Investors Seek Nontraditional Retirement-Savings Options

New investments provide more income security and make payouts in different ways.

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Brokerage companies like Fidelity and Vanguard have also developed annuities, or investments that pay a yearly dividend, that focus on saving for retirement. For instance, the Fidelity Personal Retirement Annuity allows investors to defer taxes on contributions until the money is withdrawn during retirement. Vanguard offers a number of similar instruments.

Vick says other options are in development. Brokerages have recognized the shift in how investors are thinking about retirement savings and are creating new products to meet demand.

"All of these companies are coming up with fixed-income options that were never used before," Vick says. "The annuity voice is getting louder because investors are seeing that it actually works … People are no longer sure what's going to happen to their retirement funds. That drives them to look at creating their own guaranteed-income strategies."