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"Personally, instead of an annuity, I'd just ladder CDs. FDIC insured. If the government goes bust, we have more serious problems afoot."

JLC, I'll grant you that FDIC insurance is hard to beat when it comes to security in investments.

But note that CD ladders have another problem. Recall that in the Carter years interest rates hit 20% and you could buy CDs paying over 10%. These days 3 yr CDs pay less than 3%. Those who based their retirement on investments in CDs have seen their incomes not only not keep up with inflation, but fall by 70% or more.

Similarly, the $30K in income that I hear is close to median retirement income requires at cool million dollars at current rates. I suspect that most could do better than $30K in income from that much in assets.

For risk averse retirees, CDs may be the best you can do, but one would hope that the typical retiree has a more aggressive portfolio.
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