Since David Lettermen retired several years ago, we decided it’s time to honor his place in history, with an annuity themed top ten list! Here are the Top Ten Annuity Surrender Charge Questions that we, Annuity Guys, believe you need answers to… [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.
- What is a surrender charge schedule?
- Why do surrenders exist?
- Why surrender charges are not always bad?
- How long do surrender charges last?
- Do surrender charges affect my bonus or earnings?
- How can I get around surrender charges?
- When surrender charges end, do I need to renew my annuity or buy a new one?
- Will my heirs get stuck with a surrender charge?
- How can I never pay surrender charges?
- Should I be focused on surrender charges as the primary factor in my decision or just one of the factors?
There has been quite a bit of news in the last year about annuity companies trying to “buy back” annuities they have **guaranteed. Check out this Wall Street Journal article on….
Your insurer may be trying to persuade you to sell your contract back.
Retirement-minded investors have snapped up hundreds of billions of dollars of variable annuities# with benefit **guarantees. Now some insurers are trying to persuade owners to walk away from their policies.
Variable annuities combine a 401(k)-like investment account with the equivalent of an insurance policy. They appeal to investors approaching retirement with a promise of **guaranteed regular payouts that could reset higher if the policy’s underlying investments fare well.
Yet the products usually have higher fees than plain-vanilla “immediate” annuities, which deliver an annual payout in return for a lump-sum payment. (Variable annuities are complicated enough—and consumers are confused enough about them—that the Securities and Exchange Commission issued an investor bulletin this month explaining how they work.)
Some insurers that sold products with rich **guarantees are trying to dissuade longtime customers from holding on to their contracts. In addition to offering to buy back variable annuities# with benefit **guarantees, insurers are limiting investment choices, raising fees and blocking additional account contributions.
The goal is to limit future payouts on accounts whose balances have tumbled at the same time ultralow interest rates hurt insurers’ own investment returns.
Insurers have sent out a flurry of letters in the past year informing annuity owners that their accounts are being shifted into more-conservative investment options—unless the owners opt out.
Michael Manon, a retired lawyer and entrepreneur who in March 2009 invested $120,000 in a variable annuity# with a **guaranteed-income rider, turned down an offer this month to sell the contract back to his insurer. His account is now worth more than $250,000.
“I still want the protection,” Mr. Manon says, pointing to the stock market’s January downturn as a reason why he values the **guaranteed payout.
He decided to turn down the buyout offer after consulting a financial planner with a specialty in counseling investors and advisers on the pros and cons of such annuities.
When should you consider getting out of an annuity with a **guarantee? If you aren’t seeking income as the main goal, if you have been diagnosed with a medical condition that severely shortens your life expectancy or if you have a dire need for a lump sum of cash, experts say.
Otherwise, consider holding on—as long as the contract still offers a broad range of stock investments, the income **guarantees are higher than what you could get for such a product if you bought it now, and you still want a steady income stream in retirement.
If you—or your parents—are holding an annuity and having second thoughts, here are some strategies to consider.
Some insurers, including AXA Equitable Life Insurance, have sent letters to investors informing them that their assets would be shifted automatically from the growth funds they originally selected into lower-cost index funds, unless the investors opt out of the change.
“We were very clear that the offer was voluntary and that it may not make sense for everyone,” an AXA spokeswoman said. “But for some customers, their circumstances may have changed and it may make sense.” [.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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