Rational choice with complex products: Consumer valuation of annuities

Chris Browning, Michael S. Finke, Sandra J. Huston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study explores consumers' ability to accurately estimate the value of a life annuity product. Using a special experimental module from the 2008 Health and Retirement Study, higher levels of financial sophistication and numeracy showed no impact on an individual's ability to accurately value life annuity benefits. The results suggest that rational and behavioral valuation factors have little influence on valuation. These findings are evidence of a widespread lack of understanding surrounding complex annuity products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-45
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Financial Counseling and Planning
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012


  • Annuities
  • Financial literacy
  • Household finance
  • Retirement policy


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