Thousands of GM and Ford retirees across the nation are struggling with one of the most important decisions of their financial lives – whether to keep their current pensions or take a lump sum offer. We support the case for each of these individuals working with their financial advisors to carefully analyze their particular situation. But, before a final decision is made, recent statistics may give reason to pause and consider one more important factor in the puzzle.
According to Dr. Michael Finke, professor at Texas Tech University, beginning between the ages of 55 – 59 (and certainly after age 60) we begin to lose our cognitive ability at the rate of about 2% per year. Professor David Laibson, professor of economics at Harvard University, references research showing that between the ages of 65 and 69, 1.7% Americans are affected by dementia, and this number doubles every 5 years. Even though financial capacity decreases, Dr.Finke indicates that confidence in financial decisions does not decrease. So, our decisions aren’t as good as we think they are?
What does this have to do with the GM and Ford pension decision? The potential for diminished financial capacity, combined with continued confidence in financial decision-making ability, may leave many Americans susceptible to poor future financial decision making and/or financial fraud. By adding an annuity (a.k.a. the pension) – a monthly income stream that is locked into place – older adults may be hedging against these future dangers to their financial lives.
If you or someone you know is still facing the GM or Ford pension decision and would benefit from an individual analysis of their situation, contact us for assistance. And dig a little deeper into making this important decision by referencing additional blogs on this topic.
The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets or developments referred to in this material. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Center for Financial Planning, Inc., and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.