What is the Best Annuity?

Are you trying to figure out which annuity will offer the best way to grow your money and safely generate income that you can count on as long as retirement lasts (without depleting your initial principal)to reduce financial stress or even unexpected financial failure during retirement?

There are hundreds of insurance companies offering thousands of annuities — but how do you know which annuity is best for you? It’s really pretty simple. The best annuity is an annuity the fulfills your financial objectives. However, don’t be surprised if your best retirement annuity option includes a portfolio of financial assets that leverages a few strategically selected annuities to meet your income and safer money goals.[Continued below video…]

Video: Watch as Dick and Eric enjoy discussing the elusive best annuity decision!

**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.

Review 3-Best Retirement Annuities for Your
GROWTH, INCOME & SAFETY!

 
[Continued] …As Annuity Guys®, we believe in the balanced utilization of annuities to accomplish our clients foundational retirement needs for safety, growth and income. We like retirements built upon a base of **guarantees – not probabilities. What is the best annuity to achieve that goal? In Annuity Guys® opinion, it is the annuity that satisfies the foundational need with the smallest dollar amount. It often times will require meeting with an experienced fiduciary financial planner; who will help you evaluate multiple scenarios to determine which plan best fits your needs.

It’s your retirement and you typically only get one shot to do it right. So don’t be pushed or cajoled into a decision that you’re unsure fits your comfort zone and retirement objectives. Before you begin meeting with retirement planners or advisors, spend some time thinking about your income and retirement goals. If you don’t have an income or wealth transfer goal in mind, you will never accomplish it successfully and you will more than likely be disappointed with your results. Retirement portfolios often use annuities to achieve income goals by leveraging their growth with lifetime income **guarantees, yet retirees need to be specific with their needs so they do not over commit or come up short with this allocation.

Want even more information on picking the best annuity? Here is an article from AnnuityNews.com – on how advisors can assist their clients to solve their retirement income issues.

Four Steps To Selecting The Right Annuity

If you’re fairly new to the world of helping people prepare for retirement, here is something that may not be readily apparent. Financial professionals who offer a suite of diverse, well-structured annuity products that can be paired with optional lifetime income riders may be a boon to certain clients. In particular, the ideal clients for these annuity products are those who can benefit by shifting part of their product holdings from more traditional types of savings vehicles to income-producing vehicles. The process of determining which types of annuity products may be best suited to specific clients involves four primary steps.

We all know this, but let’s emphasize it: The first step in retirement planning or the sale of an annuity is to conduct a thorough assessment of the client’s current financial situation and potential future income needs. This assessment must be based on existing income, assets and expenses, as well as individual goals and circumstances. This first step also includes having the client estimate their projected expenses in retirement.

Then, you’ll want to calculate the client’s anticipated retirement income from all sources, including any part-time job; alimony; Social Security benefits; pension; 401(k) or other personal retirement plan; dividends from stocks, mutual fund^s, etc.; interest on savings accounts, bonds, certificates of deposit (CDs) and other financial instruments, and any other sources.

I’m not about to imply that all of those income sources should be removed from a client’s portfolio or that annuities should comprise more than an incremental part of any overall, balanced retirement program. However, today’s low-yielding vehicles may not be enough to help meet your clients’ needs. Now could be an opportune time to consider layering a single premium immediate income annuity (SPIA) or a single premium deferred income annuity (DIA) into a repositioned income strategy for the client.
[…Read More…]

Five Retirement & Annuity Calculators

Best Advanced Retirement Income Calculator - Free

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.

Priority Mail - Free Shipping!Our Gift to You

After confirming your request for help and shipping address by phone, we will immediately send your FREE personally signed Library Edition of our popular Annuity Reference Book "The New Retirement" plus Two Fact-Filled DVDs!

Learn the 3 Best Annuities to Help
ASSURE YOUR RETIREMENT'S SUCCESS!

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.

Video:"Choose a National or Local Advisor"?
"There is no room for trial and error when it comes to choosing MarketFree® Annuities or a Successful Retirement Planner."
When you think about it, your money is almost always in some other state with a custodian; whether invested in the market or with an annuity insurance company, the advisors competence is primarily needed when positioning your money initially. So working with a specialized expert in a financial discipline like investments or retirement planning is imperative. There are no undo buttons in retirement! Once the annuities get set up correctly, it is customary and more efficient for owners to benefit by having direct access to the issuer instead of having to go through the agent. And, of course any reputable advisor, local or national, is more than willing to assist their clients if needed after they are implemented.
Video:"Why These 3 Types of Annuity Advisors are Not Created Equal"
"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.

Video: "How Much of Your Money Should You Consider Placing into Annuities"?
"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."

Video: "How to Choose a Great retirement Advisor"?

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"...

Video: "Avoiding Gimmicks, Scams & 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.)


Site Terms & Disclosure

  1. All tools, videos or information visible on this website's pages, television, or other media are for educational and conceptual purposes only.
  2. Tools, videos or information are not to be considered investment advice, insurance recommendations, tax or legal advice.
  3. It is recommended that site visitors should work with licensed professionals for individualized advice before making any important or final financial decisions on what is best for his or her situation.
  4. Website comments are not considered investor testimonials those shown only relate to an insurance agent referral service, customer service, or satisfaction with the purchase of insurance products and are never based on any investment or securities advice or investment or securities performance.
  5. Please be aware that your feedback and compliments may be shared with our visitors or those that may be interested in our services we will never give out your full name or full address or phone number without your permission. By sending us your feedback & comments you agree to allow us full use in sharing your comments with others in public forums. Thank you for sharing.
  6. Media logos are not any type of endorsement, they only imply that one or more of the Annuity Guys have written for, been quoted by, or appeared on the listed news outlet, broadcast or cable channels, or branded programs for non-advertising and/or advertising purposes, to offer educational and conceptual information about retirement issues.
  7. Income is guaranteed by annuitization or income riders that may have additional costs or fees.
  8. http://www.annuityguys.net & http://www.annuityguys.com forward to https://annuityguys.org. - Further all disclosures and information are to be considered as one and the same for any and all URL forwards, and these same disclosures and information also apply to all YouTube videos featuring Dick & Eric where ever they are viewed.
  9. MarketFree™ Annuity Definition: Any fixed annuity or portfolio of fixed annuities that protects principal / premium and growth by remaining market risk free.
  10. 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.
  11. Market Gains are a calculation used to determine interest earned as a result of an increasing market related index limited by various factors in the contract. These can vary with each annuity and issuing insurance company.
  12. Premium is the correct term for money placed into annuities principal is used as a universal term that describes the cash value of any asset.
  13. Interest Earned is the correct term to describe Market Free™ Annuity Growth; Market Gains, Returns, Growth and other generally used terms only refer to actual Interest Earned
  14. Market Free™ Annuities are fixed insurance products and only require an insurance license in order to sell these products; they are not securities investments and do not require a securities license.
  15. No Loss only pertains to market downturns and not if losses are incurred due to early withdrawal penalties or other fees for additional insurance benefits.
  16. Annuities typically have surrender periods where early or excessive withdrawals may result in a surrender cost.
  17. Market Free™ Annuities may or may not have a bonus. Some bonus products have fees or lower interest crediting and when surrendered early the bonus or part of the bonus may be forfeited as part of the surrender process which is determined by each contract.
  18. MarketFree™ Annuities are not FDIC Insured and are not guaranteed by any Government Agency.
  19. Annuities are not Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insured and their guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company.
  20. State Insurance Guarantee Associations (SIGA) vary in coverage with each state and are not to be confused with FDIC which has the backing of the federal government.
  21. This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration.
  22. *"Best” refers only to the opinion of Dick, this site's author; or the opinion of Dick & Eric in videos and is not considered best for all individuals.
  23. *"APO” refers only to the Annual Pay-Out of annuities in the guaranteed lifetime income phase. *APO is NOT an annual yield or an annual rate of interest.
  24. AnnuityRateWatch.com, is only a linked to subscription service, which is not affiliated with this site, it supplies and updates all Annuity Rates, Features Ratings, Fees and Riders. AnnuityRateWatch.com's information is available in the public domain and accuracy is not verified or guaranteed since this type of information is always subject to change.
  25. Dick helps site visitors when help is requested. Dick may receive a referral fee as compensation from an advisor for a prospective client referral. This helps compensate Dick for time spent assisting site visitors and maintaining this educational website.
  26. Eric Judy is both insurance licensed and securities licensed. Eric offers securities as an investment adviser representative through Client One Securities, LLC.
  27. Eric purchases prospective client referrals from Annuity Guys Ltd. and may be compensated by commission for helping prospective clients purchase. Eric may also recommend these prospective clients to an advisor and earn a referral fee or a referral commission split.
  28. Vetted advisors refers to advisors that are insurance licensed and recommended based on referral experience from satisfied clients.
  29. Any recommendation of an advisor is only one aspect of any due diligence process. Each site visitor must accept full individual responsibility for choosing a licensed insurance agent/advisor.
  30. In the event that a recommended licensed advisor/agent is not considered satisfactory, Eric will make reasonable efforts to recommend other advisors one at a time in an attempt to satisfy a site visitors planning or purchasing needs.
  31. Dick is the website author and editor, Annuity Guys Ltd. is the website owner; Eric is a guest video commentator. Videos gathered from other public domain sources may also be used for educational and conceptual purposes.
  32. There is NO COST to site visitors when they are given an advisor referral or recommendation.
  33. By giving the us your contact information such as email, phone number, address and etc. you are giving your permission to be contacted or sent additional relevant information about annuities, retirement and related financial information. We have a NO SPAM policy.
  34. Accuracy of website information is strived for but is not guaranteed.
  35. Freedom from virus or malware is strived for but is not guaranteed. Website visitors accept any and all risk associated with damage to any computer for any reason when using this website and hold this website harmless from any liability.
  36. Use this website like the vast majority of websites at your own risk. No risk or liability of any type are accepted by any business entity or any of the information providers for this website.

Are Set It & Forget It Retirements Practical?

Have you ever put a pizza in the oven only to discover you forgot the timer and your meal is burnt to a crisp? Wouldn’t it be nice to just throw it in the oven and know it will be just the way you like it without further attention to perfect timing? With pizza, maybe not. However, with retirement, proper planning with annuities allows you to set it and forget it! If you put the right…[continued below video]

Video: Annuity Guys, Dick & Eric, discuss using annuities for a set it & forget it retirement.

  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.

Review 3-Best Retirement Annuities for Your
GROWTH, INCOME & SAFETY!

 
[continued] …annuities in your retirement plan, you can have a safe and reliable strategy that will help you enjoy your retirement years on auto-pilot – instead of constantly monitoring your portfolio to hopefully avoid a financial meltdown of the stock market that could be considerably worse than burnt pizza!

Why MarketFree® annuities? Definitely, because most retirees based on our field observations want to reduce or eliminate stock market risk to their principal and have **guarantees that create a secure income stream which cannot be outlived. Hence, MarketFree® annuities do offer principal protection against stock market risk that most retirees are seeking and they can provide reasonable cash growth including income **guarantees prior to and throughout retirement.

A retirement plan that addresses your core income needs with **guaranteed sources of income for life, safe reasonable growth, low or no fees, and with access to principal has made MarketFree® annuities one of America’s most fastest growing financial products especially when it comes to specific types of annuities.

Here is a article from Forbes if you are interested in reading more on this topic…

A Retirement Annuity Strategy That Offers Peace Of Mind

A friend recently told me he’s planning to retire but is worried about his financial ability to do so. When he described his situation, I told him it seemed to me he didn’t have anything to worry about. But, still he’s worried. As luck would have it, I heard a finance professor lecture on retirement income planning the following day. He suggested a strategy that might just help put my friend’s mind at ease. I then also read an article in the Harvard Business Review by Nobel laureate economist Robert Merton touting the same idea. It’s not a cure-all, a panacea or magical solution. As a financial whiz-kid once reminded me, “No financial product has a ‘secret sauce’.” The concept: use annuities as a key element in your retirement income strategy.

My friend’s situation: A debt-free widower in his late 50s, Dave will be retiring from his firm at age 60. He’ll receive a five year buy-out of his stock at retirement, has a sizeable 401(k) and has built up a comfortable nest egg of savings. The problem — he’s so used to making a healthy income from working all these years that he’s uncomfortable with the idea of spending down his assets to pay for his retirement. Dave’s problem is not that he has a tangible lack of wealth, but that he has the intangible fear of outliving his assets.The reason the finance professor’s lecture hit home for me is he focused on the idea that people are far more comfortable with a retirement strategy of spending their income than spending their assets. To make his point, he referenced the problems with the “4 ½ Percent Rule” that some planners use as a retirement income approach. This rule of thumb suggests that a couple can annually withdraw 4.5% of their retirement capital, adjusting the withdrawal rate upward each year for inflation, with little fear of outliving their income. The professor pointed out that for some retirees this approach raises the fear, “What happens if I don’t make enough on my portfolio to justify this income; will I outlive my assets?”  For others, it engenders the opposite emotion: “What if my assets do better than this; will I have been too conservative, and robbed myself of a happy retirement while leaving more than I intended to my kids?”

An annuity strategy addresses both of these fears. The Strategy… [Read  more a Forbes…

Five Retirement & Annuity Calculators

Best Advanced Retirement Income Calculator - Free

 

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.

Priority Mail - Free Shipping!Our Gift to You

After confirming your request for help and shipping address by phone, we will immediately send your FREE personally signed Library Edition of our popular Annuity Reference Book "The New Retirement" plus Two Fact-Filled DVDs!

Learn the 3 Best Annuities to Help
ASSURE YOUR RETIREMENT'S SUCCESS!

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.

Video:"Choose a National or Local Advisor"?
"There is no room for trial and error when it comes to choosing MarketFree® Annuities or a Successful Retirement Planner."
When you think about it, your money is almost always in some other state with a custodian; whether invested in the market or with an annuity insurance company, the advisors competence is primarily needed when positioning your money initially. So working with a specialized expert in a financial discipline like investments or retirement planning is imperative. There are no undo buttons in retirement! Once the annuities get set up correctly, it is customary and more efficient for owners to benefit by having direct access to the issuer instead of having to go through the agent. And, of course any reputable advisor, local or national, is more than willing to assist their clients if needed after they are implemented.
Video:"Why These 3 Types of Annuity Advisors are Not Created Equal"
"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.

Video: "How Much of Your Money Should You Consider Placing into Annuities"?
"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."

Video: "How to Choose a Great retirement Advisor"?

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"...

Video: "Avoiding Gimmicks, Scams & 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.)


Site Terms & Disclosure

  1. All tools, videos or information visible on this website's pages, television, or other media are for educational and conceptual purposes only.
  2. Tools, videos or information are not to be considered investment advice, insurance recommendations, tax or legal advice.
  3. It is recommended that site visitors should work with licensed professionals for individualized advice before making any important or final financial decisions on what is best for his or her situation.
  4. Website comments are not considered investor testimonials those shown only relate to an insurance agent referral service, customer service, or satisfaction with the purchase of insurance products and are never based on any investment or securities advice or investment or securities performance.
  5. Please be aware that your feedback and compliments may be shared with our visitors or those that may be interested in our services we will never give out your full name or full address or phone number without your permission. By sending us your feedback & comments you agree to allow us full use in sharing your comments with others in public forums. Thank you for sharing.
  6. Media logos are not any type of endorsement, they only imply that one or more of the Annuity Guys have written for, been quoted by, or appeared on the listed news outlet, broadcast or cable channels, or branded programs for non-advertising and/or advertising purposes, to offer educational and conceptual information about retirement issues.
  7. Income is guaranteed by annuitization or income riders that may have additional costs or fees.
  8. http://www.annuityguys.net & http://www.annuityguys.com forward to https://annuityguys.org. - Further all disclosures and information are to be considered as one and the same for any and all URL forwards, and these same disclosures and information also apply to all YouTube videos featuring Dick & Eric where ever they are viewed.
  9. MarketFree™ Annuity Definition: Any fixed annuity or portfolio of fixed annuities that protects principal / premium and growth by remaining market risk free.
  10. 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.
  11. Market Gains are a calculation used to determine interest earned as a result of an increasing market related index limited by various factors in the contract. These can vary with each annuity and issuing insurance company.
  12. Premium is the correct term for money placed into annuities principal is used as a universal term that describes the cash value of any asset.
  13. Interest Earned is the correct term to describe Market Free™ Annuity Growth; Market Gains, Returns, Growth and other generally used terms only refer to actual Interest Earned
  14. Market Free™ Annuities are fixed insurance products and only require an insurance license in order to sell these products; they are not securities investments and do not require a securities license.
  15. No Loss only pertains to market downturns and not if losses are incurred due to early withdrawal penalties or other fees for additional insurance benefits.
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The New – Immediate Hybrid Annuity™

What could be better than a Hybrid Annuity? How about a New – Immediate Hybrid Annuity™!

For a typical retiree with about $250,000 the income differences were just under $2,000 per year; and while $2,000 may not set the world on fire – just take that times 30 years in retirement.

Are you willing to gift $60,000 to an insurance company? Learn how to make the insurers pay you more of their money and get less of yours!

Watch as Dick and Eric discuss this New – Immediate Hybrid Annuity™ and why most advisors are trying to ignore it!

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**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.

What makes an Immediate Hybrid Annuity™ better? How about larger income streams and no fees while providing access to your principal. That’s right. You don’t have to give up access to the principal unlike the immediate annuities of old where you gave up all your principal, never to be seen again. These new Immediate Hybrid Annuities™ still allow access to your principal, if needed. Are they as flexible as most of today’s hybrid annuities? No! However, for many retirees who are looking to start income in the next 12 months or defer for less than five years, this Immediate Hybrid Option can offer a significantly higher payout percentage – for **life.

[embedit snippet=”hybrid-annuity-live-demo-invite”]

More information on some of the changes to Immediate Annuities from OnWallStreet.

Insurers Add Appeal to Income Annuities

by: Donald Jay Korn – May 14, 2013

Immediate annuities, also known as income annuities and payout annuities, can replace disappearing corporate pensions, but sales have been tepid.

LIMRA, a research, consulting and professional development organization, reported that income annuity sales reached $8.7 billion in 2012, a small percentage of total annuity sales, which reached $219.4 billion. Insurers have responded by offering features such as liquidity, death benefits, and flexible income options for income annuities.

Amid these changes, advisors who are engaged in retirement income planning are beginning to take a second look at income annuities, according to Mark Paracer, research project director at LIMRA. Paracer pointed to a 2012 LIMRA study that brought responses from more than 1,000 advisors.

“Our findings showed that more advisors are interested in products in general (32% in 2011 vs. 31% in 2009),” he said. “That was especially true for RIAs (33% in 2011 vs. 24% in 2009).” That study also indicated that solutions are often well received by clients: 63% of advisors agreed while only 7% disagreed.

“Most importantly,” Paracer said, “the attitudes of advisors are shifting to more recognition of the benefits of solutions versus the benefits of non- solutions: 56% in 2011 vs. 40% in 2009. There is also a shift in advisor attitudes toward the idea that a solution should be used to cover non-discretionary expenses in retirement: 48% in 2011 vs. 38% in 2009.”

Paracer noted that including an income annuity — either deferred or immediate — can help retirees ensure that at least their essential expenses in retirement are covered, thus allowing advisors to invest the remaining portion of their portfolio with a goal of higher returns.

According to Lowell Aronoff, CEO at CANNEX Financial Exchanges Ltd., which compiles data on financial products, there is a disconnect between the need for income annuities and the amount of sales. “Retirement income research universally suggests that income annuities should be a core product for nearly all retirees,” he stated, “yet sales of these products are still fairly modest.”

One objection to income annuities has been the “hit by a truck” fear. A consumer might buy an annuity that would pay a lifetime income and die soon afterwards, thereby relinquishing capital for little return. A recent joint study by CANNEX and LIMRA found that annuity issuers now address this concern. [Read More from OnWallStreet…]

Video Transcription:

Dick: Hello, I’m Dick.

Eric: And I’m Eric. And we’re the annuity guys.

Dick. Yes! And Eric, there’s a new kid on the block.

Eric: A new innovation to the industry.

Dick: The most exciting thing that’s come along in the several years actually.

Eric: It’s funny how you make some old things new again. And people think annuities are boring.

Dick: Well, it is boring Eric.

Eric: This is exciting for us… we’re getting a lot of fun with this.

Dick: And for years, the variable annuity# was called a hybrid annuity. Then along comes the fixed index annuity; and what we saw really change that was those new income rider as they came out on them.

Eric: Opportunities for growth and income and **guarantees…

Dick: And hence, the hybrid annuity is born. And now we have the immediate hybrid annuity which has earned a little bit better from their cousin…

Eric: It’s taking some of the hybrid and fixed pieces, and some of the variable pieces and slide it on the immediate annuity which is like… “why the heck would you want to do that?”

Dick: Well, and that brings up another point agents are talking about this too much.

Eric: Don’t tell anybody. And there’s a reason why…

Dick: There’s a reason why. Well, the truth on these immediate hybrid annuity folks, there really more than likely to catch on in a big way because there’s so many good features to them that we want to explain and help you understand, but they’re also the very low commission. They don’t pay the agents very high commission.

Eric: That’s probably a lot of people really didn’t talk about even a standard immediate annuity before; and now all of a sudden we’re certainly get a little bit more innovation and I think people are going to have to start talking about it because the features are there and we’ll see what we can get – higher payouts perhaps…

Dick: A greatly increased income…

Eric: Increased income. Fees… oh -oh.. No fees…

Dick: That’s a big negative. Now that was one of the things on the variable annuity# that really became, I don’t want to say the death of the variable annuity#, but a lot of folks moved away from the variable annuity# because of the high fees; and they still do. The hybrid annuity which we’ve explained many times is the fixed indexed annuity chassis typically, the standard hybrid annuity, and it lowered the fees a lot but it still has fees Eric.

Eric: Some of them do but not all of them. The most commonly you’re looking at 1/2 and 1 percent on an income rider which is what **guarantees your income for life on that kind of fixed indexed or hybrid chassis.

Dick: So now we’ve move over to the immediate hybrid annuity and we’re talking about zero fees.

Eric: Ohh my…

Dick: No fees folks, no annual fees.

Eric: No fees, higher payouts..

Dick: For lifetime income and it last ’till your retirement and the most innovative aspect to this which is what really takes it into this hybrid annuity realm is access to your principal.

Eric: Right. Access to your liquidity… it gives you some liquidity options that didn’t used to be there. Now, we’re not going to pretend that you’re going to go out there withdraw everything without penalties or such but it does give you access to emergency cash and we’re seeing more and more carriers try to offer this.

Dick: And many folks would have opted for an immediate annuity if they had some all those options in the past; they just weren’t available. One of the things, Eric, that I want to talk about and we kinda get this… You and I were never really against the insurance company; we’re always for the client. So, if there’s a way that the client can actually win and I mean let’s face it, most clients feel that the deck is stacked against them when dealing with an insurance company. So if there’s a way to win what you really want to do is get your money out of the insurance company early, faster,… the sooner you can get your money out and have them paying you their money the better off you are.

Eric: And if you haven’t figured out what an annuity is really, it’s a return of your money to you…

Dick: Plus a small return…

Eric: Plus a **guarantee that you’ll get that return as long as you’re alive.

Dick: Yes.

Eric: Those are the key aspects of an annuity and so lifetime income… well, you want to get your portion that you paid in

back quickly and then you’re starting to work on their money.

Dick: What’s so exciting about this Eric is that we’ve been able to run the numbers and we’ve seen now the breaking point where it really works for folks, and those payouts where they can have a considerably larger amount of money at certain ages and even in that early stages make a lot more income

Eric: Well, looking at a typical portfolio size we see and 401K for a 65-year-old male, single… that difference between a popular hybrid payout paying about five and a half percent and then these immediate hybrid annuities are now also paying about almost 6.7 percent; so you’re talking about…

Dick: Compared to five-and-a-half percent…

Eric: Right. So for somewhat two hundred fifty thousand and looking as their foundational income, talk about two thousand dollars a month difference.

Dick: That equates out to somewhere between forty and fifty thousand dollars over twenty years which is a typical retirement. I mean some of which are much longer than that but a typical retirement pushes twenty years nowadays…

Eric: And I’m sorry, i said per month, it should have been year.

Dick: Right, I took it as annual… right. right…

Eric: So, The lifetime number is just the amount of money you would leave on the table is just astronomical.

Dick: It’s just large, yes!

Eric: As we’re looking at it. We’re always excited to talk to people about it…

Dick: Well, we get excited because they get excited. It’s like everyone’s kinda look at the standard fixed indexed hybrid annuity and they’ve compare them one against the other, and finally there something out that kinda breaks the mold and answers a lot of questions that folks are looking for.

Eric: Exactly, especially for those folks that are retiring, they’re getting buyout options. We’re hearing all these people and they’re gonna retire and they’re going to start needing money now and that’s where this works extremely well. It’s exciting.. I am excited!

Dick: So, we’re talking… it works better for those folks that need money in what time period? Obviously there’s a next 30 days but then how much further out might might this strategy work?

Eric: Well, with this specific strategy really because you’re using an immediate income chassis, your looking at income the next 12 months.

Dick: Yes.

Eric: But obviously then we start looking at when does a hybrid best-perform, usually on that stage you’re looking at having to deffer for at least five years.

Dick: Rights. So if you’re wanting to be able to balance this and say well “if my income, I need in about three years” maybe you should hold off a little bit or use a different type of an annuity to get you to that level where you’re ready to turn the income on and then use this type of an immediate hybrid annuity.

Eric: Right and that’s where we say run the numbers, look at the options. It might be worth taking a two percent **guarantee for a couple years knowing you’re going to get a better payment in two years with an immediate hybrid than you would with a standard hybrid annuity.

Dick: Eric, let’s put together some of those numbers for folks and do a webinar on that that they can watch and maybe even have a button on the website where they can just go and look at those numbers and do some real comparisons, and then they can get back with us if they have questions.

Eric: We’re always welcome to help share those numbers for people on an individual level that are looking at what those options would be as well.

Dick: Okay folks, thank you very much. Eric: Have a great day.

Choosing an Immediate Annuity

In the golden era of career based retirements, everyone could count on a company paycheck for life in retirement. Unfortunately, in today’s new world economy, fewer and fewer employees are leaving jobs with defined benefits programs that take care of their income and health benefits. So what options do workers who have invested a lifetime of dollars into 401Ks and IRAs have for lifetime retirement income?

For those looking to create their own personal pension styled retirement, one of the options is an immediate annuity. The immediate annuity is often compared to a pension due to the similarity in how benefits are paid out and end; while both may have spousal provisions, it is typical for both to have benefits tied to a lifetime payout – where benefits end at death.

Watch as the Annuity Guys® look at the gold standard of annuities – the immediate annuity, including some of the options and strategies that people should know about when considering an immediate annuity.

[embedit snippet=”video-specialist-button”]

 

**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.

In the simplistic sense with an immediate annuity you give the insurance company a lump sum and in exchange the insurance company agrees to provide a payment stream for a set number of periods – or for the rest of your life.

An excerpt from the Annuity Guys® book “The New Retirement” covering immediate annuities.

Immediate Annuity Options

Traditional immediate annuities offer a fixed periodic payment in exchange for an initial lump sum of cash known as a premium. This type of annuity typically will not allow future access to the initial cash paid into the premium funding the immediate annuity. In essence, the cash asset or lump sum allocated to the immediate annuity is forfeited and is no longer accessible in its entirety. It is instead converted to a stream.

Throughout the years, there have been some modifications to the original immediate annuity design. Many of these annuity features – which may or may not be available on all immediate annuities or offered by all insurance companies, are discussed below:

Inflation Protection: With this feature, the immediate annuity income payments offer some form of a hedge against inflation. Here, the annuity owner may choose to have his or her income payments increase by a certain percentage each year, typically around 3 percent. Another choice may be to have the annuity income payments actually tied to an inflation measure by the use of a consumer price index. When either of these options are chosen, the initial payout of the annuity usually starts at a lower income level.

There are several different ways to structure an immediate annuity with regard to the income payment options. These options include:

Refund, Installment, & Period Certain Death Benefit Options: The refund option on immediate annuities has typically been either a cash refund or an installment refund, ensuring that at the annuity owners/annuitants pre-mature death the beneficiary will receive an amount of money that represents the difference between the initial premium and the amount of the income payments that the annuitant received during his or her life. These options, however, reduce the amount of the systematic income payout when comparing to life only with no beneficiary benefits.

Variable payments: With variable immediate annuities, the annuitant is allowed to direct the initial allocation into various investment options such as mutual fund^s – aka–sub-accounts. Therefore, depending upon the investment performance of the sub-accounts, the annuitant’s periodic annuity income payments could certainly go up or down.

Life only: A life-only immediate annuity can also be referred to as a straight life annuity. This means that the annuitant will receive the highest allowable annuity income payments based on his or her average life expectancy, regardless of how long that duration may be. At death payments will cease and all of the initial premium will be to the insurance company’s benefit or detriment based upon the annuitant’s actual date of death based on the life expectancy underwriting calculations.

Certain period: This structure is not considered to be a life annuity. Rather, the annuity payments will only go on for a fixed or certain period of time, such as five, ten, or fifteen years. Even if the annuitant is still living at the end of the stated time period, the annuity payments will cease at that time. However, should annuitant pass away within that time period, income payments will continue to be paid to beneficiary(s) until the period of time ends.

Life with period certain (or certain and life): This immediate annuity payment option structure is a combination of both the life and the certain period structures – meaning, the annuity will pay income benefits to the annuitant for life with a smaller income amount than straight life only. However, if the annuitant passes away before the end a specified period of time, of say ten years, then the beneficiary(s) will continue to receive income payments from the annuity until the end of that ten-year time period.

Life with cash refund: This can be considered a money-back **guarantee annuity. The income benefit payout is for life. If the annuitant passes away before all initial premium has been paid-out, the total amount of payments paid to the annuity owner will then be subtracted from the initial premium paid and the balance will be paid  to the annuitant’s beneficiary(s) in a lump sum payment.

Life with installment refund: This, too, can be considered a money-back **guarantee annuity. This immediate annuity payout option is similar to the life with cash refund option, except that the annuitant’s beneficiary(s) will continue to receive the monthly annuity income instead of a lump sum until the full amount of the premium has been paid back.

Joint and Survivor: This annuity income payout option will **guarantee that the income payments will continue for the lives of both annuitants. Along with this, period certain options can also be added. This particular payout option is mainly used with married couples in order to provide income as long as either one is still alive.

COLA SPIA: This annuity income payout structure has payments that increase or decrease by a floating percentage which fluctuates when tied to a consumer price index each year. In this case, however, the initial income benefit will likely be lower compared to those which are non-COLA (cost of living adjustment) annuities.

Read more on immediate annuities in the New Retirement – download the e-version today free.

 

 

Millions of Pensions Dumped – Can Annuities Fill the Gap?

Every time you turn on the news it seems we are bombarded with information on pension reform or the scaling back of retirement benefits. In 2012 Ford and General Motors began offloading their pension liabilities and based upon a recent AON Hewitt survey many other business are considering following suit.

What will that mean for the retiree who counted on that lifetime income? What options will they face? Is it doom and gloom or perhaps a new opportunity to take better control of their own retirement?
Watch as Dick and Eric examine this changing trend in retirement funding, what opportunities it creates for individuals and how annuities may play a role in creating a pension styled lifetime income.

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**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.

Over the last 12 months we have reviewed lump sum buyout opportunities with many individuals and discussed whether or not an annuity might work for their situation. When we ran the numbers – some individuals were better off with their company options when it came to **guaranteed levels of income… but until you run the numbers based on each individuals situation you can never be sure.
See the report from insurancenewnet.com that led to this weeks entry below.

Survey: More Employers To Offer Lump-Sum Payouts In 2013

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill., Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –Last year marked a watershed moment in retirement benefits as numerous companies decreased their pension risk exposure by offering participants a one-time lump-sum pension payout. A new survey by Aon Hewitt, the global human resources solutions business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), reveals more employers plan to follow suit in 2013.

Aon Hewitt surveyed 230 U.S. employers with defined benefit plans, representing nearly five million employees, to determine their current and future retirement benefits strategies. According to the findings, more than one-third (39 percent) of defined benefit (DB) plan sponsors are somewhat or very likely to offer terminated vested participants and/or retirees a lump-sum payout during a specified period, also known as a window approach, in 2013. By contrast, just 7 percent of DB plan sponsors added a lump-sum window for terminated vested participants and/or retirees in 2012.

“There is no question, employers are looking for new ways to aggressively manage their pension volatility,” explained Rob Austin, senior retirement consultant at Aon Hewitt. “In 2012, many DB plan sponsors were exploring options and planning their strategies—we think 2013 will be the year when many more actually implement large-scale actions such as offering lump-sum windows. Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) premiums will begin to increase in 2013 and 2014, which will increase the carrying cost of pension liabilities and give plan sponsors an economic incentive to transfer those liabilities off their balance sheet.” [Read More…]

Annuities – The Best Financial Product No One Wants!

Why would an insurance actuary call annuities the best financial product no one really wants? And why would he go on to say that in retirement he might not even purchase an annuity himself even when he knows they make good sense?

Dick and Eric discuss why individuals purchase annuities – even though they don’t want to…

**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.

Annuities: The best financial product no one really wants

“Annuities are not sexy. You hand over your money to an insurance company who then puts you on a seemingly stingy allowance for the rest of your life”

People who save through RRSPs have a choice to make when they retire. They can transfer their RRSP balance to an RRIF and draw it down at their own pace (subject to a minimum) or they can buy an annuity.

The simple fact is, an annuity may be a great idea, but hardly anyone buys one.

It is easy to blame low interest rates, which depress the amount of annuity income one can buy these days. But annuities were not in vogue even when interest rates were much higher a dozen years ago.
‘Let me be honest. When I retire, I am unlikely to buy an annuity myself, even though I’m an actuary and know all the advantages’

Economists have come to refer to this phenomenon as the “under-annuitization puzzle.”

Buying an annuity seems like an elegant solution since it removes the risk of outliving one’s assets (what actuaries like to call “longevity risk”), it eliminates the hassle of making investing decisions after retiring and the income stream it provides is super safe (it really is, at least in Canada). So why are they so unpopular?

In recent years, however, the economics of annuities have improved greatly. Annuities in Canada now generally return 95% to 100% of premiums paid. In fact, with the recent fall in long-term government bond yields, annuities now return more than 100% return of premiums paid in many cases. The economics, then, can no longer be blamed.

Another often-cited reason for not annuitizing is that the retiree wants to leave a large lump sum to a survivor in the case of early death. This argument, however, does not hold up on closer examination.
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Even when people have little or no interest in leaving assets behind for their heirs, they tend not buy annuities. Moreover, annuities can come with generous survivor income options, if one is prepared to pay for them. Another excuse shot down.

There are other explanations for this puzzle, including: The desire to have money on hand in retirement for a rainy day; the recognition that income needs might vary and the fixed income from an annuity might not match up well; and a reluctance to give up the chance to do better by investing in equities within a RRIF if stock markets do well.

Let me be honest. When I retire, I am unlikely to buy an annuity myself, even though I’m an actuary and know all the advantages.

I would be the first to admit this reaction is not entirely rational. The reason, plain and simple, is that annuities are not sexy. You hand over your money to an insurance company who then puts you on a seemingly stingy allowance for the rest of your life. [Read the Full Article from Fred Vettese at the Financial Post]

Annuity Guys® Video Transcript:

Eric: The topic is annuities. The best financial product no one really wants.

Dick: Can you imagine that no one would want an annuity, Eric? Is that a true statement?

Eric: No, the people I talk to every day, everybody wants an annuity.

Dick: But that’s different. Folks, the people that we talk to may be someone like yourself that’s actually went to our national website, as Eric likes to remind me, international website.

Eric: International website.

Dick: But goes to our website and they’re already in the mindset of annuities.

Eric: Right, they’re doing their research. They’re doing the background on why this might work for them.

Dick: So we might be just a little bit skewed, do you think?

Eric: We’re taking it based off an article, and interestingly enough, it was written by an actuary who works for an insurance company. His comment and I love this, “Annuities are not sexy. You hand over your money to an insurance company who then puts you on a seemingly stingy allowance for the rest of your life.” Well, that sounds pretty pathetic, if you ask me.

Dick: I do have to say that, before I knew much about annuities, many years ago that never entered my mind, never crossed my train of thought. Would I rather have a new car, a new house, or an annuity?

Eric: Rather than an annuity. That’s not fair. Everybody would rather have a new car or a new house.

Dick: That’s right, and really when you think about it, and that’s a lot what this article gets into is we built this money up. We accumulate this money and we like the idea of hanging onto it, controlling it, investing it, whatever we choose to do with our money, but to hand it over to an insurance company and let them give us money back, it’s kind of a transitional state that we go through to make these types of decisions, and there has to be a pretty good reason behind it.

Eric: I come from a family of educators. I’ve talked about that before.

Eric: You know right now in Illinois, we’re fighting. They’re fighting to maintain their pension. Well, what’s an annuity really?

Dick: It’s a pension-style income.

Eric: I mean for today’s 401k investors they’re basically, when you get your retirement you’ve got this lump sum. Do you want to keep the lump sum or would you rather have a pension?

Dick: The vast majority of retirees before they retire and they have this choice, not all companies give this choice; but there are a lot of corporations that will give the employee the choice of a lump sum or a pension. Now the vast majority choose the pension. They’ve worked their entire life.

Eric: For the seemingly stingy income for life?

Dick: Yeah, and yet, even those that would take the lump sum, in many cases will turn right around with that lump sum, and buy a commercial annuity that they feel is a better option, than maybe the pension the company was going to offer. So we tend to get it when it comes to that lump sum that comes from the employer, but yet many times we’ve worked all of our lives, built up all of this money and what’s the purpose of it?

Eric: It’s mine. I want to keep it.

Dick: What’s it supposed to accomplish?

Eric: That’s exactly it. It’s just future spending. It’s not savings. Its future spending is what we’ve save for, but we don’t think of it in those terms. We think of it as “This is money I saved. I don’t want to give it to somebody and then have them, give me a seemingly small allowance.”

Dick: Right, and that’s where the insurance company’s job, their job is to look at risk, to manage risk, to know what’s realistic. You’ll have to read this report, folks and kind of get the gist of what this person’s saying, because he actually is an actuary and he’s really laying out that these insurance companies don’t always win on this stuff.

Eric: And he talked about annuities are much better—the design and what they payout in today’s era, is much better than they were 10-20-30-years ago.

Dick: Right, a lot’s changed.

Eric: You really do have an actuarial advantage to buying an annuity and he admits that, even though I know this advantage exists, I’m not so sure.

Dick: I might be standoffish when I first retire, but maybe as my age advances I’m going to be more apt to do this. This kind of brings me back to a lot of the buzz that is out there and things we talk about with the hybrid annuity but one of the things that appeals so much to folks, on a hybrid-style annuity is that they are able to control that lump sum. What we call majority control the first 10-years or so of an annuity. You have some surrender charges, so you control about 90% of it during that first 10 years, and those surrender charges decline, so after 10 years, you control 100% of it and you still have a lifetime income. And yet, if you haven’t used that money in your account, it can all go on to your heirs, your spouse, whatever is important to you.

Eric: Exactly. In his life point, I guess in summation here he talks about you know what? Everybody has, even if you have that lump sum investment you have, usually a portion that’s in equities and you have a portion as you get closer to retirement that we should all be moving into those fixed payments, bonds, CD-style. What would be wrong with taking those more conservative assets, turning that into an annuity and then just truly letting your equities run, and knowing you have that **guarantee that income coming on?

Dick: Well, Eric obviously this is what we talk to our clients about. We talk to them about balanced allocation. Not putting everything into annuities, not necessarily having everything in the market. Finding that balance that works for each individual, and so to me, he’s right along the lines of what we continue to explain to people.

Eric: Exactly, yes. He takes care of the foundation very well.

Dick: So Eric, would you say that an annuity is something that no one wants?

Eric: All right, there are a few people that want annuities.

Dick: Well, folks we’re not saying that an annuity is going to be the end-all and the be-all or exactly what you need, but you do want to look at it closely and determine where it might fit into your overall financial picture. We really appreciate you spending the time with us, today.

Eric: You have a great afternoon.

 

 

 

Understanding Immediate Annuities

Today, people are living longer than ever before. While the idea of living a longer (and hopefully healthier) life is appealing to most of us, the tradeoff for many people is the fear of outliving their retirement savings.

On top of that, the immense costs of healthcare today––along with constantly rising inflation––continue to compound an already stressful situation for many. However, there is an option available to retirees that can help ease the stress of outliving their savings while providing them with an income stream almost immediately upon funding it. That financial vehicle is an immediate annuity.

While many annuities are created to build up the account value for retirement, an immediate annuity is actually designed to provide income immediately to its holder.

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**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.

Immediate annuities are insurance products that pay their owners a regular income––monthly, quarterly, or over another desired time frame––for as long as the annuity holder lives.

These products are essentially a contract between the annuity owner and an insurance company. They are typically purchased with a large cash lump sum by retirees in order to pay living expenses in a reliable pension style INCOME over a long period of time. In exchange for this lump sum deposit, the insurance company will provide them with a regular income for a specified time OR long as they live, regardless of how long that may be.

Plus, if it is a lifetime annuity, this benefit will continue for as long as the single or joint annuitant is living. Therefore, an immediate annuity actually pays for living a long life instead of the emphasis being on heirs receiving a large payout when the immediate annuity owner dies. It is possible for the immediate annuity owner’s heirs to receive some of the deceased owners intended income if he or she should die prematurely.

Immediate Annuity Features

Throughout the years, there have been some modifications to the original immediate annuity design. Many of these annuity features, which may or may not be available on all immediate annuities, or offered by all insurance companies, are discussed below:

Inflation protection: With this option, the immediate annuity income payments offer some form of a hedge against inflation. Here, the annuity owner may choose to have his or her income payments increase by a certain percentage each year, typically around 3 percent. Another choice may be to have the annuity income payments actually tied to an inflation rate by the use of a consumer price index. When this option is chosen the initial payout of the annuity starts lower.

Refund, liquidity, and withdrawal options: The traditional refund feature on immediate annuities has typically been either a cash refund or an installment refund that ensures after the annuity holder’s death that the beneficiary will receive an amount of money that represents the difference between the initial deposit amount and the amount of the income payments that the annuitant received during his or her life. This, however, reduces the amount of the systematic payout when comparing to life only with no beneficiary benefit.

There are several different ways to structure an immediate annuity with regard to the income payment options. These options include:

Life only: A life-only immediate annuity can also be referred to as a straight life annuity. This means that the annuitant will receive annuity income payments for the rest of his or her life, regardless of how long that duration may be. The payments will cease and all of the unused initial premium will be to the insurance company’s benefit or detriment based upon the annuitant’s actual death and life expectancy underwriting calculations.

Certain period: This structure is not considered to be a life annuity. Rather, the annuity payments will only go on for a fixed period of time, such as for ten years. Even if the annuitant is still living at the end of the stated time period, the annuity payments will cease at that time. However, should the annuitant pass away within that time period, the beneficiary will continue to receive the payments until the period of time has expired.

Life with period certain (or certain and life): This type of immediate annuity payment structure is a combination of both the life and the certain period structures, meaning the annuity will pay income benefits to the annuitant for as long as he or she lives. However, if the annuitant passes away during a specified period of time, say ten years, then the beneficiary will continue to receive income payments from the annuity until the end of that ten-year time period.

Life with cash refund: This can be considered a money-back **guarantee annuity. The income benefit payout is for life. However, if the annuitant passes away before the payments that total at least the amount of premium paid, then a lump sum payment is made to the annuitant’s beneficiary.

Life with installment refund: This, too, can be considered a money-back **guarantee annuity. This immediate annuity payout option is similar to the life with cash refund option, except the annuitant’s beneficiary will continue to receive the monthly annuity income instead of a lump sum until the full amount of the premium has been paid out.

Joint and survivor: This annuity income payout option will **guarantee that the income payments will continue for the lives of both annuitants. Along with this, period certain options can also be added. This particular payout option is typically used with married couples in order to provide income as long as either one of them is still alive. In some instances, the income benefit may drop when the first spouse passes away.

COLA SPIA: This annuity income payout structure has payments that increase or decrease by a floating percentage which fluctuates when tied to a consumer price index, each year. In this case, however, the initial income benefit will likely be lower than those that are non-COLA (cost of living adjustment) annuities.

Annuity Guys® Video Transcript:

Dick: Today, we want to talk about immediate annuities and do a little comparison with immediate annuities and why you might consider an immediate annuity.

Eric: One of the things we often hear, in today’s world, where you have this hybrid annuity, which gives you lifetime income as well as some other bonuses/extras, why would you ever want to actually look at using an immediate annuity, where you’re going to give up your assets?

Dick: Right. That is the difference, Eric. When we think about the hybrid annuity, it’s kind of your cake and eat it too annuity, where you can get your lifetime income, but you don’t have to give up your asset. Yet, there is a place for an immediate annuity.

In fact, let’s do a little history lesson. How about some trivia here? When we think about an immediate annuity, it literally goes back to the early Roman Empire. They called it the “annua,” and that’s where the word annuity comes from. So it is a very early form of an annuity, and it has really gone through the test of time, spanned the centuries.

Eric: So next time you have your toga on, you’ll know to get your annua language out. Exactly. It’s an old standard. It was the first kind of annuity out there, the standard lifetime annuity. You gave up a lump sum, and you got a lifetime income stream.

Dick: It is probably the truest pension-style income. In fact, immediate annuities, a lot of companies will offer a choice of a lump some or an immediate annuity.

Eric: I talked about immediate annuities with a lot of clients, when they were saying, “Hey, I’ve got a 401(k). I want a lifetime income. What can I do to get my own personal pension?” That’s kind of how we think of it. The thing is you’re usually giving up that 401(k) in exchange for that lifetime income stream. Now, the big thing here is you realize that none of those dollars are going on to heirs.

Dick: Yes. Well, in a true pension, there’s no money in a pension, as a rule. When you have a pension, when you pass, the money ends, or if you’ve chosen a survivorship option, you’ve probably taken a little bit lower payment on your pension, and then some of those payments will go on to perhaps a spouse.

Eric: Exactly. When I grew up, my parents were educators. So they had a traditional kind of benefit program, where they have a retirement that’s there as long as they live. The bad thing is, once they’re gone, nothing goes on to me. Being a little self-serving here now. The 401(k) plan . . .

Dick: Why didn’t they get a hybrid annuity?

Eric: Exactly. Why can’t they get a hybrid annuity? So when they’re looking at it, that’s the old style. The hybrid, on the other hand, allows you to pass some of those dollars on to heirs typically.

Dick: Right. So, really, where the immediate annuity fits, let’s just give some examples. Someone who really wants to start income right now.

Eric: With an traditional immediate annuity, typically you’re going to get a higher payout than you would with a hybrid. You’re going to start with a little bit higher. . .

Dick: Typically. But we have seen a few instances where . . . you’ve got to run some illustrations to know.

Eric: Exactly. So that’s one of the things that when people are going that direction, that’s usually the reason.

Dick: General assumption is you’re going to get more income.

Eric: A little bit more. A higher percentage to start with.

Dick: Right. Then the other key factor would be that, perhaps, if you’re going to use an immediate, you really aren’t as concerned about giving money over to heirs.

Eric: Right. Are there ways to get money on to either survivors or heirs? That’s one of the things we . . .

Dick: With an immediate?

Eric: An immediate annuity. You can structure it so that it’s a joint lifetime payout. So if you and a spouse purchase an immediate annuity, you can set it up so that it is the lifetime of both of you or either of you. Whoever lives the longest, those payments will continue. There are little tweaks that you can even do there, where you can set it up so that once one passes, it sometimes reduces by a percentage.

Dick: A percentage, so they only get three-quarters or one half of the annuity.

Eric: Right. The other way that you can somewhat pass on dollars to heirs is there are a couple of things. You can do a period certain, where it’s lifetime with a certain number of years **guaranteed. A lot of times you’ll see somebody do a lifetime annuity with 20 years **guaranteed. So that 20 years of payments is **guaranteed.

Dick: So if I pass in 5 years, somebody is going to get another 15 years of payments. But what does that do to my income?

Eric: It’s going to reduce your payments. You have to realize going in, if your goal is the highest payout possible, you don’t want to add any of these other pieces. But if you’re wanting to try to pass on money to somebody, that’s a way of **guaranteeing basically that some of that comes back. One of the things I always look at is either the installment refund or the cash refund, which says once you purchase the immediate annuity, if you haven’t gotten back at least what you paid in principal wise, that amount will be refunded either to your heirs or to your estate.

Dick: Well, isn’t that the installment refund?

Eric: The installment refund keeps the payments coming back to your return of principal.

Dick: Okay. So you’re talking about the full lump sum.

Eric: Yes, just a refund of whatever you’ve put in, so it’s either a lump sum or installment refund.

Dick: One of the biggest vulnerabilities that Eric and I look at with our clients, and what we think you should be concerned about, is inflation. That is probably one of the biggest vulnerabilities we face. We have had historic inflation the last 4 decades of over 4%. We believe that the stage is really set for some higher inflation over the next two or three decades, which is going to cover most retirees. So if we would happen to go through a stretch of 4% or 5% – I’m not talking about runaway hyper third world country inflation – but if we’re talking 4%, 4.5%, 5%, 6% inflation, that makes that immediate annuity, if you have no inflation cost of living adjustment, a COLA on it, it really puts you at a disadvantage.

Eric: Yes, especially if you’ve got longevity in what you’re looking at. You realize you’re taking a level payment and you’re stretching it over your lifetime. So your purchasing power is going to diminish with inflation.

Dick: Right. So one of the things that we do suggest, very strongly, is that whatever type of annuity, whether it’s an immediate annuity, a hybrid annuity, a deferred annuity where you’re deferring it for a long time, that you’re really taking inflation into account. There are different ways to structure for inflation, but if you’re not taking it into account, you’re really setting yourself up for a bad situation.

Eric: Right. That’s another aspect that you can add to an immediate annuity. Some of them you can add a cost of living adjustment. Others have a fixed percentage.

Dick: Tied to a consumer price index or a fixed percentage.

Eric: So those are things you can add, but you realize you’re going to start lower.

Dick: Your payments are going to start lower. Right.

Eric: So it’s all about the tradeoffs.

Dick: I love the idea of a real cost of living adjustment. So if things get carried away and we start seeing 5% or 6% inflation, we’ve covered a major vulnerability in a retirement plan.

Eric: Yes. That’s what we’re looking at here. When we’re looking at immediate annuities, we’re looking at you creating your own personal pension.

Dick: Yes, that’s right.

Eric: If you’re into this marketplace, where you’re going to create a personal pension, and you have that magic number you know that you need to hit and you can anticipate the growth, that’s where this product really comes in.

Dick: So if we’re to kind of wind up this discussion on immediate annuities, being a true pension-style income, where would we summarize that this is going to fit? What type of person should buy an immediate annuity, should really consider it for their retirement portfolio?

Eric: I always say it’s someone with no heirs, that doesn’t have to worry about passing on dollars to somebody in the future. They’re not worried about that. They want the highest payout now, and that’s really the person that I start with.

Dick: Right. I think that, in winding this up, we just want to say, do a fair comparison. You may be the ideal person for an immediate annuity, but get with a professional advisor, run some illustrations, compare it. We have actually seen situations where a hybrid annuity can right off the bat outperform an immediate annuity. It’s not often, but it does happen.

Eric: Yes. Very good.

Dick: Thank you.