The Financial Value of a Longevity Annuity

Published September 6, 2017
Comparing the exact financial value of a longevity annuity to a traditional investment product is like comparing apples to oranges. But it’s important to make some assumptions and run the numbers.
  • Use our tips to help determine the financial value of a longevity annuity
  • In order to compare a longevity annuity to the expected return of investing in a bond, for example, you have to make a guess about how long you’ll live
  • The longer you live, the higher the internal rate of return (IRR) of your longevity annuity

If you’re wondering about the financial value of a longevity annuity, you’re definitely not alone! Our customers often want to know about the internal rate of return (IRR) or return on investment (ROI) in order to compare the returns to their market investments.

To calculate an IRR or ROI, we need to know the upfront investment and all future income amounts and dates. But a longevity annuity is an insurance product which will provide you with income for as long as you’re alive, i.e. end date to be determined!

Instead, we can calculate a range of IRRs based on your potential lifespan. The longer you live, the higher the IRR of your longevity annuity. While you should think about the numerical return while making the decision to purchase a longevity annuity, the risk reduction against increasing longevity and peace of mind it provides for your retirement are critical considerations.

As an example, 50-year-old Alan bought a $100,000 longevity annuity with income starting at age 85. The policy could wind up generating a 3.9% return if he lives until 90, which increases to 5.3% at age 95 and 6.0% at age 100.

Longevity annuity rates based on a $100,000 New York Life life-only policy for a male aged-50 with income starting at age 85. Rates as of 10/4/2017.

Remember, a longevity annuity is insurance. Its purpose is to protect your longevity via guaranteed lifetime income! If you are ready to get your longevity annuity quotes, visit our annuity calculators page.

Nimish Shukla

Nimish Shukla

Financial Planning Professional

Nimish has spoken with thousands of customers about retirement spending. As a CFA Charterholder and licensed fixed annuity producer he values the importance of building an income stream for retirement. In addition to his work at Blueprint Income he is also a regular contributor to Nerdwallet.