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Mark Miller: Remaking Retirement

Deferred Annuities Getting Some Traction

More investors are buying deferred income annuities in their 50s with income starting earlier in retirement, but longevity insurance is still a tough sell.

You've probably seen this attention-grabbing advertising message on television or on a billboard: "The First Person To Live To 150 Is Alive Today." Not surprisingly, the ad comes from an insurance company--Prudential--and the pitch is for annuities.

You may find the message optimistic, unsettling, or just plain disturbing--but it does highlight the insurance industry's core value proposition for annuities: Even the best retirement plan can't precisely account for how long you'll live--so use insurance to hedge your risk.