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Annuity Contract: All You Need To Know

What Is An Annuity? An annuity is a contract you and an insurance company enter into whereby they agree to give you a consistent income stream in return for a lump sum payment. It is a retirement payment that prevents you from outliving your retirement assets. They are similar to pensions because they provide a fixed income for cash. Annuities are contracts, not investments. Like many other contracts, they can become complex.
What is the Process for Investing in Annuities? Insurance companies accept either one large payment or a regular payment schedule when you buy an annuity. The payments can start immediately or at a specific time in the future. Typically, the payouts continue throughout the lifetime of the policyholder. You can receive future annuity payments monthly, quarterly, or annually. Because the money grows tax-deferred, you only pay taxes on the proceeds when you receive them. No maximum contribution amount exists, but contributions do not lower taxable income like typical 401(k) payments. If an individual takes out funds before age 59.5, the IRS will charge them a 10% penalty. Types of Annuities There are different types of annuities; they are classified into different categories based on payout, growth potential, and how they earn money.
Based on Payout Type: Instant Annuity (Income Annuity) An instant annuity, often known as an income annuity, begins paying out payments within a year after purchase. An instant annuity is often funded through a retirement plan, such as a 401(k), and is an excellent alternative for those who are ready to retire but want to keep a consistent income. Deferred Annuity A deferred annuity is one in which the payments begin later. Typically, this occurs at retirement. During this period, the growth of your investment will not be subject to taxation. You can choose when to start getting payments and how long you want to get payments. Protecting against long-term care costs is a common goal of annuity payout plans. Annuities can provide guaranteed lifetime income, ensuring that your retirement funds do not outlive you. On the other hand, an annuity can be set up to pay out over a predetermined period.
Based on Growth Potential: Fixed-Income Annuity A fixed-income annuity is the safest and most predictable type of annuity. The interest rate on a fixed annuity is fixed and guaranteed for the duration of the contract. While other investments may rise and fall in value, the fixed annuity remains constant. However, the interest rate may be reset after several years. Annuity with a Multi-Year Guarantee (MYGA) A multi-year guaranteed annuity, or MYGA, is a fixed annuity. It has a fixed interest rate for a set amount of time, usually between three and ten years. An MYGA is often best suited for persons approaching retirement who want to defer taxes while ensuring a return on their investment. Variable Annuity A variable annuity pays you regularly dependent on the performance of subaccounts that support the annuity’s growth. As a result, your payments may fluctuate. Subaccounts function similarly to mutual funds. Your payouts may be more significant if the sub-accounts perform well or smaller if the sub-accounts lose value. Indexed Fixed Annuity The payout you receive from fixed-index annuities is tied to a market index — such as the S&P 500 or Nasdaq. Fixed-index annuities further safeguard you from losing your principal if the index falls. As a result, a fixed index annuity is more secure than investing directly in an index fund. Fixed-index annuities establish restrictions on your gains and losses to pay for this protection.
Based on How They Earn Money: Lifetime Annuity A lifetime annuity ensures that you will have a steady income throughout your life. A beneficiary may be able to receive payments from a lifelong annuity even after you have passed away. With these annuities, your age and health will determine the payment amount, as payments will likely continue for a more extended period for younger and healthier people. Fixed-Period Annuity A fixed-period annuity, also called a term-certain annuity, makes payments over a set amount of time. Annuities in this category pay out over 20 or 30 years. The annuity holder’s age and health have no bearing on the amount of the payments with these annuities.
What Are the Advantages of Annuities?

  • Even though they have high fees, annuities can be a good choice for some people in some situations. Annuities are ideal for people with a long family history of longevity who are concerned about outliving their retirement assets and want to ensure additional income.
  • Guaranteed Income: The best thing about annuities is that they guarantee income in retirement. With a lifetime annuity, you won’t have to worry about market volatility and the uncertainty of retirement planning.
  • Another advantage of annuities is tax-deferred growth. Until you take the money out, you don’t have to pay taxes on growth. When you withdraw the funds, the proceeds are taxed as regular income rather than capital gains.

What Are the Disadvantages of Annuities? Individuals who have accumulated substantial wealth and are not concerned about running out of income are not good candidates for annuities, nor are those with health issues that could make achieving their life expectancy unlikely. 
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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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