“I don’t know if I should consider an annuity. I need someone I can trust.”
Understanding how annuities work provides you many benefits:
A long time ago, the word annuity meant an annual payment. Today, insurance companies sell commercial annuities that can defer payments for as long as you want, and once you start income, the payments can come just about as often as you want.
Over time, inflation will reduce the purchasing power of the income provided by an annuity. Some annuities provide the opportunity for growth. Many of these types of annuities are called variable annuities, fixed indexed annuities, and more.
Talk with your financial advisor about the pros and cons of various types of annuities and your individual financial plan.
Annuities are complex products. Many of the investment options, as well as the guarantees, are unique to annuities and thus are not well understood. Even within the financial services industry, great differences in opinion exist about the benefits and shortcomings of the various investments and guarantees.
Make sure you and your advisor have a great—not just good— conversation about this so that you truly understand each other. Your advisor should understand you and your needs, and you really need to understand what you are purchasing.
Once you understand the details of the product and have all your questions answered will you be able to make the best choice for your unique financial needs.
No annuity product is free of charges, and sometimes these charges are difficult to find and understand.
Costs could include mortality and expense (called M&E), surrender charges, management fees, and charges associated with riders, among others. There could also be penalties for early withdrawals.
Find a professional to help you understand the charges completely. You might earn a better rate of return in a product with lower fees, but would you have stayed the course without the guarantees provided by these unique products?
For some people, the guarantees are worth the cost. Talk to your professional to be certain that you understand the costs and benefits.
Variable Annuities are long-term investments designed for retirement purposes. They involve risk and are offered by prospectus only. Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the variable annuity and its underlying investment options. The prospectus contains this and other important information and should be carefully read before investing. Benefits and riders may be subject to additional costs and restrictions. Guarantees are based on the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company and are subject to their terms and conditions.
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