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Variable Annuities (VAs) are playing an increasingly important role in helping individual investors achieve a secure retirement. Today's VAs typically enable individuals to invest their retirement savings in a diversified portfolio of equity and fixed-income securities, while locking in future streams of guaranteed lifetime income. As a result, today's VAs help protect investors who are preparing for retirement from key risks including market risk, the risk that a market downturn will reduce an individual's retirement income, and longevity risk, the risk that an individual will outlive his or her retirement savings. These protections are especially valuable because of the decline in access to Defined Benefit (DB) retirement plans, which protect individuals from both market and longevity risks.
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