In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Angst Over Annuities

By Bob Frick

(Bob Frick is Senior Editor at Kiplinger's Personal Finance)

How about this sweet deal: You collect regular income in retirement provided by strangers who donít need the money. Plus, the income lasts as long as you do, so you eliminate the risk of running out of funds.

That describes an annuity, something everyone should consider as part of a retirement plan, but relatively few people do. Specifically, we're talking about an immediate fixed annuity, which lets you invest a lump sum that immediately begins paying you income until you die.

Annuities have other benefits. They pay a fixed amount, a plus when it comes to budgeting. And evidence shows that insurers that market annuities havenít kept up with rising life expectancies, so they sell products that benefit buyers more than they intend, according to Shlomo Benartzi, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and chief behavioral economist at the Allianz Global Investors Center for Behavioral Finance.

In "Annuitization Puzzles," a white paper released by the center and published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Benartzi and colleagues Alessandro Previtero, of the University of Western Ontario, and Richard Thaler, of the University of Chicago, tackle the reasons people have a mental block when it comes to buying annuities.

Of course, annuities aren't for everyone. You need savings for health and other emergencies, and if your nest egg is small, you shouldn't spend some of it on an annuity. Also, many people prefer to keep money for their heirs.


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But given the benefits of annuities, those factors don't fully explain why they're not more popular. Benartzi and his colleagues say that one reason we're reluctant to write a big check for an annuity is the phenomenon known as loss aversion. That is, we feel twice as much pain from a financial loss than we feel pleasure from an equivalent gain. If you think you might "lose" the money spent on an annuity by dying too soon, loss aversion kicks in.

Also, there's mental accounting. With mental accounting, we separate our assets into pots based on what we think theyíre intended for -- such as money to pay debts versus money for savings. Switching from a company retirement plan to an individual retirement account to an annuity involves the stress of leaping among several accounts. Plus, giving up a lump sum for small payments may wreak havoc with our mental accounts.

Easy access. Then there's simple inertia. When automatic features make it easier for people to invest in retirement savings plans and increase the amount they contribute, they're more likely to save, and to save more. Likewise, studies have shown that when employees are given easy access to annuities in their retirement plans, they tend to choose them overwhelmingly. But such access to annuities is still rare, and Benartzi and company recommend that more plans consider offering them.

Their white paper also notes that potential buyers may be put off by the cost of annuities. In fact, when Kiplinger's recently surveyed its readers, 55% of respondents said they wouldn't buy annuities because of "fees and expenses." That was far more than the 15% who thought annuities wouldn't "pay off" based on cost and life expectancy.

We've been critical of certain types of deferred annuities, and certain annuity providers, for fees and expenses that are clearly rip-offs. So we take responsibility for promoting a justifiable wariness. But we also think that immediate annuities can be a good way to provide a stream of retirement income.

To help overcome your mental blocks, start thinking about how an immediate annuity might fit into your retirement plan years before retiring. That will give you time to think logically about the pros and cons and help you avoid making a snap decision at a time when your life is in transition.

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All contents copyright 2012 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Media Services. All rights reserved.