The number one reason that people purchase an annuity in the first place is income protection, protection from living too long. Think of it as an insurance to protect you from outliving your assets. It is not uncommon, and it is becoming more common, for people to outlive their retirement funds, people are living longer. For many people, it just makes solid sense. With the purchase of an annuity come contractual benefits known as settlement options.
Fixed annuities are issued by insurance companies and offer interest for a specific time period (other benefits also). Variable annuities are securities sold by licensed security brokers, their products (variable annuities) have fees at several layers.
Endowment Annuitie have been been replaced by modern day annuities.. this article explains the evolution of the annuity.
Annuities are designed as long term vehicles to be used later in life — at least until age 59 ½. To make annuity owners focus on their use later in life, the IRS imposes a 10% additional tax for any annuity accessed before that age minimum of 59 ½. The tax is in addition to any income taxes which may also be due on a pre-59 ½ distributions.
Indexed Annuities are popular investment choice…. but is investing in one right for you?
All annuity companies offer a “free-look” period where you may return the annuity for any reason and receive a full refund. Make certain you fully understand your rights and options when you purchase an annuity, your agent or the insurance company will help you. That being said, there are scams with annuities just as there are with almost any product being sold to the public. Here are some to be aware of.
We haven’t seen anything in the past like what is on the verge of happening with the annuity industry. The time will come when annuities will provide the very basis of most financial plans. Why? The answer is simple, safety, security and freedom from risk.
Variable Annuities are my least favorite of the annuity types. They once served a purpose in the 1980s and 1990s when the stock market was thriving for a longer period than normal, and for high-end earners a good place for non-qualified tax deferred savings. But now, in the current world market, I consider them the least effective annuity, especially for retirement income planning.
Let’s face it, if all the market did was go up, the need for annuities would not exist. The reality is the market goes down, sometimes drastically. The 90’s exposed millions to the rewards of investing. The last four years showed the frightening side of the market. The fixed/indexed annuity plays well to people because of its combination of protection and potential.
Here is a secret about insurance companies, a secret that puts everything in perspective. Insurance companies do not make decisions based on individuals; they make decisions based on a large pool of people. Their tool? The Commissioners Standard Ordinary Mortality Table, known as CSO. The statistical table allows insurance companies to know exactly how many people nationally in a specific age group will die. It is not a guess, it is pure science.