When the World War II generation finally retired, many former workers were able to count on a secure corporate pension to supplement their Social Security income. This pension income lasted for as long as they lived. Then it often continued to pay the surviving spouse after the initial recipient had passed away.
However, many people have found an alternative in annuities as a way to generate guaranteed income that they can count on every month. Annuities can provide a type of privately-funded pension income in a manner unlike any other type of financial instrument in the marketplace today.
Annuities are designed to pay a stream of guaranteed income for as long as someone lives. This holds even if someone receives more money from the insurance company than what was in their annuity contract. Read More
Annuities can certainly strengthen your retirement plan even while interest rates are low. Among other things, they can add more predictability and stability to what you already have.
But what can you do when interest rates are at rock-bottom? In response to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Reserve has dropped the target rate for its benchmark federal funds rate (its overnight lending rate to banks).
Now the target range for this rate is zero to one-quarter percent. The last time the Fed did this was during the financial crisis. In 2008, it dropped the rate to the same target range, and this didn’t change course until December 2015.
The pandemic had an unprecedented impact on the economy. It put tens of millions of people out of work in just weeks and left many sectors basically on standstill. Read More
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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