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Fed up with: low CD interest rates, the uncertainty of the stock market ups and downs, and your other long term savings? Are your current saving plans not accomplishing your long term retirement goals?

How about a safe long term alternative that:

  • Allows you earn interest on your money
  • In up markets, your savings have the ability to grow with the market
  • However it doesn't let you lose your initial savings on down markets
  • Another benefit is that you will have the ability to have Guaranteed Income for the rest of your life and/or spouse’s life.

If you are considering a long term financial safety net and you are willing to pay for one, then consider an annuity.

What is an annuity?

"An annuity is an insurance product that pays out income, and can be used as part of a retirement strategy. Annuities are a popular choice for investors who want to receive a steady income stream in retirement." 1

"An annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company that is designed to meet retirement and other long-range goals, under which you make a lump-sum payment or series of payments. In return, the insurer agrees to make periodic payments to you beginning immediately or at some future date.  

Annuities typically offer tax-deferred growth of earnings and may include a death benefit that will pay your beneficiary a specified minimum amount, such as your total purchase payments. While tax is deferred on earnings growth, when withdrawals are taken from the annuity, gains are taxed at ordinary income rates, and not capital gains rates. If you withdraw your money early from an annuity, you may pay substantial surrender charges to the insurance company, as well as tax penalties." 2

Just a few reasons to purchase a Fixed Index Annuity:

  • Save for Retirement – Allows for earning a specific or adjustable rate of interest on your money for a specific number of years, tax-deferred.
  • Distribute Your Savings – Guaranteed Lifetime Benefits that provide a stable structure for retirement.
  • Insure Against Longevity Risk – Never outlive your assets!
  • Manage Your Taxes – A life income annuity allows you to spread your tax liability evenly across your entire retirement.

What is a good age to purchase an indexed annuity?

"The great thing about indexed annuities is that they are a safe, reliable retirement planning vehicle appropriate for people in a variety of life stages. However, there are a few rules of thumb to follow when thinking about purchasing an indexed annuity. Of course, always speak with your retirement planning professional to see what makes most sense for you and your family. 

  • Mid-40s to mid-50s is a great time for many people to consider purchasing an indexed annuity. Keeping a portion of your retirement pie protected is often important for those approaching retirement age in the next 10-15 years.  Knowing that you could have some guaranteed annual income from an annuity in retirement gives you the peace of mind to pursue additional growth investments and take care of family obligations.
  • In your mid 50s-60s, you’re more likely to be looking for safe options—you can’t necessarily afford to take the risks you previously could since it will be difficult to recover massive hits to your portfolio. Indexed annuities are extremely popular with this age group because of the guaranteed lifetime income these products offer.

Unlike some other retirement savings vehicles, there is no limit to how much money you can put into an indexed annuity or certain age at which you’re eligible to buy an indexed annuity. However, similar to IRAs, you would incur a 10% tax penalty on income withdrawals before the age of 59 ½. In an era where many are looking for peace of mind and protection, it’s worth thinking about when purchasing an indexed annuity may be right for you." 3

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One of my blog followers asked:

Please advise under what circumstances would it be beneficial to buy annuities vs. life insurance when planning for retirement?

My answer was: 

Most insurance companies provide annuities and life insurance products. The main difference between “life insurance” and an “annuity” is how the payments are paid out.

An overly simple explanation is: An annuity is almost like the opposite of life insurance. It continues to pay you a stream of income until you pass away. Life insurance on the other hand pays out to your beneficiaries once you pass on. So the difference between annuity and life insurance lies in the benefits and the timing of it. An annuity intends to support the investor's future income requirements while in life insurance, meets the need of the beneficiaries. Life insurance is mainly a financial product which protects your loved ones when the insured has passed away.

Annuities pay a stable steady income to secure your future income needs. It is a safe, secure stable source of income, ideal for retirees. You can start receiving payments “immediately” or “deferred.” Annuities can provide tax-deferred savings for retirement.

Life insurance generally pays out one “lump sum” payment to the beneficiaries, upon death. It is absolutely essential to provide for the future needs of surviving loved ones so you can meet, or even exceed their expenses such as: living costs, covering the cost of the funeral, or to satisfy any other financial obligation you desire for loved ones, after you pass away.

Both annuity and life insurance products provide death benefits. For example if you pay $100 per month to an insurance policy, when you die, your surviving beneficiaries could receive several hundreds of thousands of dollars. With an annuity, when you pay $100 as premium and die, your beneficiaries will only receive paid premium with interest, minus any payouts made. So if your main need is a death benefit, opt for life insurance.

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1. Source:

2. Source:

3. Source:  By Jim Poolman, Executive Director, Indexed Annuity Leadership Council

Disclaimer: I have provided this information as courtesy service. It is neither a legal interpretation nor a statement of SEC policy. If you have questions concerning the meaning or application of a particular law, please consult with an attorney.