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"But what is also conspicuously absent from the airwaves and print are banner headlines singing the praises of those who were 'visionary' enough to invest their $$ in annuity products before the market crash."

I saw only this morning a newspaper item indicating the percentage of 401K plans that offer an annuity payout as an alternative to lump sum (or IRA rollover). The number was 15% as I recall. But article implied that annuities give you a much better chance of making your money last through retirement. (No discussion of inflation.) Sounds like another of those sales pitch blurbs made to look like a newsreport. (Plenty of news copy these days seems to have advertizing influence, some more subtle than others.)

And then there are those who remember the junk bond meltdown of the '90s when people with insurance company annuities (some were employer pensions) wondered out loud if their insurance company would be able to continue paying their checks. The words AM Best seemed to be on everyone's lips those days.

Annuitized benefits including insurance company annuities that have been annuitized do offer a measure of security when other investments are in turmoil. But those benefits do come from insurance company investments. If the market gets bad enough, those companies too can find their finances impaired or inadequate to make promised payments.

Like it or not, nothing in finance is built on rock solid foundation. It all has an element of uncertainty. And even now we begin to think about the prospects of the US dollar failing under a mass of debt one day. Yet another element to worry about that one year ago few Americans even were aware of.
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