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According to LIMRA research, financial advisors believe one of the greatest risks for their middle market clients in retirement is longevity, and 6 in 10 advisors consider middle to mass affluent market to be the most appropriate marked for guaranteed income products.

After an historic recession, stagnant economy, and repeated threats to Social Security and Medicare benefits, middle income earners are looking for stability. For many, deferred annuities fit the bill.

A recent LIMRA study found that 90 percent of deferred annuity buyers said having enough income to last their lifetimes and to remain financially independent was their primary goal. The study also found supplementing Social Security and/or pension income in retirement was the most popular intended use among 55 percent of variable annuity buyers, 46 percent of indexed buyers and 42 percent of traditional fixed buyers.

Variable annuities, in particular are attractive to middle market consumers. Among purchasers with household assets between $100,000 and $250,000, almost 9 in 10 say they are “likely to recommend” variable annuities to their family and friends.

Generating income will be a top priority for pre-retirees. Only one third expect to receive enough from pensions and Social Security to cover nondiscretionary expenses throughout retirement. LIMRA is witnessing more interest of annuities as a solution to create a guaranteed lifetime income stream by younger Americans, who are less likely to have a defined benefit plan. In fact, only 18 percent of Gen X and 11 percent of Gen Y consumers have a defined benefit plan, like a pension.1 Perhaps annuities can play a role in creating a pension-like income for these Americans when they reach retirement.

1LIMRA analysis of 2010 Survey of Consumer Finances, Federal Reserve Board

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