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Steve Parrish: Decoding Annuities in the Consumer's Mind

Stan Haithcock
December 20, 2022
Steve Parrish: Decoding Annuities in the Consumer's Mind

About Fun With Annuities Episode #135

If you just listen to this podcast with Steve Parrish, I will guarantee your IQ will increase by a few points.  The great part about Steve’s message is that he has brought it down to “our level” so the consumer can understand the value proposition that annuities offer the retirement planning consumer.

One of the more interesting segments is Steve discussing his recent research with fellow Fun With Annuities past podcast guest Wade Pfau.  They have been looking into the math from every angle regarding Social Security and when you should turn on that lifetime income stream. As I always say, Social Security is the best inflation annuity on the planet. Spoiler alert, every single American with a social security number owns an annuity.  Take that, you annuity haters!

The bottom line is that Steve & Wade ran the numbers from every angle, at every age, and concluded that you should try to hold off until age 70 to turn on Social Security.  If you do this, you will mathematically win the game.  I see where they are coming from, but I’m not sure I agree this makes sense for everyone.

Under my “there’s no U-Hauls behind hearses” mantra, I think it’s OK to turn it on sooner if you want or need to enjoy the income sooner.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that at all.  To me, the math part never overrides lifestyle.  That’s just me.

Steve and I covered a lot of ground.  I especially wanted to hear his take on how the annuity industry can improve its messaging to the consumer. Look for Steve & Wade’s research to be available during the first quarter of 2023, and I look forward to having them both on the podcast to go over the details.  Enjoy!

"The fact is that more of us worry or know about situations of people living too long rather than dying too soon. I see annuities simply as longevity insurance." —  Steve Parrish

Brief Bio On Co-Host Steve Parrish:

Steve Parrish is the Co-Director of the Center for Retirement Income at The American College of Financial Services, where he also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Advanced Planning. With over 40 years experience as an attorney and financial planner, Parrish frequently addresses the financial challenges of individuals, business owners, and executives nationwide.

Parrish is an retirement, estate, and business owner succession planning expert. He is a recognized industry authority, spokesperson, and author serving as an ongoing contributor for both and

Parrish has served as an expert source for such prominent media outlets as InvestmentNews,, CNBC, MarketWatch, Wall Street Journal, USN&WR, HR Magazine, and the Retirement Income Journal. He is also an Associate Editor of the Journal of Financial Services Professionals. In addition, he is a sought-after speaker with bar associations, estate planning councils, and AICPA meetings.  He has addressed such financial service organizations as MDRT, AICPA, Finseca, NAIFA, ABA, INC 5000, and the Society of Financial Service Professionals.  Parrish also addresses numerous business organizations nationwide and has served as an expert witness.

Parrish was employed at The Principal Financial Group from February 1997 until June 2015, when he began his academic career with The American College and Drake University.  Prior to that, he served as vice president, marketing services for Amerus Life Insurance Company. He began his career as an attorney and advanced sales director in Minneapolis. He became a financial planner in Atlanta, where he was a co-owner of Walker Parrish Financial Group. Steve received his B.A., Cum Laude, from Saint Olaf College and his Juris Doctor degree from the William Mitchell College of Law.

In this episode, The Annuity Man and Steve Parrish discuss:

  • Why we need simple retirement solutions
  • Transitioning from accumulation to decumulation
  • How inflation affects insurance companies
  • The benefits of delaying your social security

Key Takeaways:

  • There’s a huge need to decrease the complexity surrounding retirement. Retirees or pre-retirees today are already worrying about the economy, laws and proposed laws, misleading advertisements, and the fact that they’re not as sharp as they used to be.
  • Accumulation is all about maximizing your returns for a minimum amount of risk. When you’ve crossed the line of retirement, the risk becomes you run out of money before you run out of oxygen. You would want to have money to live off of in your second chapter; that should be your focus.
  • Insurance companies are good investors in bonds. As interest rates go up, the rate gets higher on bonds, which gives the insurance companies more to work with. Inflation is helping insurance companies.
  • Delaying your claim of your social security until 70 has some benefits. You can fill in the difference with annuities and other strategies. Social security is a great gift, but take it in the future. That will help greatly with flexibility in what you can do with annuities.

Fun With Annuities® Podcast is hosted by America’s Annuity Agent®, Stan Haithcock, The Annuity Man®. Hear brutal annuity facts with no sales pitches from the top independent agent in the country, licensed in all 50 states. Author of 7 books, Stan dives deep on all annuity types and strategies. It’s fun, learning the contractual truths on how annuities actually work and if they’ll fit your personal retirement lifestyle.

Listen in on how you can be livin’ the reality, not the dream®. Listen and subscribe on Libsyn, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, and Spotify.

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