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The SEC Helps Explain Variable Annuities

Variable annuities are a good way to safely secure retirement income while having the potential to receive gains in the stock market.  They can be confusing products though and are not necessarily right for all investors.  Andrew Wang of Runnymede Capital Management recently published an article in the Huffington Post explaining the nuances of variable annuities.  In "10 Things The SEC Wants You to Know about Variable Annuities," Mr. Wang points out that the SEC's Office of Investor... Read More

The Good and Bad of the Annuity Business in 2013

As 2013 comes to a close, it's a good time to evaluate what you've done over the year and see what changes you'd like to make for 2014.  This is true for annuities too.  Stan Haithcock evaluated annuities right before Christmas for his Marketwatch article, "Have annuities been naughty or nice this year?"  Mr. Haithcock definitely has a way with words and wrote an interesting piece, which included Santa pondering whether annuity carriers would be getting presents or coal in their stockings at... Read More

Indexed Annuities Are A Good Substitute For Less Desirable Bonds

Many people consider a bond/equity mix to be the standard of retirement income.  Unfortunately for them, bonds are becoming less desirable for many reasons.  Increases in inflation and interest rates are not good for bond prices.  Add to that the fact that equities are at all-time highs and corrections are likely in the near future and the negatives are stacked against bonds right now.  Indexed annuities with guaranteed minimum income benefits are a great alternative to bonds.  They are... Read More

Longevity Annuity Recommendations

Longevity annuities come in two different types and help to insure that you will not run out of money in retirement.  They are essentially the opposite of life insurance, which leaves money behind in the case of an early death.  Deferred income annuities and fixed indexed annuities with lifetime income riders are two ways to guarantee a stream of income that you cannot outlive.  Annuity FYI recently put together a list of their recommended longevity annuities.  The difference between a... Read More

Five Tips for Women Looking at Annuities

Throughout history, women have outlived men.  But financial planning for women simply hasn't caught up with that of men.  Generations ago, not many women were working, so it makes sense that they were doing less financial planning.  Over the past couple of generations, many more women are in the workforce and spending more time on their own financial planning.  Married couples should make sure that both spouses have a good retirement plan in place and single women need these plans just as... Read More

Three Types of Immediate Annuities

I often find articles asking if annuities are right for the audience reading them.  There certainly is no clear cut answer to that question, but the AARP did a great job of simplifying the answer for their readers in their version of "Is An Annuity Right For You?"  Jane Bryant Quinn's article for the AARP Bulletin says that making your money last over your lifetime is the single most important concern in retirement.  For those nearing retirement or already in it, have you planned well to... Read More

Retirement Income is More Important than Leaving Money to Heirs

Steve Vernon has been writing about generating retirement income in a three part series for CBS Moneywatch.  In the third article, "Generate retirement income or leave a legacy?," he questions whether retirees can actually do both and which is more important.  You cannot do both with the same investment, unless you are sacrificing some of the investment's benefits.  The best way to both generate retirement income and leave a legacy to your heirs is by diversifying your retirement plan and... Read More

Annuity Arguments Often Based on Inaccurate Information

Annuities are a great financial tool for many people, yet don't belong in the portfolio of some others.  Unfortunately, there are some incorrect arguments against these products circulating that might keep consumers away who could really benefit from the safety and guarantees of annuity products.  In Life Health Pro, John L. Olsen and Michael E. Kitces give us "5 arguments against annuities - and how to overcome them."  These arguments often don't take important details into consideration... Read More

Men Usually Better Off with Gender-Distinct Annuity Rates

Whether you are male or female can make a big difference when it comes to your annuity rates.  But in some cases, it doesn't make any difference at all.  Because of this, there are certain situations where men and women are best suited to make different decisions when it comes to how they purchase their annuity products.  Linda Koco of Annuity News discussed this in her Insurance News Net article, "How Sex Can Sell Annuities."  Basically, when you are making the decision whether to take a... Read More

People Either Love Them Or Hate Them, But It Shouldn’t Be So Clear Cut

It's the end of May, so although summer doesn't officially start for a few weeks, it's summer in my books.  And summer for football fans signals the beginning of serious football chatter as teams start practicing and getting ready for the fall.  Stan Haithcock wrote an interesting article for Marketwatch tying football to annuities called "Separated at birth: Tim Tebow and annuities."  I know the basics about Tim Tebow; good college player, the stance, very religious, somewhat... Read More

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