Can You Afford to Live To 100?

I found this very interesting piece in Investor Daily today. It’s about a new product offering by ING Australia called ING Money For Life. The point of the product is to protect income from market risk and guarantee an income stream for the duration of your life no matter how long it is. From the article:
"It's a market-linked investment which is a normal account-based pension and we've wrapped in a lifetime guarantee or life policy. So it's a bundled life policy if you like in a standard account-based pension," ING Australia director retirement and investment solutions David Kan said…

If the underlying investment increases in value, the protected income base amount increases with it on a biannual basis.
There’s plenty more info in the article but what struck me is what happens if the underlying investment decreases in value? I assume this product works like a universal life insurance policy but without the lump sum payout to beneficiaries upon death.

It definitely sounds intriguing especially now that we’re experiencing such a down time in the markets. Even if you had plenty of cash in your retirement account before the crash you probably have considerably less one year later. At extraction rates of 4-5 percent a year losing 20-30 percent in 12 months can pretty much devastate a portfolio that should sustain you indefinitely.

I’m not a financial advisor so do your own homework on products such as these but in this age of expanding life spans it might be wise to consider such new financial products… unless of course you think working decades past retirement age is a viable option. :)

Investor Daily, Oct 9, 2009

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