If you are asking this question rest assured you are in good company. Today’s retirement landscape is the result of companies dumping their pension plans in droves over the last twenty or so years! Most pensions were very similar to today’s commercially available immediate income annuities. Buy one and your income is guaranteed, no matter how long you live! Sounds simple and straight forward, right? Well, not so fast. There have been so many innovative changes in… [continued below video]
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] …annuities over the last twenty years to help solve this pension to annuity shift it’s enough to make you dizzy, just thinking about it.
We know that you want the best possible annuity, but there are hundreds of insurance carriers offering thousands of annuities! To further complicate the matter, every state has different versions of each annuity. So how do you compare all of these annuity options when it is nearly impossible to find a location where all of this information is aggregated for you? You have to find – and trust – an annuity salesman or a properly licensed financial planner to help you narrow your selections to the best possible options for your situation.
So if you are trying to design your own pension style lifetime income, you have various options – not just the traditional immediate lifetime income annuities, but also more innovative derivations that have become preferred lifetime income and growth annuity options for retirees today.
For instance, one of the most popular retirement annuities today is the fixed index annuity which can work for **guaranteed lifetime income, access to principal and higher interest growth potential by using stock indexes as benchmarks with no market risk to principal. There are three primary reason why these annuities have become so popular. First, they are not variable annuities that risk your principal; second, they are not immediate annuities that have no account value to access or pass to heirs; lastly, they are instrumental in financial planning for structuring predictable future income streams that are safer than relying solely on stocks and bonds.
So, what’s the catch? Here we go again – selection, selection, selection… that’s the real catch in choosing between thousands of state specific annuity offerings that change frequently! Our advice – do some research, get a cursory understanding about all types of annuities, and then seek out a true Series 65 licensed fiduciary financial planner who specializes in balancing annuity allocations with other investments in your portfolio.
Let a trustworthy professional do the heavy lifting for you and expect them to provide you with multiple options to choose from that have various probabilities of success. Try to avoid getting caught between choosing annuities based on the most persuasive salesperson! Retirement planning is not the same as comparing three bids from different stores for a new refrigerator. Your retirement deserves in-depth, competent financial planning from an advisor you can trust.
Here is an excerpt from the article we discuss in our video…
I don’t have a pension. Do I need an annuity?
My husband and I have nearly $1.5 million in savings and are nearing retirement, although he has some health issues that may force him to retire sooner than we’d hoped. We like the plan our adviser has put together for us, but we’re unsure of the markets and are considering using some of our savings to buy an annuity for guaranteed income. Our financial adviser says we’re fine without an annuity, but we’re still unsure since neither of us will receive a pension. What do you think? — M.C.If the combination of reasonable withdrawals from your nest egg plus Social Security will safely generate all the retirement income you’ll need, then your adviser’s assessment that an annuity is unnecessary may very well be on target.Then again, I know that some advisers just don’t like annuities, period. It may be because they’re wary of the fees associated with certain annuities or they don’t want to tie up a client’s money in one. Maybe they know that diverting assets to an annuity means a smaller nest egg for them to manage (and thus lower annual management fees). Or they may have other objections.
Truth is, there are any number of reasons an adviser may or may not recommend including an annuity in one’s retirement income plan some of them totally valid, others more questionable. And I don’t know enough about the particulars of your situation or your adviser’s motivation to say whether I concur with the recommendation to pass on an annuity.
But I do know this: You and your husband are apparently concerned enough about whether you’ll have enough guaranteed income in retirement to make you feel comfortable and secure that you raised the issue with your adviser. To me, that warrants more than a “You’re fine” response.
Ideally, your adviser should lay out several options for creating retirement income and run the numbers for each of them. After all, if you’re paying an adviser for advice, I don’t think it’s asking too much that he be comprehensive and show you a variety of ways you may be able to satisfy your needs.
So, for example, one option is to show you how much income the combination of Social Security plus your nest egg might generate (and how long that income stream might last) based on different withdrawal rates from your savings and how the adviser divvies up your retirement portfolio between stocks and bonds. (I assume your adviser is already proposing some version of this plan.)
Your adviser could then compare that strategy to other options, such as devoting not all, but a portion of your nest egg to an immediate annuity, a type of annuity that in return for a lump sum of cash guarantees monthly payments for the rest of your life. Your adviser could also show you how much income you might generate by using a smaller portion of your savings to buy a longevity annuity, a type of annuity that doesn’t begin making payments until sometime the future, say, 10 or 20 years from now.
For this approach to work, however, the adviser needs to take the time not just to develop these different scenarios, but to guide you through the pros and cons of each alternative and then help you come to an informed decision that addresses not just your financial needs, but your need for peace of mind in retirement. The key phrase here is “informed decision.” This shouldn’t be an exercise where the adviser goes through the motions of laying out alternatives or presents them in way that simply leads you to the option he prefers (or that puts his interests ahead of yours.) [Read More… ]
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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