Gimme Shelter: Why Are the Rolling Stones Hawking Annuities?

Why Annuities?

It may seem a surprising choice of Annuity sponsor for The Stones until you think about the band’s fan base.

According Jean Statler, the executive director at the Alliance for Lifetime Income, concert attendees and annuity buyers are the same people: 45-72 year olds with investable assets between $75,000 and $2 million.

Statler told the New York Times that annuity buyers are “not huge investors with really a lot of money; they are the middle class, they are people who have worked hard and accumulated some savings and may have the benefit of living longer than they had ever planned, and realize they may not have enough savings to last that life span.”

What is an Annuity? (“Satisfaction!?”)

Lifetime annuities are insurance products that guarantee income. You pay a lump sum and – in return – get guaranteed monthly payments. Lifetime annuities guarantee that income for life – no matter how long you live. They take away risk. If you are worried about running out of money in retirement, then an annuity might be the “Satisfaction” you are trying to get.

Pros and Cons of an Annuity

Annuities offer some considerable benefits, especially for those not able or willing to risk losing a portion of their retirement savings.
However, there are definite downsides. The costs can be high and the product can be confusing and somewhat inflexible.

Annuities should not be thought of as an investment, but rather an insurance product — insuring that you have the income you want. Annuities won’t make you rich, but they can offer some peace of mind.

Can You “Get What You Need,” No Matter Your Age?

The Rolling Stones are a band that personifies longevity and living life to the fullest. All four current members are over 70 and Mick Jagger is back on stage after heart surgery this year. These guys continue to prove that age is just a number, and that living longer is really about continuing to do the things you love.

And, as rock stars, they have more money than they need to do whatever they want. But, that is simply not true for most of us. And, how do you even know how much money you need for retirement when you don’t know how long you will live and what is going to happen during that time.

Annuities are supposedly the answer to getting what you need — no matter how long you will need it…

Will an Annuity Really “Gimme Shelter?”

Mick Jagger explained to NPR that “Gimme Shelter” was originally a “…very moody piece about the world closing in on you a bit. When it was recorded, early ’69 or something, it was a time of war and tension, so that’s reflected in this tune. It’s still wheeled out when big storms happen… It’s been used a lot to evoke natural disaster.”

Nowadays though Mick might redefine “Gimme Shelter” as referring to retirement income protection.

War and natural disasters are real concerns, but the number one worry of retirees is the fear of outliving assets and running out of money in retirement.

Long lives, increasing costs and an unstable economy are the real storms “threat’ning our lives today…”

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