Why the country stands in line for annuities every week

The recent lottery frenzy that overtook the entire country was a revealing snapshot of what people really yearn for. Financial stability. No worries about paying monthly bills. Enough income for the rest of their lives. People want guarantees.

Yes, people were standing in line for lottery tickets. But what they were really doing is standing in line for an annuity lifetime income guarantee, and an income stream that they could never outlive.

Lump-sum floodgate of problems

I know that the conventional wisdom from stock market advocates and annuity haters is for a lottery winner to take the lump sum and invest the money in a balanced portfolio. In a perfect world, that is the right answer. However, we don’t live in a perfect world.

Taking a lump sum doesn’t always turn out well, with many lottery winners ending up broke in a very short period of time. Family members and money-seeking friends can still hound you for help when you choose a lifetime income stream in lieu of an annuity lifetime income stream. However, those self-imposed contractual lifetime payments can at least limit a lottery winner to not blowing through the lump sum by making poor decisions.

Everyone already owns a great inflation annuity

The entire working population of the United States already owns an annuity, and they didn’t have to stand in line to buy a ticket. It’s called Social Security, and it’s the best inflation annuity on the planet because the inflation increases to the income stream is purely political. I’ve always wondered that if you “hate all annuities,” do you cringe when that monthly Social Security check comes in? I’m guessing that you don’t, and that the lifetime income guarantee becomes a welcomed part of your income floor.

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