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Layin’ It on the Line: Annuity and Adrenaline: A tale of two retirees

By Lyle Boss - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Sep 6, 2023

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Lyle Boss

In a quiet corner of a cozy cafe, two old friends sat opposite each other, reminiscing about the days of their youth and the vicissitudes of life that brought them to their golden years. Peter and Robert had both been successful in their careers — Peter as an engineer and Robert as a marketing executive — but their retirement approaches couldn’t be more different.

Peter, ever the meticulous planner, had a diversified portfolio that included a mix of stocks, bonds, real estate and annuities. He had started building his nest egg early, always living within his means and choosing to forgo certain luxuries to prioritize long-term security. At the heart of his financial strategy were annuities that provided a steady, guaranteed income, effectively acting as a financial cushion.

“I sleep like a baby, Robert,” Peter said, slowly sipping his herbal tea. “The annuities kick in every month, the rent from the properties comes quarterly and my dividends fill in the gaps. I can focus on enjoying life — traveling, painting and spending quality time with my grandchildren.”

Robert chuckled and pushed his cup of espresso aside. He was the polar opposite of Peter, a risk-taker who had always loved the thrill of gambling on the high-stakes table that was the stock market. His portfolio was stocked with tech startups, volatile commodities and high-yield bonds. To him, the idea of an annuity — slow, secure and unexciting — was anathema.

“You know me, Peter. I live for the chase! And let me tell you, I’ve had some phenomenal wins. When that biotech startup went public last year, it was like hitting a jackpot,” Robert said, his eyes twinkling.

Peter couldn’t help but marvel at Robert’s audacity, but he also sensed a tremor of unease in his friend’s voice. They had seen the ups and downs of markets, the tech bubbles and the crashes, and they both knew that fortune was a fickle companion.

Robert leaned in, “But let’s be honest, the adrenaline rush comes with its price. There are nights I’m up, glued to the global markets, wondering if a political event halfway across the world will wipe out a chunk of my retirement fund. It’s exhausting, Peter. And as we age, I’m beginning to wonder if the thrill is worth the stress.”

Peter looked at his friend sympathetically. “Why not consider diversifying? Add some annuities or more stable investments to your portfolio. There’s still room for excitement, but wouldn’t it be nice to have something solid to fall back on?”

Robert stared into his empty espresso cup, contemplating. The market was indeed a roller coaster, and as much as he loved the highs, the lows were getting harder to stomach.

“Maybe you’re right, old friend,” Robert finally said. “The years have taught me that life is unpredictable. Maybe it’s time my portfolio reflects some of that wisdom.”

As they left the cafe, Peter couldn’t help but feel grateful for his diverse portfolio that included annuities — his safety net in a world of financial acrobatics. Robert, too, felt a sense of relief wash over him. The thought of incorporating some financial safeguards was like a balm to his adrenaline-soaked investment strategy.

Two different paths, two different risk tolerances, but a shared realization that retirement was not a destination but a journey — one best navigated with a blend of thrill and caution. As they hugged goodbye, they knew that their next meeting would have a different undertone, one that spoke of a newfound respect for balancing the scales of financial risk and emotional peace.

If Peter and Robert’s story resonates with you, it’s time to assess your own retirement strategy. Whether you’re a meticulous planner or a daring investor, striking the right balance between risk and stability is crucial. Annuities may play an important role in offering you that much-needed financial cushion.

Speak to a trusted financial advisor today to explore how diversifying your portfolio with annuities may bring you peace of mind and a more secure future.

Lyle Boss, a native Utahn, is a member of Syndicated Columnists, a national organization committed to a fully transparent approach to money management. Boss Financial, 955 Chambers St., Suite 250, Ogden, UT 84403. Telephone: 801-475-9400.


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