How many times have you heard someone say “You have to learn from your mistakes”. Well, we are going to make it easy for you. This week, you get to learn from other folk’s annuity mistakes!
Annuities can be great financial products when they are used for the right reasons to accomplish specific goals. However, when they are offered as a panacea for all financial ills, that is where you need to be wary. Annuities have significant benefits and limitations; unfortunately, many [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]…advisors only want to talk about the positive aspects of these products – hoping you will not place much weight on the limitations of annuities.
On a positive note; ultimately, proper use of annuities (or any financial vehicle) is dependent upon your financial goals and plans. And before you purchase or invest in any financial product or security, make sure that it is the right tool for the job.
Here is a list of “Five Annuity Mistakes you Should Avoid” so you can learn from the mistakes of others that have come before you.
- Using short term money for a long term strategy;
- Placing too much money in lower rated annuity companies;
- Putting too much or not enough money into annuities;
- Expecting a return or interest growth that is unrealistic;
- Paying too much in fees.
Here is another recent related article that you may enjoy.
October 23, 2015
People seem to either love annuities or hate them.
According to Kiplinger, only about 8 percent of Americans get any sort of retirement income from private annuities, even though there are some definite benefits to owning one.
The problem might be the misconceptions surrounding them. If you don’t go in with your eyes open, an annuity could be the worst financial decision that you ever made. But if you know what you’re buying and manage it the right way, it’s . Often for life, and sometimes for the life of you or your spouse if one of you dies.
Maybe it’s not a question whether or not, but how to use an annuity.
Mistakes seem to be the real culprit, and not the annuities themselves. It’s been said before. Annuities, and really any retirement financial vehicles, are tools. There’s a right way and a wrong way to approach them.
And here are 5 of the top mistakes that you can avoid:
#1: Ignoring the Costs
Costs vary with annuities, depending on where you buy them. The Motley Fool‘s Todd Campbell ranks this annuity mistake as #1, particularly because it can cost you now, later, and for the life of the annuity.
Annuities are profitable for brokers because the fees are so much higher than other investments, says Campbell. Commissions can be as high as 10 percent, on top of other related expenses. But it’s avoidable if you ask up front and shop around for the best rates. You don’t have to buy an annuity from a broker. Steve Vernon for CBS Money Watch says that you can buy immediate annuities through online annuity shopping services, and variable ones through companies such as Vanguard.
#2 Choosing the Wrong Annuity
You wouldn’t buy a subcompact vehicle if you had 5 kids, and buying the wrong annuity is just as shortsighted. Vernon explains that there are four basic annuity choices: Fixed dollar amount, inflation-adjusted, variable, **guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit, and **guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit.
With each choice comes a set of pros and cons. For example, a fixed-rate annuity gives you a set rate of return. That might sound great until you think about inflation, which this type of annuity doesn’t do. Variable annuities have a variable rate of return, but that means it can go up or down because they’re usually backed by mutual fund^s, says Campbell. Learn as much as you can about your choices before you commit and you won’t have surprises on down the road.
Don’t cheat yourself by taking too much.
#3 Taking Extra Withdrawals
With a **guaranteed annuity, you’ll have a set percentage that you can withdraw, or take in distributions, each year. It might be 5 percent, but you could take more, at least with some annuities, if you wanted to. That’s a bad idea, according to Kiplinger, because it can slash your **guaranteed value.
If you withdraw your set percentage, your **guaranteed annuity value will remain untouched for the life of the annuity. But if you take just a few thousand dollars more than you should, and you only do that once, your **guaranteed value will reduce, and so will all of your future distributions for life.
#4 Not Naming Your Spouse as Beneficiary
If you’re married, a joint-life annuity makes sense for you and your spouse. But you also need to name your spouse as primary beneficiary. There’s a difference, and it can be a major one.
With a joint-life annuity that names an IRA as beneficiary, your spouse would only get the actual value at your death. That’s what you invested, less what’s already been paid to you. With a joint-life annuity that names your spouse as beneficiary, the same regular payments would continue as before, for the rest of your spouse’s life. Depending on when this happens, that could add up to a lot of money.
#5 Not Considering an Annuity At All
Perhaps the biggest annuity mistake is to not evaluate annuities as part of your retirement plan at all.
Running out of money in retirement is one of the biggest concerns of most retirees. And it can be hard to solve the problem since you simply don’t know how long you are going to live.
A lifetime annuity can **guarantee income for as long as you live — no matter how long that might be. You can **guarantee that you get all of your money back. You can protect your spouse. There are some very compelling reasons to consider an annuity. 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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