Nov 20, 2019

Uptick in riskier annuities purchases

Data: Secure Retirement Institute; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Purchases of variable annuities hit a three-year high last quarter, according to new sales figures released by the Secure Retirement Institute.

Why it matters, per Axios Business Managing Editor Jennifer Kingson: Variable annuities, meant to generate income in retirement, fluctuate depending on the performance of various markets. The fact that consumers are buying them is another indicator of economic confidence.

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Poll: Retirement hopes — and fears

Data: SurveyMonkey online poll with a margin of error of ±2.5 percentage points; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Americans' sentiments about retirement illustrate the impact of growing socio-economic inequality in the country.

The bottom line: Inequality is cyclical. Poorer, less educated, marginalized Americans face more hurdles to reaching a comfortable retirement. Meanwhile, wealthier Americans are more likely to have the luxury of retiring or working as long as they want.

Go deeperArrowNov 16, 2019

Deep Dive: Retirement becomes more myth than reality

Data: U.S. Census Bureau and PNAS; Chart: Naema Ahmed

The number of Americans in the workforce who are over 64 years old has tripled over the past 30 years.

Why it matters: Delayed retirement is a sign of health and affluence for some and a continued life of hardship for others. As society ages and people live longer, a 21st century idea of retirement is needed, Steve Vernon of the Stanford Center on Longevity tells Axios.

The millennial retirement savers

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

In an age where “ok boomer” is a rallying cry for young people fed up with older people who don’t understand them, stereotypes abound of millennials spending money poorly.

The big picture: Labor economist Teresa Ghilarducci tells Axios that millennials don't behave differently than prior generations — they're just thrust into different circumstances. They’re less likely to be offered pensions or qualify for employer-sponsored retirement plans, so they start saving later in life and accumulate less compared to their predecessors. Two-thirds of millennials have no retirement savings at all.

Go deeperArrowNov 16, 2019