Many know Ken Fisher as the Chairman of Fisher Investments, but you might recognize more from his ‘I Hate Annuities’ campaigns. From attention-grabbing TV commercials to spirited digital ads, Fisher hardly runs from controversy.
“I would rather die and go to hell than sell an annuity,” he famously declares in one commercial. But does Fisher really hate annuities this much? More importantly, should you write off annuities for your retirement because of his criticisms of them?
Fisher Investments, a registered investment advisory firm, operates an annuity buyout program. In exchange for investors becoming clients of his firm, Fisher Investments will pay the surrender charges on the variable annuities which the investors are leaving. Read More
Just bring up the topic of annuities, and chances are you might have all sorts of reactions. The history of annuities shows that these guaranteed contracts have provided financial security and assurances for a long time.
Annuities didn’t exactly pop up yesterday. In fact, they have been around for thousands of years, providing guaranteed income to pensioners, families, and individuals when they need it most. What’s more, their guarantees can cover more than just lifetime income.
If you are wondering if annuities make sense for your retirement goals, a quick walkthrough of their history can give a good idea of their track record.
Here’s a look at how annuities have provided crucial security, stability, and promises to millions of people across thousands of years of human history. Read More
What is the primary reason for you and other retirees to buy an annuity? Millions of people own annuities, but exactly for what purpose? Generally, annuities can provide lifetime income, protection against risk, and long-term growth with tax advantage. They can also offer contractual guarantees for long-term care spending and death benefit proceeds.
Why you might buy an annuity will depend on your age and where you are at in your retirement-planning journey. These contracts can help you solve problems not only with guarantees in retirement, but also with saving up for later goals during your working years. Read More
Millions of Americans depend on annuities for retirement saving, protection, and income. If you are considering an annuity for retirement, the right annuity contract can help make a difference in you reaching your goals. But first, you need to make sure that an annuity truly fits your financial situation and objectives.
The search starts with making sure that you have a solid insurance company issuing your annuity contract. Why is this so crucial? Read More
Does it make sense for you to buy an annuity at age 60? How about when in your 60s in general?
It really depends on the annuity and what it would do for you. An annuity should solve specific problems in your retirement plan and cover any gaps with its contractual guarantees.
Tens of millions of people depend on annuities and their guaranteed promises for retirement. While you may be considering an annuity while in your 60s, the ages of those who buy annuities tend to be across the board.
Some buy fixed-type annuities in their 40s so they can accumulate money alongside retirement accounts or an employer plan. Others use annuities for income in their 70s, or even later, so they have dependable guaranteed cash-flow. Several annuity buyers fall somewhere in between those age ranges.
Now, what situations might make sense to purchase an annuity in your 60-somethings? Read More
Are you looking at different annuity rates for your retirement goals? Generally speaking, an annuity rate is the percentage at which money inside an annuity grows annually. While a majority of annuity rates have to do with growth potential, not all rates do.
Many advertisers push different annuity rates online, but these rates can have different meanings. Those rate distinctions differ largely along the various types of annuities and what each type offers to you.
Some annuities, like immediate annuities, will give you rates that are tied to income payouts. Since immediate annuities are designed to pay you income right away, that makes it pretty straightforward. Other annuities are more ‘income for later’ and come with rates like “payout percentages” depending on the type of payout option you choose.
Annuity rates usually vary from one life insurance company to another. What’s more, rates are tied to current interest rates. So when current interest rates change, annuity rates tend to move with them. Read More
Do you have a variable annuity and are you looking for alternatives to it? Not sure about what other options might make sense for your situation?
Many people buy annuities for different retirement goals, but variable annuities are often bought more than other types of annuities. However, this might well change in the near future. What is driving this shift is that people are on the lookout for alternatives to variable annuities.
Why? Variable annuities offer the most growth potential of all annuities. But they also have the most exposure to market risk.
What’s more, while this isn’t universally true for all of them, many variable annuities are also fee-heavy and expense-heavy.
According to the SEC, just one annual charge for life insurers managing longevity risk – called a mortality and expense charge – can add up to 1.25% per year in variable annuity contracts. Other research by groups like Morningstar has also found that cumulative fees and expenses in a variable annuity can be in excess of 3 percent.
Depending on their needs, people may be interested in alternatives ranging from annuity contracts with less market risk to financial vehicles that aren’t even annuities at all. Read More
So, how can you find independent annuity advice that is somewhere in the middle: objective, honest, and focused on helping you become educated and make a well-informed decision? A good source will give you, among other things:
Clear and publicly available information on annuities without any obligation on your part to access it
Are you looking for safe money and income strategies that you heard of on the radio or someplace else? After a long career, most people would like a financially secure retirement that they can spend in peace and comfort.
This probably applies to you as much as anyone else. As you prepare for your post-career years, you may have heard or read about those “safe money and income strategies.” If you have, you may be wondering exactly what they are and whether they are right for you in your current financial situation.
What Are Safe Money and Income Strategies?
This sort of strategy follows a retirement school of thought that emphasizes income, safety, and protection. At its core, a safe money and income strategy can:
Pay regular predictable income to you for as long as you live.
Protect your hard-earned retirement assets.
Grow your money with a guaranteed interest rate.
Possibly earn more interest above a certain minimum rate.
Many fixed-income assets can serve as its lynchpin, from fixed-type annuities to bonds or Treasury securities. However, only annuities can truly pay you a guaranteed lifetime income.
What’s more, historically low interest rates have made it that much harder to live off of the interest from corporate and municipal bonds, CDs, Treasury securities, and savings bonds.
This isn’t to say that these instruments can give you some yield for dependable retirement income. It’s just harder in this lower interest rate environment. Read More
Some index-based financial products have a “floor,” or the maximum value you would lose if the index went down. In a fixed indexed annuity, the floor is expressed as a guaranteed minimum interest rate. This floor is usually set at at an annual rate of 0%, meaning that even if the index decreases in value, the interest to be credited won’t be negative.
Essentially, the annuity floor will consist of your annuity’s accumulation value plus the guaranteed minimum rate. You can never lose money due to any index declines. But your money may lose value in the times of index losses, if the indexed annuity contract has optional rider fees or you pay a surrender charge for early withdrawals.
If you are researching fixed index annuities to see if annuities may be for you, it’s helpful to have a good knowledge of the essentials. Let’s get started with a more in-depth discussion of a fixed indexed annuity, some of its common features, and how the floor guarantee may work. Read More
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