Therein lays the problem with Ms. Munnell’s article. The “cheapest annuity in town” may also be the worst possible investment. Why? Because the money you pay into Social Security is not yours. Politicians can confiscate those dollars at their discretion such as when the Clinton Administration used the dollars from Social Security to balance the budget. They can raise the retirement age thereby shortening the number of dollars that must be paid out. Moreover, as we have seen over the past decade, they can eviscerate their obligations by debasing the dollar. In other words, by spending your saved retirement dollars today, which could be invested in assets that will produce an income stream in the future, in the hopes of a better “annuity” stream in the future there could likely be very negative ramifications. This is especially the case when you consider that the average American is woefully under-saved for retirement and two nasty bear markets during this century alone has all but insured that many Americans will be working far longer than they originally planned.