Are Annuities A Bad Investment? Here’s What You Need To Know

are annuities a bad investments or good investments?

Annuities are a type of investment that can provide you with a steady stream of income over time. But are they a good option for you? Here’s what you need to know before making your decision.

What are Annuities?

An annuity is an insurance product that pays you a fixed amount of money each year, based on the terms of the contract. The money is paid out regardless of whether or not you sell the contract beforehand.

Why are Annuities Popular?

Many people choose annuities because they offer stability and income potential. Annuity payments are usually tax-free, so they can be a good option for people who want to save money tax-wise. Additionally, annuities tend to be low-risk investments, so they may be a good choice for people who are worried about their financial security in retirement.

4 Reasons to Purchase an Annuity

Annuity expert Stan Haithcock says that there are only four reasons to purchase an annuity. He came up with a clever acronym to help you remember those reasons in case some shady annuity salesperson stops by your house.

According to Stan Haithcock, you should only buy an annuity if you need to solve one of the following issues.

  1. P = Principal Protection – Do you want to lose the money you put into a product or would you rather keep it safe?
  2. I = Income for Life – Do you care if you have a stream of guaranteed income that you can’t outlive, or do you prefer surprises every month?
  3. L = Legacy – Is leaving your kids something when you die important to you, or do you think it’s better if they pull themselves up by their own bootstraps?
  4. L = Long Term Care – Do you worry about your money getting eaten up by nursing home costs or are you so amazingly fit and genetically superior that you will never need long term or confinement care?

Did you notice that nowhere on that list was a question that said, “Do you want a red-hot investment vehicle with the potential to rock your portfolio?”

That’s because I agree with Stan, annuities are not investments. At least the types of annuities I most often recommend to my clients are not investments. Nor should they be marketed as such.

For retirees and those about to retire, an annuity has one primary purpose.  That purpose is to convert a portion of your idle cash into a contractually-guaranteed, tax-advantaged income stream.

In a previous blog post, I wrote about the old-fashioned “three-legged stool” approach to retirement that is faltering in our unstable economic environment.

As you might recall, the stool’s three legs are personal savings, pension, and Social Security. Devouring those legs to the point of fragility are the money-eating termites of inflation, ineffective qualified plans, taxes, and useless politicians. Having an annuity in the mix can help you slow down the erosion and keep your stool from tipping over.

Evaluate Your Risk of Annuities Before Investing

An annuity is the only contractually-guaranteed way to grow your wealth with less risk than you incur using more speculative vehicles.

As Stan says, you choose an annuity for what it WILL do, not what it MIGHT do. When you invest in other kinds of products, you are willing to assume more risk because the investment MIGHT pay off. There are no guarantees and zero predictability. That makes planning for retirement challenging and stressful.

When you choose the right kind of annuity to meet your goals and objectives, you will get safe, sane returns, and reliable income you can never outlive.  I can help you discover more about annuities, life insurance, and other fun and useful products to grow and protect your wealth.

In other words, if you want a non-sleazy, credible, dashing young financial professional on your money dream team, contact me. I will help you design your perfect post-work life and help you clarify your goals, risk tolerance, and attitudes toward money.

Find Out Why Annuity Is Perfect After Or During The Pandemic

financial planning after pandemic and all about annuity

“Most investors consider the consistent rise in share price as a proxy for safety. Often not true!” ― A K Asnani.

Writing this in a pandemic-impacted world, I realize that many of us are at a loss as to what is happening right now in the markets. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably looked at your statements and wondered if there is any good way to protect what remains of your wealth. After experiencing the recent wild mood swings on Wall Street, you want and need to build a fortress around your savings.

Perhaps in the past, you felt compelled to chase after returns in order to create a lifetime income because interest rates were so low. You felt pressured to catch up and didn’t want to run out of money in retirement or have to work longer than you expected.

However, the price for getting those higher returns was seeing your life savings beaten and battered by the market. Once the dust settled and you did the math, it’s likely you didn’t come out ahead at all.

What is an Annuity?

Simply defined, an annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company that typically blends elements of both investing and insurance. You can either contribute a lump sum, such as a roll-over from a qualified plan, inheritance, or windfall, or you can make payments over time. Your earnings grow tax-deferred.

Why annuities are a perfect choice during and after COVID-19?

Looking forward to life after COVID-19, you may be seeking something that can give you some growth without loss of your principle, especially if you’re over 50. That’s when a fixed index annuity can become the cornerstone of your plan to create a more secure and worry-free retirement.

Why annuities are a perfect choice

Annuities offer some solace to those worried about market volatility. They are expressly designed with the idea of providing better returns than other safe-money vehicles such as CDs and savings accounts.

It’s likely that your financial advisor, colleague, or family member tried to talk you out of annuities, saying they were too conservative and that you’d lose out when Wall Street rallied. Maybe that was somewhat true back in your 20’s and 30’s. But as you near retirement age, it’s critical to avoid losing even a penny of the money it took you years to accumulate. Annuities are the only products available that offer guarantees that you won’t lose your principle.

Why you should have an Annuity?

Here are a few reasons why I believe that if you are 50 or older, you should consider having an annuity as part of your overall retirement strategy.

1. Annuities are NOT difficult to understand and manage

Many financial planners counsel against annuities because they claim they are too complex for people to understand. However, with the help of an expert who is well-versed in the many features of modern annuity products, you will be able to find the annuity that best suits your goals. 

Your annuity specialist will help you discover exactly what to expect from your annuity and how to get the most out of it. He or she will sit down with you, explain the features of your contract, and show you how it fits in with the rest of your retirement blueprint. Annuities are, in my opinion, far easier to understand than the majority of other financial vehicles in the marketplace.

2. You DO have access to your money

Many people mistakenly believe than having an annuity is like putting your money in a safe and then putting that safe into a locked storage shed and throwing the whole thing into the deepest part of the ocean. In other words, they’ve been misled into thinking that buying an annuity means your money is locked up tight and you can never touch it. It’s a myth that many advisors who don’t specialize in safe money continue to parrot. 

What most people don’t realize is that nearly every annuity available allows you to withdraw a portion (usually up to 10%) of the amount you put in or earnings, whichever is greatest, during the first few years of the contract, or “surrender period.” While there may be some tax implications for doing so, there is no penalty. 

Your advisor will counsel you on the tax implications should you ever need access to those funds in case of an emergency. While it is wise to avoid taking out money from your annuity if, at all possible, it is comforting to know that you have that option. Some annuities also provide for access if you or a loved one needs long-term care or is terminally ill. Ask your annuity expert about those options.

3. Annuities allow you to have protected lifetime income

Many people combine an annuity with other types of protected lifetime income, such as a pension and Social Security. This trifecta of guaranteed income sources means you’ll have payments for as long as you live, even when the account balance is exhausted. If you have a 401(k) plan, an annuity can complement and augment that plan, allowing you to generate income. In fact, Congress recognized the potential relationship between 401(k)’s and annuities and passed the SECURE Act. This legislation now makes it easier for employers to offer annuities in their 401(k) plans.

Annuities in the 21st Century are robust, multi-faceted products that offer distinct advantages, like guarantees, that others don’t provide. A properly structured annuity will provide you with protected lifetime income that you can’t outlive.

If you are thinking about adding an annuity to your retirement blueprint, talk with a professional who specializes in this unique product.