end of July when I was at my mid-point. Around that time, my main takeaways were three things: (1) I have to be proactive with my health, (2) the stock market volatility can affect your golf game if you are riding the market waves, and (3) retirement is all about managing risks. So what did I learn during the second half of my summer? Well, I am always looking for the math and science to back up what economists and Nobel Laureates have said for years, and I’ve found some research I want to share with you.

I came across a great whitepaper from Northwestern University and the Brookings Institute called Can Annuities Become a Bigger Contributor to Retirement Security? It starts out by saying what I have said for years: “Economic models of rational human behavior predict that households planning their retirement will buy an annuity to protect themselves against the risk of running out of money as they age, whereas in actual practice relatively few households buy annuities. This is the annuity puzzle.” I could quote this whitepaper over and over with nuggets of gold about why annuities should be part of your client’s retirement plan. Read the whitepaper yourself if you don’t believe me.

One specific section of the whitepaper that was written about recently by Melanie Waddell at ThinkAdvisor talks about deferred annuities. I have long believed that deferred income annuities are a very underutilized product on the market. I personally have purchased a few of them, and I’m looking forward to the increasing income they will be providing in my 70s, 80s, and 90s.

Look, I can’t predict the future, and neither can so-called market experts. I’m looking forward to being back on the road to continue to spread the “gospel” of the importance of lifetime income in retirement. Guaranteed lifetime income isn’t going anywhere, and neither am I (there seemed to be a lot of concern over my Facebook post, haha)! I’ve got a jam-packed September, October, and November. Right now, I’m on track for about 80 presentations, 8 webinars, and over 10 podcasts—all in the next 90 days. Time to get back to work!

See you on the road,
Tom Hegna

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