"Deferred gratification and delayed gratification denote a person’s ability to wait in order to obtain something that he or she wants. This intellectual attribute is also called impulse control, will power, self control, and “low” time preference, in economics. Hence, in formal accounting terms, an investor should calculate the net present value of future rewards, and defer near-term rewards of lesser value.” (Wikipedia)
So it appears, if one extrapolates the results and thesis of this experiment, that only those fortunate few who are born with an extra does of impulse control will ever see the value in what is perhaps the most extreme example of a delayed gratification product – the delayed income annuity. After all, the delayed income annuity really provides the most economic benefit by having the purchaser wait 25 or 30 years after their premium payment to collect the benefits of a significant lifetime income, starting perhaps at age 85.
Delayed Income = Current Satisfaction
Ironically, the actual benefits payable under a delayed income annuity, i.e. the income stream that is promised far in the future, are not the only factor in an overall retirement income portfolio strategy. The delayed benefits themselves may not even be the primary factor. After all, it’s a real stretch to expect an enthusiastic reception from a 55-year-old preretiree about how much income he’ll collect in 20 or 30 years’ time. It’s akin to telling a teenager that hard work and diligence over the next several years may result in the kind of career that will afford him that Ferrari on the poster that he has plastered on his bedroom wall.