The MIT AgeLab was host to a daylong conference with the Alliance for Lifetime Income (ALI) titled “The 2019 Retirement Security Summit: Innovating for Life Tomorrow.” Formed and supported by some of the nation’s leading financial services organizations, the goal of the Alliance for Lifetime Income is to create awareness and educate Americans about the importance of protected lifetime income. Attendees considered questions related to consumers’ attitudes toward retirement, the relationship between financial advisors and their clients, and the ability of lifetime income products to draw the attention of consumers and meet their needs in retirement.
Joe Coughlin, Director of the MIT AgeLab, Emilio Pardo of Jackson National, and Will Fuller from Lincoln Financial welcomed the day’s attendees. Guests at the event included corporate leaders of financial services and insurance companies, leaders of financial advisory companies, including Dennis R. Glass, CEO of Lincoln Financial, and Stephen Pelletier, Executive Vice President and COO of Prudential, journalists, academics and researchers, and non-profit leaders.
Part 1 of the first roundtable featured a consumer panel assembled by the AgeLab. Panel members discussed their attitudes on topics including retirement, the ideal financial advisor, the usefulness of investing apps, and their support for teaching people financial literacy.
Part 2 of the first roundtable featured Michelle Singletary, Personal Finance Reporter of the Washington Post; Jeannette Bajalia, Founder of Woman’s Worth, an advising company; and Elaine Larsen, jet car driver and spokesperson for the Alliance for Lifetime Income. The roundtable discussed the need to tailor financial advice and education for groups of different identities and degrees of inclusion, including women and African-Americans.
Roundtable 2 considered the role of policymakers, employers, and advocacy organizations in aiding individuals’ retirement planning. How does policy act as a barrier or a catalyst toward addressing the retirement income crisis, and what conversations about Americans’ retirement preparedness are happening in the policy sphere? The second roundtable was moderated by Jason Fichtner, ALI Fellow. Roundtable speakers were Ben Harris, economist and ALI Fellow; Cindy Hounsell, President of WISER; Mark Iwry, Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institute; Nancy LeaMond, Vice President of Social Impact at AARP; Steve LeVine, Future Editor at Axios; and Dr. John Whyte, Chief Medical Officer at WebMD.
Roundtables 3 and 4, facilitated by Seth Harris, former Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor, discussed the role of lifetime income products in addressing the retirement income crisis, as well as potential lifetime income product innovations.
Roundtable 3 was moderated by Michael Finke, ALI Fellow. Speakers included David Blanchett, Head of Retirement Research at Morningstar; Matt Carey, Co-Founder and CEO of Blueprint Income; Ric Edelman, Executive Chairman of Edelman Financial Engines; Surya Kolluri, Managing Director at Merrill Lynch; and Robert Powell, Editor at TheStreet’s Retirement Daily. The conversation featured an exchange of views about the role of different lifetime income solutions in retirement planning. Roundtable 4 was moderated by Colin Devine, ALI Fellow. Speakers were Carlos Armando Garcia, Founder of Finhabits; Kelli Hueler, CEO of Hueler Income Solutions; Juli McNeely, Financial Advisor for McNeely Financial Services; Jody Strakosch, Founder of Strakosch Retirement Strategies; and Lauren Young, Money Editor at Reuters. In this session, participants described different approaches to new conversations financial professionals and employers might have with people about planning for retirement.
ALI member companies are shown below: