For the last 5 decades, baby boomers have created massive shifts in consumption for things related to their overall lifestyle and needs. Businesses and organizations that cater to these “boomer needs and wants” have (and will continue to) made fortunes having the right product or service at the right time. From diapers (how do you think Pampers became a household name) when the boomers were young, to cars (this helped the explosion of GM, Ford, Detroit, etc) when they began turning 16, homes when they started their own families (which created a housing explosion for middle class homes), and countless other examples. Of course, the future is no different as new opportunities are arising for new wealth creation following these baby boomer into retirement. In particular, retirement vehicles that can produce lifetime income such as annuities and certain types of life insurance.
Here at Retirement Think Tank, we have been preaching (for many years now) that annuities will be the fastest growing retirement vehicle for the next decade as baby boomers look for safety and retirement income versus stock market gains and risk. In conjunction with our thesis, annuity sales have continued to grow despite numerous forces such as regulatory and all-time low interest rates that have tried to hamper sales. And very recently, some big names have begun to enter the annuity industry including the news of Warren Buffett buying variable annuity risks, Private Equity money such as Guggenheim Partners and Apollo have bought some annuity carriers outright, and this week Charles Schwab announced an entrance into income annuities.
Schwab’s entrance to annuities comes in the form of a partnership with Pacific Life that will underwritten by PacLife and sold exclusively by Charles Schwab. The product is called the “Schwab Retirement Income Variable Annuity” and is built with a focus on guaranteed lifetime income, low fees, and streamlined features. It will be interesting to see how these new variable annuities sell on Schwab’s successful platform. Keep you posted as we hear more.