We’ll just give it to you straight – some annuities pay high commissions and some of them have high annuity fees. Now that we have those unpleasant facts in the open, let’s figure out if this makes annuities a good or bad choice!
When it comes to a properly designed retirement plan, does it matter what you pay if you’ve hit all your financial targets and fulfill all your income needs? Of course it still matters – nobody wants to overpay, but most people do not have trouble paying a fair price for good financial instruments or planning and assistance. When it comes to annuities 99 percent of them are…[continued below video]
Video: Watch as Annuity Guys Dick and Eric elaborate on the inside story about fees and commissions!
Guarantees, including optional benefits, are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuer, and may contain limitations, including surrender charges, which may affect policy values. During this segment, Dick and Eric are referring to Fixed Annuities unless otherwise specified.
[continued]…sold by advisors or agents who will earn commissions. Unfortunately, this means that as a consumer you have to be wary of the unscrupulous insurance agent who sells you an annuity just to earn a commission; not because it was the right product or financial instrument to meet your planning goals. Good advisors are not afraid to share with you a variety of annuity options that may be worth consideration to help you meet your retirement goals – irregardless of what commission they may earn.
Early in life, my mother told me “You get what you pay for.” I think that was her way of telling me that if you always buy the cheapest option you might not be wise.
The same can be said of annuities. You get what you pay for and some annuities will cost you more. Fees on annuities are typically tied to benefits. The most common fees we discuss are the income rider fees that are added onto fixed and fixed index annuities to provide clients an opportunity to have lifetime income **guaranteed without having to annuitize.
Unfortunately, the media loves to focus on variable annuities# when it comes to discussing fees… as well they should; however, they tend to go one step to far and lump all annuities into the same category. After all variable annuities# usually have the largest and most costly fees for the benefits they provide. They also place the insurance company at the biggest potential risk. Variable annuities allow your principal account balance to rise and fall with the markets; however, most VAs have riders that **guarantee future income and death benefits. So, if the account balance has dropped and the company is on the hook for a significant portion of lost account value the only way they can cover the potential losses are with fees – lots and lots of fees.
Are the fees worth it? Some, definitely. Just be wise high fees can truly be detrimental. If your goal is to protect your retirement income, are you willing to give up something for a certain level of protection? If you answer yes to that question, then reasonable fees should be worth it.
Looking for more information on annuity fees and commissions, you may want to check out this article.
Question: Can I buy annuities with no fees or surrender charges? Are there no load annuities like no load mutual fund^s? Ron in Roanoke, Virginia.
Answer: Phenomenal question Ron! The annuity industry is very late to the party when it comes to “no load” type offerings that are common in the mutual fund^ industry. No load can mean a few things. It can refer to no fees for buying a strategy, no fees to keep the strategy, and no fees to sell the strategy. Let’s cover all 3 as they apply to annuities, and the one annuity that covers all of these issues.
No fees to buy an annuity
Here’s where agents blur the lines when it comes to fees and commissions. All annuities build in the agent’s commissions into the annuity so that you will see 100% of your money go to work. Regardless of the type of annuity (immediate, indexed, variable, fixed, etc.), for example….if you put in $100,000, you will see $100,000 go to work. Just be aware that this doesn’t mean that the agent didn’t get paid. They did!
No fees to keep an annuity
Some agents might tell you that fixed rate annuities, or indexed annuities have no annual fees, and technically they are correct if these annuities are bought with “no extras.” However, most deferred annuities are sold with attached benefits (also called riders), which always come with an annual fee for the life of the policy. Single Premium Immediate Annuities and Longevity Annuities (aka: Deferred Income Annuities) have no annual fees, but provide little or no liquidity.
No fees to sell an annuity
Here’s where the rubber meets the road, and where the annuity confusion starts in some cases. The majority of annuities sold today are deferred annuities. With deferred annuities, there are surrender charges to get your money out of the product. For example, if the surrender charge on an annuity was 7% and your accumulation (i.e. walk away) value was $100,000……..you would receive $93,000 if you fully surrendered the policy. In my opinion, surrender charges are “fees” and should be considered when making an annuity buying decision. If you sell a deferred annuity that is past its surrender charge, then there are no fees to sell. But if you sell your 10 year deferred annuity in year 5, then you will be charged a fee to sell. Always remember, surrender charges are fees. As a caveat to this issue, Single Premium Immediate Annuities and Longevity Annuities are not “sellable” strategies and in turn have no surrender charges……but also no liquidity. If you are considering these 2 types of annuities, make sure that your money is allocated properly and you do not need to access the funds lump sum.
Using OutCome Based Planning™ for Your Retirement
We practice and recommend a "Holistic - OutCome Based Planning™ process when considering annuities." This approach has the effect of balancing your overall portfolio so you can meet your retirement objectives by "first identifying the least amount of your investments or savings (if any) that should be considered for annuities." OutCome Based Planning™ analyzes and models multiple outcomes so you can clearly identify your best income and growth opportunities.
"The Annuity Guys will only call if you request help". Hence, when you are ready for specialized help we will be available."Working with an Experienced Fiduciary Financial Planner can help you Avoid a Trial & Error or Risk Based Retirement"
This type of approach does take considerably more time, effort and analysis which will show you mathematically the successful possibilities by comparing various outcomes rather than trying to sell or convince you of that "so-called one best solution." Clients frequently tell us that this process removes some of the confusion and emotion to help them objectively identify a better retirement plan; rather than just ending up with the most convincing salesperson or advisor.
When requesting help you can be assured of working with an experienced Annuity Guys' Retirement Planner who is independently insurance licensed and securities licensed as a fiduciary financial planner having access to the vast majority of annuity companies in helping you choose the best annuities using a holistic-outcome based planning approach. We consider the high quality advisor recommendations we make to our website visitors as a direct reflection back on our commitment to serve all client's with a high standard of excellence in financial planning for retirement.
Based on survey feedback on advisors from our website visitors, we eliminated about two-hundred local advisors and now only recommend a few that we consider experienced vetted Annuity Guys' Fiduciary Advisors. Many local advisors continue requesting us to recommend them as a vetted advisor. However, our reputation and future business is driven only by satisfied website visitors. So, unfortunately we've had to tell the vast majority of local advisors no, since we changed our business model four years ago. At that time we stopped trying to satisfy everyone with local advisors, we now primarily work with individuals who are comfortable using today's internet technology to their fullest advantage by working with a select group of vetted, experienced and knowledgeable Annuity Guys' Fiduciary Planners.
Selecting the Best Annuity & Retirement Income Advisor
Are you willing to work with one of our retirement and annuity advisors based on their experience and expertise as a first priority rather than being limited by a local or regional area? The good news is that technology has forever eliminated our geographical limitations and leveled the playing field for everyone! As a result of today's technological advances, all of us can now work confidently with experts in any field including personal finance. We are no longer confined by regional or local boundaries limiting our choices and ultimate success. A high quality advisor is now as close as a click or phone call away.
"There is no room for trial and error when it comes to choosing MarketFree® Annuities or a Successful Retirement Planner."
"There are no undo buttons in retirement so it is vitally important that you do it right the first time!"
We are fortunate to have a select few who we believe are truly the highest qualified advisors out of about two hundred licensed insurance agents that we eliminated. Your survey feedback is what helps us make these tough decisions. Our advisors have an independent financial practice, specializing in annuities and retirement planning, which helps ensure that you are given the best options available for your retirement planning.
"It takes an experienced expert to know how to structure annuities for income, inflation, growth, return of principal, and tax advantage."
"Anyone can sell you an annuity; however, it takes a truly qualified and experienced advisor to know how to structure them for income, inflation, growth, return of principal, and tax advantage. Typically, there is not just one that can accomplish all of these objectives. It is how an advisor structures multiple annuities in balancing your total portfolio that makes it possible to achieve your most important retirement objectives."
Why Searching for the Best Annuities on Your Own Can be so Frustrating...Almost everyone nowadays turns to the internet for answers on everything - from buying new widgets to researching just about everything under the sun; and finding the best annuity is no exception!At first, it may seem that researching will be straightforward but the more time you spend researching them, the more frustrating it can be. Why is this? First of all, it does not take long to realize that gimmicks abound - such as warnings and alerts from salesmen who just want your attention so they can sell you one or the "too good to be true" claims of 8% to 14% **guaranteed interest and of course the claim that you can get the full market upside with no downside risk! If you have done any research you have heard all of these claims in advertising which are mostly half truths and not fully explained.So how can you find the best annuities on the internet? The truth is... you can't! And what is even more frustrating is all the conflicting points of view from so called experts. There are well over 6,000 different annuities - all designed for different reasons, so is it any wonder that the deck is stacked against the average researcher or do-it-yourselfer. Add to that the fact that they pay high enough commissions to attract a plethora of both good and bad agents. This does not make annuities good or bad; they are simply a financial tool that truly benefit those who use them correctly.How can you find the best annuities for your unique situation?
- Use the internet cautiously;
- Work with a vetted and experienced specialist;
- Do not settle for that one dubious best plan. Compare multiple Outcome Based Plans to decide on the one that is truly best for you;
- Be keenly aware of scare tactics and hyperbole - avoid those advisors and websites;
- Avoid websites that are focused on rushing free reports, rates and quotes to get your contact information they are rushing you to speak with them, instead, take your time and choose someone you are more comfortable with that works on your time-table;
- Know the Five Vital Factors (listed above) that an experienced specialist must answer before helping you select the best options for your situation;
- Watch this telling video "Avoid Annuity Gimmicks, Amateurs and Charlatans"...
** Guarantees, including optional benefits, are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuer, and may contain limitations, including surrender charges, which may affect policy values. Annuities are not FDIC insured and it is possible to lose money.
They are insurance products that require a premium to be paid for purchase.
Annuities do not accept or receive deposits and are not to be confused with bank issued financial instruments.
During all video segments, Dick and Eric are referring to Fixed Annuities unless otherwise specified.
*Retirement Planning and annuity purchase assistance may be provided by Eric Judy or by referral to a recommended, experienced, Fiduciary Investment Advisor in helping our website visitors. Dick Van Dyke semi-retired from his Investment Advisory Practice in 2012 and now focuses on this website. He still maintains his insurance license in good standing and assists his current clients.
Our vetted and recommended Fiduciary Financial Planners are required to be properly licensed in assisting clients with their annuity and retirement planning needs. (Due diligence as a client is still always necessary when working with any advisor to check their current standing.)
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- MarketFree™ Annuity Definition: Any fixed annuity or portfolio of fixed annuities that protects principal / premium and growth by remaining market risk free.
- Market Free™ (annuities, retirements and portfolios) refer to the use of fixed insurance products with minimum guarantees that have no market risk to principal and are not investments in securities.
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