The 1 Thing Retirees Fear Most

Since the financial crisis, there's no question that the nation's population is concerned about their financial standing. Plenty of investors saw the huge declines in their portfolios, while others had their pensions stripped or other financial hardships. On the heels of such events, there's one fear that the majority of soon-to-be retirees share -- and with that knowledge, financial firms are gearing up to offer products to lessen those concerns.

No, it's not death
Though I'm sure that keeling over is getting closer to the top of some retirees' lists of fears, the most common shared concern is living beyond their savings -- a.k.a. running out of money. A survey completed by Allianz Life Insurance Company revealed that 61% of retirees are more concerned about outliving their retirement savings than dying.

With the increasing cost of medical needs, increasing life expectancies, as well as fewer pension benefits and Social Security benefits, retirees are finding it harder to get by on the amount of savings that they had previously thought would be adequate. Among consumers age 44-49 in the study, the percentage of those worried about the longevity of their savings jumps to 77%.

Time to be opportunistic
The fact that there is a consistent fear of outliving savings is a telling sign that consumers will be looking for new products to address the fear. This is where life insurance and retirement services firms have an opportunity. In fact, ING U.S. (NYSE: VOYA  ) has centered much of its restructuring and rebranding initiative on a focus for "retirement readiness." Since going public in May, the company has stated its thesis that the most daunting issue Americans are facing today is preparing for retirement.

Long-term careMuch like the restructuring at ING U.S., other companies have refocused on their retirement services operations, with success. After a long internal review of its long-term care insurance division, Genworth Financial (NYSE: GNW  ) decided that it would not back out of that market, though it has been troublesome in the past in terms of profitability. Many LTC insurers found that the low rates they were charging in order to build up their businesses were not sufficient in covering the costs from the nearly 8 million Americans that bought policies.

Due to the staggering increase in medical costs, Genworth Financial and competitors, including Manulife Financial Corp.'s (NYSE: MFC  ) John Hancock division, have had to increase the premiums for their LTC insurance. For the two companies' in-force business, both have stated that the rates will rise significantly. Genworth cited a 6%-13% rise based on various policy features, while John Hancock has asked state regulators for the ability to raise rates by 25%.

Record sales
In the past two quarters, insurers have seen a huge increase in demand for their annuity products. By offering structured payouts in the future, an annuity can give some sense of security to a retiree that's concerned about outliving their income. But as I mentioned in a previous article, there are some significant drawbacks to investing in an annuity product.

American International Group (NYSE: AIG  ) reported a record level of sales during the second quarter of its variable annuity products, followed by a 100%+ increase in fixed annuity sales during the third quarter. According to the company's conference call following the third quarter, its fixed annuity products are priced so as to provide an 11%-12.5% return to the company -- so the continued demand for these products will provide good returns in the future.

Best approach
If you're like the millions of other investors concerned about the longevity of their retirement savings, be sure to check out some of the new products that could help ease your burden in the long run, but be sure to discuss any products with a non-biased financial planner before jumping in. For investors looking to boost their portfolios, the same fear you may have about outliving your savings may just be the boost needed for any of the financial services companies on the market. With higher demand for financial products that will address the No. 1 concern of retirees, these companies will be prepared to step up and offer products to meet  the bigger needs, all while increasing the likelihood of a good return for their shareholders.

One proven way to secure your retirement
While dividend stocks don't garner the notoriety of high-flying growth stocks, they're also less likely to crash and burn. And over the long term, the compounding effect of the quarterly payouts, as well as their growth, adds up faster than most investors imagine. To put it bluntly, dividend stocks can make you rich. With this in mind, our analysts sat down to identify the absolute best of the best when it comes to rock-solid dividend stocks, drawing up a list in this free report of nine that fit the bill. To discover the identities of these companies before the rest of the market catches on, you can download this valuable free report by simply clicking here now.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2754678, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/22/2014 5:55:23 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement