An annuity is a contractual financial product sold by insurance carriers designed to accept and grow funds, which upon Annuitization, pay out a stream of payments for life. Contracts are divided into fixed, indexed, deferred or variable. Annuities are used primarily for retirement purposes.
People are living longer, which is good. But longevity creates new retirement challenges. How do you cover expenses during a 30+ year retirement without running out of money?
Annuities Could Be Your Solution.
- Safety of Principal: Fixed annuity offers protection against a volatile market.
- Tax Deferred Growth: Tax deferral is a key feature that can help your savings accumulate faster than it would in a comparable taxable account.
- Guaranteed Interest Rates: For the fixed annuity, the payments (premiums) are guaranteed to earn an initial interest rate for a certain period of time.
- Easy Access to Your Money: It is difficult to predict the future. That’s why the majority of the contracts offer penalty-free withdrawal options—in case you need to access your money.
- Upside growth potential —with index annuities, you can earn interest based on the performance of a market index, potentially increasing the value of your retirement assets.
- Guaranteed principal protection —your principal will not decline due to market downturns. Guarantees are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.
- The power of tax deferral —you pay no tax on any index annuity gains until they are withdrawn (based on current tax law). Your assets can grow faster than a taxable account, earning potential interest in three different ways—on your principal, on the interest credited to your contract and on your tax savings.
- Lifetime income —some index annuities offer optional guaranteed living benefit riders that may increase the amount you receive for life. Some riders even guarantee rising income for a specific number of years. Annual fees, restrictions and limitations may apply.
- Beneficiary protection —assets transfer directly to a beneficiary rather than going through probate, potentially reducing costs and delays.
- One lump-sum payment (a single payment amount).
- Timely benefits — you can start receiving income payments monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually. Typically, that means 30 days from the date of contract issue.
- Withdrawal benefit — if you unexpectedly need access to funds beyond scheduled income payments, the majority of the contracts offer the ability to withdraw up to 100% of the present value of the remaining guaranteed income payments as a lump sum using the withdrawal benefit.
- Customization —within certain limits, you also have the option to schedule the date that income payments begin – usually up to one year from the date the contract is issued.
With some exceptions, in exchange for higher payments, an immediate annuity permanently converts your principal to a guaranteed income stream, depending on the payout options you choose.
- Timely benefits — you can receive income payments monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually, beginning 12 months after your contract is issued.
- Income start date adjustment — you can accelerate or defer the first payment date within five years of the original income start date as long as it complies with the minimum and maximum deferral periods. Not available with life-only annuity options.
A Variable Annuity is a long-term investment that combines growth potential, protection features for your family and optional retirement income choices.
Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts (QLAC) — allows you to postpone taking a portion of your required minimum distributions (RMDs) until as late as age 85.
For years, life insurance has been used as an accumulation and estate liquidity vehicle. Today, accumulation-oriented insurance is more attractive than ever for these needs:
- New products are much more efficient by minimizing the internal costs of the death benefit and expenses providing higher accumulated values.
- New products are much more flexible, providing features that give clients access to cash values earlier and cover more risks, such as long term care, nursing home costs, terminal illness, critical illness, etc.
- The taxation benefits of life insurance – tax-free inside buildup and tax-free distribution. In a world where future tax rates are uncertain at best, this gives life insurance a huge advantage over other accumulation vehicles.