Are All Annuities Created Equal?

During the holiday season, I was a part of many celebratory meals where family, friends and food were the main attraction.  One evening at a potluck, we were surveying a particularly full dessert table that boasted five different kinds of cookies.  While most of us paused in indecision, one guest remarked, “they’re all cookies, they’re all the same so there’s no bad choice to make!” But is that really the case?

It’s hard for me to ever turn off my analytical nature, even in the face of sugar and carbohydrates, so to me this observation was far from the truth.  My mind immediately leapt to the idea of annuities, and how many of my clients feel all annuities are created equally.

The truth is, they’re not.  Just like each of those cookies had a unique aesthetic, caloric content and taste, each annuity has a varying return for particular clients.  Admittedly I’m no help with decisions about sweets, but I do know that in finance many investments may look equally appealing to my clients. Annuities are one of the most misunderstood products in the industry today. Do you know how to separate all the myths, misconceptions, and opinions about annuities from facts that would help you make a sound financial decision?  Consider setting up an appointment with me before you make an important choice by calling 877-476-5051.

In particular, Fixed Index Annuities stand out among the platters of investments shown to investors.  That’s because they offer a minimum rate of return called an “income floor” that grows for purposes of income.  The result ranges from 4% as a minimum rate of return to as high as 8% per year compounding.

With a fixed index annuity, your income could be even higher if the market outperforms that 8% per year.  When you or your spouse finally decides to turn on the income, you will receive lifetime income; in addition, you can still maintain control and access to your money when you decide you need it.

The income from a Fixed Index Annuity also does not cease once you pass away (in most cases), so your spouse can keep building on the contract and better take care of your heirs in the future.  While there are still fees, they are considered very minimal in comparison to other plans.

Now that the holiday feasting is behind us, make sure you’re filling your wallet as much as you filled your belly!

There are some variances in the contracts for different Fixed Index Annuities, so make sure you have all the facts necessary to make the right decision with your financial future by calling us today! Speak with us now at 877-476-5051, email Warren at warren@warrenelkin.com, or go to www.warrenelkin.com to learn more about Warren Elkin and his unique process to make sure your financial decisions are made in your best interest.

Photo courtesy of: www.foodnetwork.com

Fewer Stocks: The Secret to Retirement Success?

I look at an online issue of USA Today, the Money section shows stocks’ performances and words like “plunge,” “slump” and “slide.” Not what you want to see when it’s your money in the market especially if you are about to walk away from a steady paycheck and live solely on your savings.

We all want our retirement funds to grow, but without stress and sleepless nights wondering if they’ll topple. We’ve seen in recent years that investing in the stock market can feel like rolling the dice in Vegas. It’s a gamble that most people can’t afford to take.

So where should you invest your money? This week, I spotted an article on smartmoney.com that says annuities should be considered by middle-income households and those without traditional pension plans. In the article, Sri Reddy, a senior vice president at Prudential Retirement, says that time and energy should be spent educating workers about how much they need to save for retirement and that annuities can provide “protection against investment losses and guarantees the percent and total amount a person can withdraw from the annuity.”

So comparing the return from the stock market to an annuity is like comparing a gamble to a guarantee.

An annuity acts like a traditional pension plan, but it’s an individual, not a company, that provides the funding to make future payments possible. The money contributed is invested by a government-regulated insurance company. But no matter how it performs, the insurance company is under a binding, legal contract to pay the pre-agreed income at the schedule agreed upon under the contract.

There are many annuities out there, so choosing the right one for you is crucial. I’d be happy to give you advice garnered from my 30-plus years of experience and countless satisfied clients. You can reach me at 877-476-5051 and put your fears to rest knowing that your financial future is guaranteed, safe and secure.