David often gets questions from people asking why they would want to liquify their investment portfolio to fund their annuity, especially now with the markets being down due to the coronavirus.
There is an inverse relationship between stocks and bonds, when stocks are down bonds are up. Annuities and the LIRP share a lot of similarities and effectively replace the bond portion of a portfolio.
Annuities can be superior to bonds for seniors, giving them high, guaranteed payments for the rest of their lives that allows them to be more aggressive with the rest of their portfolio. Basically, an annuity that guarantees a stream of income for your lifetime functions like the bond portion of your portfolio.
If the stock portion of your portfolio is down, that means that the bond portion is up. If you want to guarantee a portion of your income, it may make sense to simply replace the bond portion of your portfolio with an annuity.
Once you start drawing income from the annuity it continues to function as the bond portion of your portfolio and in many cases because of the growth mechanism internal to the annuity gives it the opportunity to keep up with inflation over time as well.
If you just qualified for a LIRP, you may have the same question in your mind. Why do it now while the stock market is down due to the coronavirus? The key to remember is that you won’t be cementing your losses in the stock portion of your portfolio, you fund it through the bond portion which happens to be doing great right now.
When the stock market recovers, the stock portion of your portfolio will grow along with it.
Now is an excellent time to start repositioning money to tax-free. Every year is a window of opportunity to take advantage of historically low taxes. You can also take advantage of the cost of a Roth conversion based on the depressed value of your assets.
If you’re concerned about the losses in your portfolio, you have to remember that the LIRP and annuities are designed to replace the bond portion of your portfolio, not the whole thing. They actually reduce the overall risk in your stock market portfolio while giving you higher rates of return.
Don’t wait for the stock market to recover, just think of an annuity as a more effective and efficient bond and if you’re over the age of 50, the LIRP is also a heartburn-free way of mitigating long term care risk.
Retirement economists are unifying their voices and saying that your stock market portfolio will last longer if you guarantee a portion of your retirement income.