- An investment strategy for retirees or near-retirees that entails the purchase of immediate annuities over a period of years to provide guaranteed income while minimizing interest-rate risk. Annuity ladders allow retirees to maintain a portion of their investments in equities and bonds while periodically using a portion to purchase annuities. Purchasing annuities from a variety of insurance companies minimizes the potential for losses if an insurer goes under.
When interest rates are low, it doesn't make sense to lock in that interest rate for a long time. Since no one can predict where interest rates will go, purchasing annuities over a period of years allows an investor to minimize the risk of low returns. An annuity ladder can also generate tax-free income by using a Roth IRA conversion strategy.
Investment dictionary. Academic. 2012.
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