How much guaranteed retirement income do you need?

All sorts of alarms and warning bells started going off in my head as I read your question. The hefty annual fees and the fact that the adviser wants to put a pretty big chunk of your $700,000 savings stash in this annuity are by themselves enough to make me question this recommendation. The fact that Social Security and a pension will already provide you a substantial assured annual income raises even more doubts.

Not that any of this proves that this adviser is trying to bilk you. But there are enough shenanigans and dubious practices that go on in the annuity world –some of which are outlined in this report Senator Elizabeth Warren’s office issued last year — that I think any reasonable person has to wonder whose interests are being better served here, yours or the advisers.

Putting aside the motivation behind the recommendation, however, the real issue you face is not just whether you should invest in the annuity this adviser is touting, but whether you need an annuity at all. Without more detailed knowledge of your financial situation — as well as a better sense of how concerned you are about possibly outliving your savings — it’s not possible to give a definitive answer. But you should be able to think through these issues on your own and come to a decision about how to proceed by asking yourself these three key questions:


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