Skip to Content
Older couple dancing at party symbolizing that they are enjoying retirement.
Retirement Planning

Learn how you can earn guaranteed income in retirement with annuities

Financial advisors spend years learning the ins and outs of investing and there is one word they do not take lightly: guarantee.

Outside of taxes, there are very few guarantees in personal finance, but a 2018 study from Greenwald Research found that 73 percent of respondents indicated guaranteed income is highly valuable to them. Let's take a look at why advisors may be averse to offering a guarantee and a few places where you may be able to find guaranteed income in retirement.

Why advisors are careful when discussing guarantees

In the world of investments, all decisions come down to balancing risk with returns. There are very few times you can use words like always, never, and guarantee when looking at finances. There are a huge number of variables across the economy that add ambiguity to even the most sound financial strategies.

Considering longer periods of time, the overall trend of the stock market has been upward. But in any short-term period, trends in performance will often be more difficult to identify. Until someone discovers time travel or a working crystal ball, the best anyone can do is work with a trusted advisor to structure a portfolio that addresses risk by factoring in a variety of scenarios. If you are part of the 73 percent that is interested in a guaranteed future income, your financial advisor may have a few options to provide that.

A comfortable lifestyle in retirement

The goal of most retirees is to maintain the same standard of living in retirement that they enjoyed in their working years. To do so requires a combination of managing expenses and building stable sources of income.

Social Security and personal savings aside, annuities are one of the few investment vehicles that can provide guaranteed income. Survey responses showed that those who want guaranteed income in retirement are worried about not being able to afford long term care expenses (34 percent), the possibility of losing assets in the stock market (33 percent) and outliving retirement savings (30 percent).

Going beyond Social Security, American investors have other options to build a sustainable income in retirement. Those include various types of annuities. For example, an indexed annuity can help you plan for a secure retirement by allowing your money to grow with principal protection. Annuities offer a guaranteed lifetime income after a lump-sum investment or series of investments during the accumulation phase of the annuity. Many also offer guaranteed income by way of an income rider that can be utilized during the accumulation phase. An income rider will likely include specific conditions and carry an additional expense.

Annuities can be a useful investment vehicle for retirees as the planned income can complement Social Security and any other retirement assets to provide a diverse, stable income in the future. When you purchase an annuity, you begin a long-term relationship with the issuing life insurance company. You want to be sure that company has the experience, character and financial strength to serve you now and in the future. You want to be confident that company will back its promises for the long term.

Plan for a more worry-free future

Between longer lifespans, rising healthcare costs and the potential for market volatility, future-focused savers clamor for certainty in an uncertain environment. Annuities may help alleviate some concerns as they can provide a source for guaranteed income for retirement.



Arrows linking indicating relationship

Related Articles

Senior couple looking at laptop, smiling

What you need to know about Social Security

Learn more
Man in a gray sweater thoughtfully looking at his laptop, as if studying information.

Retirement savings by age

Learn more
Two older, active adults kayaking off into the sunset.

Bolster your retirement savings with 401k catch up contributions

Learn more

All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax-related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit

Companies and organizations linked from Learning Center articles have no affiliation with Protective Life or its subsidiaries.