Annuity

Do Annuities Offer Creditor Protection?

Do Annuities Offer Creditor Protection?

Annuities are contracts between you and an insurance company. As the policyholder, you are entitled to certain guarantees provided to you by your life insurance company.

You can enjoy guaranteed income for life, guaranteed growth, guaranteed protection against market risk, or a guaranteed death benefit, among many other benefits.

Annuities also give the benefit of tax-deferred growth until you start withdrawing money from them. Not only that, annuities can also provide you with certain protections against creditors.

However, this helpful protection characteristic of annuities can vary by state. Here’s a quick look at how annuities can offer various creditor protections if you are concerned about the exposure of your assets or money. Read More

What Enhanced Benefits Can Come with Annuities?

What Enhanced Benefits Can Come with Annuities?

Arguably the greatest benefit that an annuity can bring to a portfolio is protection. But depending on the contract you get, the annuity may provide enhanced protection for you in different qualifying circumstances.

These enhanced benefits can protect you against a number of financial risks. Those risks can range from confined care in a nursing home facility to home-based care and death benefit protection.

Some contracts have these as built-in features. In other cases, most enhanced benefits come as insurance contract add-ons, or annuity riders. Many of these enhanced benefit riders come at an additional charge.

You should be sure of what that enhanced annuity benefit specifically gives you, what it doesn’t give you, how much it costs, and whether it truly makes sense for your situation before confirming any add-ons to your contract.

Even so, enhanced benefits can be a great supplement for the right financial situations. Here’s how different enhanced benefits for annuities might help your retirement security in various situations. Read More

Does an Annuity Make Sense for Your Portfolio?

Does an Annuity Make Sense for Your Portfolio?

If you have heard of annuities, you might wonder if they are right for you. Some advisors use annuities as part of the financial strategies that they create for their clients. Other advisors aren’t as much a fan of them.

Sometimes annuities get a fair amount of negative press. However, when they are used as a solution and are structured properly, annuities can actually be a great solution as part of your portfolio.

So, how can you tell if an annuity makes sense for you? Here are some reasons why one of these guaranteed insurance contracts could be a good addition to your portfolio.

Let’s take a look at how fixed annuities and fixed index annuities might be of benefit. Read More

Questions to Ask About An Annuity

Questions to Ask About An Annuity

Millions of Americans depend on annuities for retirement and for tax-advantaged accumulation. But if you are considering one, you might be unsure about which questions to ask about an annuity. Beyond that, you also want to be able to judge whether a specific annuity product is right for you.

Essentially, an annuity is a contract between you and a life insurance company. The contract provides tax-deferred growth for your money and different choices for your payout options: a lump-sum payment, income for life, or income for a set period.

Most annuities are started with money from retirement accounts — 401(k) plans, IRAs, or Roth accounts. But you can also purchase an annuity with personal savings or proceeds from a transaction like a home sale. The money you use to begin your annuity contract will have its own tax implications, so keep that in mind as you consider your options.

Determining what annuity is right for you is up there with other important retirement decisions. After all, these are your life savings.

You want to be sure that you bought the right annuity contract — if indeed it does make sense for you — and that its unique features and benefits solve for the existing gaps in your portfolio.

Here are some questions to ask about annuity options that can help you narrow down your choices to the right fit. Read More

Fixed Annuity vs. CD — How Do They Compare?

Fixed Annuity vs. CD -- How Do They Compare?

If you are looking for a decent rate for your money, your local bank might not offer much to write home about. We already are in a low-interest rate environment, and the Fed doesn’t appear to be ready to raise rates anytime soon.

This is, of course, one of the effects of recent public health and economic conditions, which also might not be winding down anytime soon.

When it comes to earning interest, one option that banks offer is a certificate of deposit. Read More

What Are the Risks of Annuities?

What Are the Risks of Annuities?

Annuities can help strengthen your overall retirement strategy with their unique guarantees.

From lifetime income to growth or protection, their contractual guarantees can help in many areas. But just like with any other instrument, annuities also have risks of their own.

What are these risks of annuities? What should you keep in mind as you consider an annuity contract for your retirement?

Here’s a quick rundown of different risks of annuities and some other information that can help with your decision-making. Read More

Annuitization: Should You Annuitize an Annuity?

Annuitization: Should You Annuitize an Annuity?

Annuities are becoming an increasingly popular retirement savings vehicle for people in the U.S. Many folks are seeking alternative instruments that can guarantee them a stream of income for life.

With corporate pensions gradually disappearing from the financial marketplace, annuities have emerged as a viable substitute for these bygone streams of income.

Most annuity contracts today come with a variety of benefits and features that were unheard of a generation ago. Living and death benefit riders, guaranteed income riders, and disability and long-term care riders are now commonly available in many annuity products.

However, in order to take advantage of many of these benefits, the annuitant will have to give the insurance company permission to annuitize their contract.

Annuitization is a one-time, irreversible event that ends the accumulation phase of the annuity, where money was being put into the contract or a lump sum of money was left to grow on its own. Annuitization marks the start of the payout phase of the annuity.

Read More

What Should I Do with My Annuity at Maturity?

What Should I Do with My Annuity at Maturity?

From variable to fixed annuities, millions of people buy annuity contracts for many reasons. These purposes range from lifetime income to asset protection and tax-advantaged growth. As a contract, each annuity has a different time period that it takes to mature.

Depending on what you buy, your annuity may have a maturity period that goes only for a few years. If your annuity has more benefits or the benefits are guaranteed for a longer time, its maturity period can be as long as 15 years.

But what about when you are on the backend? What should you do with your annuity at maturity? Annuity owners have a variety of options when they reach that point.

Depending on your age, financial situation, and the goals that you have for your annuity money, you can do the following when the contract ends:

  • Keep your money in the contract and withdraw it at strategic times (or a certain withdrawal schedule),
  • Cash it out in a lump-sum balance,
  • Renew your contract,
  • Annuitize your contract into an irreversible income stream, or
  • Transfer the money into a new annuity contract.

Let’s go into more details about what you can do when your annuity contract matures. Read More

How Does an Indexed Annuity Differ from a Fixed Annuity?

How Does an Indexed Annuity Differ from a Fixed Annuity?

There are many different types of annuities available in the financial marketplace today. Two of the more popular types of annuities are fixed annuities and indexed annuities. Indexed annuities are also known as fixed index annuities nowadays.

Both kinds of annuities can have their place in a retirement financial plan. But there are key differences between a fixed and an indexed annuity that people should understand in order to make an informed decision when choosing which type to use.

Before we delve into the differences between fixed and indexed annuities, it’s good to know the ways in which they are similar. Read More

How an Annuity with an Income Rider Can Help You

How an Annuity with an Income Rider Can Help You

The modern financial landscape for today’s retirees is quite different from that of prior generations. Corporate pensions are disappearing, and the Social Security program faces new pressures from record-breaking numbers of people retiring.

Annuities have steadily emerged as a solution to these retirement income challenges. But up until some years ago, many retirees eschewed the use of annuities. Why? Because in order to get a guaranteed lifetime stream of income, they had to annuitize their contracts.

In order to do this, they had to effectively forfeit control of their money for the rest of their lives. Thankfully, life insurance companies have innovated and come up with a new benefit that gives more flexibility: an annuity income rider benefit. Read More

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