MetLife’s Annuities Should Still Be Considered

MetLife made big news in mid-March by failing a Federal Reserve “stress test” administered to 19 megabanks. Federal regulators are expected to classify it eventually as a “Systemically Important Financial Institution,” i.e., “Too big to fail.”Should that make you eliminate MetLife from your list of acceptable annuity providers? I don’t think so.If you follow annuities, you probably regard MetLife as a big publicly held life insurance company that also issues a lot of... Read More

Fixed & Indexed Annuities Balance Risk with Returns

Larry Martin of the Leavenworth Times in Kansas has a pyramid example of retirement investing.  In the article "Annuities good retirement savings options," Martin says that both fixed annuities and indexed annuity products are good options for growing your retirement savings.  His example includes a couple looking to save for retirement and pondering the best options.  The safest investments are at the top of his pyramid and the most risky are at the bottom.  Bank's savings accounts and... Read More

Everyone Should Consider A Fixed Annuity Now

In "Why consider an annuity?," Scott Lunsford writes in the Chillicothe Gazette that there is no better time than now to purchase an annuity.  He says that while some annuities can be complicated, a fear of many people, a fixed annuity is straightforward and offers you a multitude of benefits for your retirement years.  Since you insure your house and car with an insurance company, it is a wise decision to insure some of your retirement savings with one as well.Fixed annuity rates are... Read More

Fixed Annuity Rates for Pennsylvania Residents

According to "Retiring in a positive tax climate is only half the battle," written by Christopher Scalese for The Times-Tribune, fixed and fixed indexed annuities could be great retirement vehicles for Pennsylvania residents.  They are lucky to live in a state with favorable tax codes for retirees, but Pennsylvania residents still have to find a way to maximize their retirement income.  In Pennsylvania, they have a low sales tax, Social Security benefits are not taxed on the state level, and... Read More

August A Good Month For Variable, Fixed Annuities

August bank sales of variable and fixed annuities were at their highest levels since March, according to Banker & Tradesman's "Fixed, Variable Annuity Sales Both Up At Banks."  The monthly Kehrer-LIMRA bank annuity study found a 22% increase in the total annuity sales from July to August.  The $3.6 billion in sales were up 42% from the start of 2011 and up 24% since August of 2010.  In the past two years, this is just the second time that bank sales have been higher than $3.5 billion. ... Read More

Summer Sales Increase for Bank Annuities

According to Insurance News Net, sales of fixed and variable annuities increased in the bank channel during the month of June.  In the article, "Sales of Both Fixed and Variable Annuities Up at Banks," it says that June was the first month for a sales increase since March.  The last time for a sales increase for both fixed and variable annuities during the month of June was in 2006.  It is pretty rare that both annuity products see a sales increase during the summertime.  Bank sales of... Read More

American Equity is 2nd in Fixed Equity Indexed Annuities

American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. CEO Wendy Waugaman was interviewed in the Des Moines Register article "W.D.M. firm's CEO talks of annuities, economic growth."  American Equity has the second highest sales of fixed equity indexed annuities, just above Aviva USA and behind Allianz Life.  The company was started in 1995 and went from selling $150 million of annuities in 1997 to $2 billion in 2001.  Their revenue is now up to $28 billion, largely based on sales of fixed equity... Read More

Immediate Annuity Rates, Guarantees, GAO Bringing Investors In

Insurance companies and financial advisors are pleased that the Government Accountability Office is recommending immediate annuities to middle income families, but they don't think that a huge sales boom is going to happen overnight.  According to Darla Mercado's Investment News article, "Financial advisers, insurers hail GAO plug for immediate annuities," the GAO is admitting that Social Security is flawed and retirees need to have added income to finance their retirement.  Despite the fact... Read More

Market Share Updates for Fixed, Variable Annuities & Fixed Equity Indexed Annuities

Independent broker dealers are selling a greater percentage of the total annuities market than they did in the past, according to Linda Koco of Insurance News Net.  In the article "Independent B/Ds Gain Annuity Market Share," it says that their individual market share has been increasing since the study was started in 2006.  IBD's were the top distributor of variable annuities in 2010, capturing 30% of the market share compared to their 26% in 2006.  With 24% of the market share for variable... Read More

Real World Scenarios: Annuity for a 90-year-old

Our series of real world scenarios continues. A bank executive talked my 90-year-old mother-in-law into purchasing an annuity to increase her yield from a CD. Is this a mistake (considering her advanced age), or was it a good move to avoid probate in the case of her death? Whether the annuity purchase was a wise move depends on the terms of the annuity she purchased. Call the insurance company and ask them the following questions:1) What is her current... Read More

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