Today's retirement planner is faced with countless perplexing challenges. Investors may find themselves with severely diminished capital despite years of saving to secure a comfortable retirement. The odds of running out of money increase as investors live longer and face the potential of higher-than-average long-term inflation. Other traditional retirement income sources, including pensions and Social Security, may not be sufficient when needed, increasing the burden on portfolios to produce more income.

In addition, yields from income-producing investments are at the lowest levels in 50 years. And these problems may become even more challenging as the U.S. deals with the consequences of massive and rising budget deficits.

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