Tuesday, May 19, 2015

What is a life annuity and how does it work?

Suppose you have $400,000 in saving at age 65. You decide to set aside $100,000 as an emergency fund or to give to your children when you pass away. You invest $300,000 to get a monthly income.
You are told that the life expectancy for a normal person at age 65 is 20 years, and you belong to this category, i.e .you are not unhealty nor super healthy.
The insurance company (or CPF) offers you two choices:
a)  FIXED ANNUITY FOR 20 YEARS. You can get $1,840 per month payable for a fixed period of 20 years. If you die earlier, the balance of your savings will be paid to your family. However, the money will run out after 20 years, and you will get nothing after than.
b) LIFE ANNUITY. You will get $1,840 per month payable for your lifetime. If you die before 20 years, the balance of your savings will be kept in the fund to pay the monthly income for those who live beyond 20 years. If you live beyond 20 years, you will continue to get the monthly payment as it is taken from those who left the balances in the pool when they die.
Which annuity do you prefer - the fixed annuity for 20 years, or the life annuity?
Under the fixed annuity, you stand the risk that you will live beyond 20 years and your money would have run out by that time. Under the life annuity, you are assured of receiving the income for your lifetime, but it could be shorter or longer than 20 years. You are pooling your "longevity risk" with the other members of the pool.
Your decision will depend on your belief - do you like to pool your risk with the other members of the fund? This assumes that you belong to the group that expects to have a normal life expectancy, i.e. you do not have any reason to believe that you will die earlier or later than most people of the same age as you.
What is your choice?

1 comment:

Siva said...

I would go with fixed annuity !!

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