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Annuities: Understanding the Pros and Cons

An annuity is a contract that you and an insurance provider enter into, and it is an excellent way to ensure a steady flow of income at retirement. Annuity purchasers can pay a one-time premium or make payments toward a future payout. An annuity is not the same as a savings or life insurance policy. Instead, it’s a contract designed to provide a steady income, typically in old age.  How it Works Your annuity is obligated to pay you a predetermined sum each year, either now or in the future, under the terms of your agreement with the insurance company. An annuity can be purchased with a single payment or a series of payments made over time. You can choose to receive your compensation in one lump sum or over several payments. Annuities, like any other retirement savings portfolio, have pros and cons. Pros of Annuities Restrictions on Contributions Unlike a traditional IRA or 401(k), an annuity does not have an annual contribution limit. As a result, you can decide how much money to put into your annuity. Tax-deferred Contribution Many different types of annuities permit tax-deferred contributions. Contributions to a tax-deferred annuity are not taxed until you withdraw them. Typically, an annuity payout is not taxed until it is received. As a result, if you don’t withdraw any money from the annuity while it’s still in place, you won’t have to pay taxes on the capital gains that your annuity has accrued. Payments from your tax-deferred annuity can begin as soon as one year after it is established. Fixed Interest Rates With fixed annuities, you can lock in a specific rate of return, such as 3% per year. You can better predict your monthly income if the interest rate remains constant. Regular Payout An annuity can provide you with consistent monthly, quarterly, or annual income in exchange for a one-time investment. Reliable Source of Income Annuity income is guaranteed immediately and over time. This consistent cash flow can supplement retirement income from Social Security and individual retirement account (IRA) sources. Protection Against Market Fluctuations Annuities, particularly fixed annuities, protect your principal against losses. An annuity’s principal can rise and remain constant, but it can never fall. According to Brabham, the phrase “zero is your hero” comes from the fact that investors with these annuities are credited with “zero” interest and retain their initial investment, as well as any previously credited growth during a bear market when many investors are losing money. In a volatile market, this could be a welcome relief. Because the current state of the financial markets ranges from unpredictable to disastrous, many investors are now focusing on the actual return they receive rather than the return on their investment. Beneficiaries Paid Upon Death After the owner’s death, annuity beneficiaries may receive a lump sum payment or a set number of regular payments. A death benefit may be paid, but it may be insignificant. To increase the death benefit of an annuity, the owner must pay an additional fee. Cons Commission and Fees Some annuities charge fees, while others do not. On the other hand, annual fees for those in that category could range from 2% to 3%. Some other investment types have lower fees in the given range. Annuity fees can be “troubling” for investors and financial advisors. Additional costs associated with an annuity could include: Surrendering fee. When you sell or withdraw money from your variable annuity during the surrender period, the variable annuity seller will deduct this fee from the cash value of your annuity. This period is usually between six and eight years long. Mortality and expense risk charges. Variable annuities are subject to this fee, which can reach 1.25%. The seller will regularly add this fee to compensate for lost income if the annuity holder dies sooner than expected. Administrative costs. The annuity provider may levy ongoing fees. These fees may be used to cover accounting and record-keeping expenses. Aside from these and other expenses, some annuities may charge sales commissions of 7% or more. Fluctuating Returns The value of a variable annuity is affected by changes in the stock market. As a result, retirement income uncertainty may increase. Mutual funds, which hold a diverse portfolio of securities such as stocks, bonds, and money market instruments such as treasury bills, are commonly used to invest in variable annuities. As a result, a variable annuity’s return is not fixed. Costly Riders Optional riders frequently significantly increase the value of an annuity. As a result, optional features such as lifetime payouts or a guaranteed minimum income may cost you more than you anticipated. Riders, fees, and commissions may reduce your investment even further. Scams Certain annuity buyers are easy prey for fraudsters. The elderly are frequently the victims of annuity scams. The annuity agent oversells the product’s benefits while downplaying its drawbacks, such as high fees and commissions, to the elderly victim in this scam. The elderly invest their life savings for an unspecified but favorable future reward. The Center for Life Insurance Disputes, which investigates and resolves customer complaints about life insurance policies, points out that the agent earns a sizable commission in the meantime. Tied-up Funds Annuities can limit your access to your money. During the surrender period, most annuities allow the owner to withdraw a set amount of money without paying a surrender fee. This sum is typically 10% yearly (usually six to eight years). Withdrawals made before age 59½ are subject to regular income tax and a 10% federal government tax. A lifetime income annuity may not be returnable even if you no longer require the payments. As a result, you would not have immediate access to all of your money after purchasing this annuity.
Contact Information:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 5167611515

I have worked with Deloitte Partners, Directors and Principals for approximately 30 years, saving them considerable amounts of money on their Group Term Life Insurance Premiums. We have also addressed Long Term Care within Life Insurance and Fixed Index Annuities. The Annuities Guarantee fixed interest rates and Long Term Care doubling. Protected from any corrections in the stock market. Great for retirement planning.

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