Almost two years ago last month, Americans for Annuity Protection gave this speech at the United Nations Global Economic Summit. We were thrilled and awed by a dozen other speakers with their messages. They are as relevant today, if not more. Here was ours:
Longevity is rapidly changing our nation and the world. We are at the midst of the global longevity revolution. A revolution that will have a bigger impact on society and culture than the industrial revolution and the technology revolution. It is something that has never occurred in human history.
What is the impact on our nation and the world as the global birthrate drops and the life expectancies continue to extend? The remarkable 20th century breakthrough in medical sciences has given us a society that is living longer than ever before but now we don’t know how to finance longer life spans?
Today in America, someone is retiring every nine seconds. That means, every nine seconds someone is applying for entitlement benefits. Can we afford it? Can we afford longevity?
Are we prepared for an aging nation, and an aging world? How do we live longer lives that are better lives considering the rising healthcare costs, low interest rates, less from Social Security and increased taxation? Between this year and through 2030, the 65-plus population will grow by more than 70 percent while payroll taxes will grow by less than 10 percent.
Where is the money going to come from?
Between 1991 and 2007, bankruptcy filings have increased 125 percent for people between 65 and 74 and 400 percent for people over 75. The bottom-line is, millions won’t have enough money for the comfortable retirement our parents and Grandparents enjoyed.
We are simply facing a national retirement crisis in America. Millions will find that they are too old to return to work and have too little in savings. Half of today’s private sector workers don’t have any employer sponsored retirement plan and over 2.5 million Boomers have less than $1,000 in their net lifetime of assets saved.
The Great Recession saw a decline from pensions and savings of over $5 trillion. Today most have recovered but could we survive another economic catastrophe? Especially if millions are relying on a monthly income that’s got to last until their last breath.
Americans need a lifetime income, free from the unpredictability of the turbulent storms of Wall Street. I’m an advocate for a solution, that I’ve made it my life’s work and is my passion to educate Americans about it. It’s the truth and remarkable magical use of fixed annuities.
You see, based on the issues I’ve just discussed, annuities make sure you don’t run out of money as long as you live no matter how long you live, AND they also make sure you don’t lose any money when the markets do.
Annuities provided solid retirement confidence in an uncertain world, and annuities can make sure extra expenses like education, long-term care and medical expenses are paid. You can even provide for an educational or additional income for your children or grandchildren.
In a recent landmark article, which appeared in the Harvard Business Review, called “The Crisis in Retirement Planning,” by the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. The author is a distinguished professor of finance at MIT. Dr. Robert Merton eloquently stated, “Our approach to saving is all wrong: We need to think about monthly income, not net worth.” He further states, “Investments cannot deliver security in terms of income.”
If we don’t sound the alarm and educate consumers, the crisis will become a tragedy on a massive scale.
Unfortunately, one would think the government would boldly embrace fixed annuities, but instead the Department of Labor is attempting to damage the consumer’s ability to secure private commercial solution. The effect will be, increased costs, government red tape, not consumer protection as it is disguised.
This has led me and my colleagues to form a national advocacy nonprofit called “Americans for Annuity Protection,” a 501(c) nonprofit advocacy organization. Americans are in danger of losing a vital part of their financial heritage and liberty because of a lopsided campaign against annuities and their marketplace, which have thrived and served the public nobly for centuries.
The longevity revolution is in progress. The natural essential companion is the only vehicle that provides certainty, security, guarantees and a solid predictable income for life with market protection -- the fixed annuity. Let’s not fail society when the solution is and has been successfully managing longevity risk for the last hundred years.
Today, advisors face uncertainty regarding their duties and their businesses are exposed to litigation that causes even more uncertainty, which, in turn, will create an advice void for consumers.
It is important to remember annuities provide an incontrovertible and unprecedented protection from longevity risk that no other financial product can achieve -- guaranteed income that will last as long as you do.
Americans for Annuity Protection is demanding the Department of Labor rescind the DOL Fiduciary Rule so that this protection is accessible and achievable. #Rescind the Rule!
Kim O’Brien is a 35-year veteran of the insurance industry specializing in guaranteed annuities and life insurance. She is the current CEO of Americans for Annuity Protection and Founder of AssessBEST, Inc., a sales and compliance software system. Visit www.AAPnow.com or www.AssessBEST.com for more information. Contact Kim at [email protected]
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