In the United States annuities were first used by The Presbyterian Ministers Association as a retirement income for older ministers and their families. These annuities were funded by the church and were allowed to pass from the head of the household to a surviving spouse. These early vehicles were the foundation for future widows and orphans benefits.
Most 401 (k)s offer investment options such as mutual funds. Investment options in the mutual funds can be stocks or bonds or a combination of both. As we age, providing a layer of safety and security to our 401 (k) seems only prudent. As an option, your 401 (k) will also offer a stable money investment option. These options could include a money market account. The problem with money market accounts is the yield, a yield which may not keep up with inflation.
Each month, millions of dollars are being moved from stocks, bonds, mutual funds, variable annuities, ETFs, 401(k)s, and CDs into Fixed Indexed Annuities. Why? The number 1 reason is SAFETY. But How safe is Your Fixed Indexed Annuity – are you sure it will provide you with enough income to last as long as you live? Should you trust an indexed annuity with your important retirement funds? What happens if an insurance company were to fail? These and other questions are vitally important and the answers may surprise you.
What if I told you I was going to give you $100,000 if you can drive from here to the next town in 30 minutes and $80,000 if you can make it in 40 minutes? The only condition is that you have to drive one of the two cars that I choose. One car is a Chevrolet sedan and the other is a Ferrari. The Chevrolet is dependable and powerful enough to get you there in just under 35 minutes. The Ferrari will get you to the same destination in about 20 minutes.
Most people know the amount of money in their retirement plan and as they near retirement the focus on those funds becomes more and more important. Don’t forget the very most important questions you should be asking yourself about your retirement money.
Variable annuities and fixed annuities are very different creatures. Fixed annuities earn a set rate of interest for a specific time period. Variable annuities invest your funds in separate accounts (sub accounts) that invest in securities such as stocks and bonds, etc. Each separate account will offer specific investment objectives, you select the accounts that will best help you reach your goal. Here are specific points to understand before investing in variable annuities.
I believe that the basis of all long term investing that concern funds for retirement should be in something safe and secure and free of risk. I also believe that a portion of your long term retirement funds should have some degree of risk. With risk comes the possibility of gain, gain can help offset inflation and add to the retirement pot.
The current state of the world economy is about as volatile as it has ever been since WWII. Many investors have run to safety and made huge purchases in the only one really safe vehicle available-US Treasuries. Buying Treasuries is definitely a safe investment option….or is it? It is true that US Treasuries carry no risk, no risk in your investment being lost. However, there is another risk associated with investing in US Treasuries.
As kids almost all of us dreamed of being a millionaire I was raised in a small town in Idaho, we had one millionaire. People would always talk about her (yes, a her) about her cars, her vacations, her house and especially the Christmas party she always hosted. My parents went to the party every year; it was all so grand, at least by our small town’s standards. One year I got to park cars for the party and earned $20, a really huge payday for me. Now as I look back and wonder about being a millionaire I have realized that a big pile of money isn’t really an answer — it is what that pile of money can do that is important.
I eagerly read about Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke’s investments in annuities, I certainly agree with his decision. I too have the majority of our assets in annuities (not variable). Why is the real question. My answer is simple: because of the benefits annuities provide. Chairman Bernanke also must feel the same way as his major investment assets are annuities.