Are Annuities A Good Investment Now


Using Our Calculator To Find Out Your Annuity Income

Are Fixed Indexed Annuities A Good Investment?

Annuity income results are available on our calculator for ages 55-85.

Once you enter your age and pension pot amount, well show:

  • The amount you could take for your 25% tax-free lump sum.
  • The amount remaining in your pension pot after taking the lump sum.
  • An estimated annual income based on the amount left in your pension pot.

As well as results for our annuity, which guarantees an income for life, you can also see results for our Fixed Term Retirement Plan and Cash-Out Retirement Plans. These offer incomes over a fixed term. You can use the calculator to see the impact of different terms on your annual income.

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Reducing Taxes In Retirement

If you have a significant amount of money saved in a 401 or traditional IRA, an annuity can be an excellent way to reduce your taxes in retirement. When you purchase an annuity with after-tax dollars, the money grows tax-deferred, and you only pay taxes on the growth when you start withdrawing. This can be an excellent way to reduce your overall tax liability in retirement. A non-qualified annuity with a lifetime income rider can also be used to create an income stream in retirement with minimum taxes owed.

Death Benefit / Annuitant

In order for an annuity to qualify as a legitimate insurance contract–which is what allows it to enjoy certain tax advantages — someone has to be insured. This person is known as the annuitant. The annuitant has no power whatsoever over the money, unless, as is often the case, the owner and the annuitant are the same person. There is no additional death benefit involved with an annuity, which makes it very different from other life insurance policies that you may be familiar with. The annuitant becomes important if one day you choose to annuitize your annuity, which means to get a monthly income for life, for the amount of income that you can receive will be determined by the annuitant’s age. In other words, if I bought an annuity and named my mom the annuitant, she would qualify for much more money each month than I would, if I named myself the annuitant. This is because the monthly payments are partly based on the annuitant’s life expectancy. The older they are the shorter their life expectancy, and the shorter the amount of time the insurance company will have to pay out those monthly payments.

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Variable Annuities Can Be Pricey

Variable annuities can get very expensive. Any time you consider one, you need to understand all the fees that come with it to be sure that you pick the best option for your goals and situation.

Variable annuities have administrative fees, as well as mortality and expense risk fees. Insurance companies charge these, which often run about 1-1.25% of your accounts value, to cover the costs and risks of insuring your money. Investment fees and expense ratios vary depending on how you invest with a variable annuity. These fees are similar to what you would pay if you invested independently in any mutual fund.

Fixed and indexed annuities, on the other hand, are actually fairly cheap. Many of these contracts dont come with any annual fees and have limited other expenses. But in an effort to let you customize your contract, companies will often offer additional benefit riders for these. Riders come with an additional fee, but they are completely optional. Rider fees typically vary up to 1% of your contract value annually, and variable annuities may offer them too.

Surrender charges are common for both variable and fixed annuities. A surrender charge applies when you make more in withdrawals than youre allowed to. Insurance companies usually limit withdrawal fees during the early years of your contract. Surrender fees are often high and can also apply for an extended period of time, so beware of these.

You Will Receive Regular Payments

Should I Invest in an Annuity? A Simple Breakdown of a Complicated ...

The most basic feature of an annuity is that you receive regular payments from an insurance company. These payments provide supplemental income during your retirement, and can help if youre afraid that you havent saved enough to cover your regular expenses. Keep in mind that the value and number of your annuity payments will vary depending on the type of annuity you have and the terms of your contract.

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How To Buy An Annuity

Here are some last things to know before you decide to buy any annuities:

  • Shop around on your own. You don’t have to wait to be approached by an annuity salesperson who may be getting a commission by selling you one — especially since such brokers may be ripping you off. Your existing online brokerage might even offer annuities.
  • Only buy from highly rated insurers. Annuity income is not 100% guaranteed. The financial company you’ve contracted with does promise to pay you according to the terms of the contract, but that promise is only as reliable as the company that sells it. Thus, seek out the best-rated insurers and financial-services companies, and perhaps divide your purchase money between a few of them. For example, if you were going to spend $300,000 on annuities, you might buy a $100,000 contract from three different highly rated insurers.
  • Understand what an insurer’s credit ratings mean. A big insurance company might have several subsidiaries, each with its own credit rating. Be sure to find and assess the rating for the entity that will be issuing your annuity. This table can help you make sense of the top ratings from the major agencies:


Looking For A Source Of Guaranteed Lifetime Income In Retirement Retirement Annuities Can Help Meet The Challenge

Theres so much to look forward to in retirement, from travel to pursuing personal passions and spending more time with your family and friends. But feeling financially confident can be challenging at any age, and especially when thinking about how to ensure you have sufficient income to get toand throughretirement.

Retirement savings are vulnerable to a number of risks: Market volatility could lower your investments value, inflation could put a dent in your purchasing power over time, cognitive issues could make it harder to handle retirement income withdrawals, and living longer than expected could mean you outlast your retirement accounts. Annuities, a type of retirement investment that can be used to provide guaranteed income for life, can help with all of those risks.

And thats what most people saving for retirement want: A recent TIAA survey found that 69 percent of the people saving for retirement on the job ranked guaranteed income for life as one of their top two goals for their workplace plan.1

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Pros And Cons Of Annuities

Pros and cons accompany any investment product for retirement, and annuities are no exception.

Here are five of the pros of annuities.

  • An annuity may lend a sense of financial security, particularly for those who are near retirement and are nervous about volatility in the stock market.
  • Interest earned on an annuity can grow on a tax-deferred basis.
  • As opposed to a 401 or an IRA, an annuity usually comes with no annual contribution limits.
  • Unlike traditional retirement accounts, you’re not required to start withdrawing money from an annuity at age 70½.
  • Generally, your designated beneficiaries can get payouts from your annuity after you die even if you haven’t withdrawn any money.
  • Here are five of the cons of annuities.

  • The issuer of an annuity may charge various fees, such as a flat annual fee or a percentage fee to cover administrative expenses.
  • Some annuity fees are higher than fees for other retirement options.
  • If you withdraw money from an annuity before age 59½, the IRS may impose a 10% penalty. That would come on top of any federal taxes you might owe on the money that’s withdrawn.
  • If you need to tap into an annuity to cover big expenses, such as an unexpected hospital bill, you may not be able to withdraw the money as quickly as you’d like. Plus, you may face penalties for early cash withdrawal.
  • The Different Types Of Annuities

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    We briefly touched on fixed and variable annuities. But, there are actually five types of annuities that you can choose from. Its like ordering a taco. Although pretty much the same, you have the choice between beef, chicken, pork, fish, shrimp, or beans. And, each protein slightly modifies your meal.

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    How Much Does A $100000 Annuity Pay Per Month

    The amount of your annuity payment depends on factors such as how much you invest, how long you receive payments and how much your investment grows before you start getting payments.

    Typically, the longer you wait to receive payments, the more time your investment has to grow, and the larger your payouts might be.

    Generally, the longer you choose to receive payments, the smaller each check will be.

    Inflation could make what seems like a lot of money now feel like a small amount later. A payout of $1,000 per month probably goes further today than it will 15 years from now.

    Fixed Vs Variable Annuity: Which Should You Choose

    While both variable annuities and fixed annuities offer benefits, there might be cases where one is more appropriate.

    Fixed annuities are a better choice for someone who has a low tolerance for risk, says David Clausen, a certified financial planner and wealth management advisor with Northwestern Mutual. In todays low interest rate environment, we are seeing people have a difficult time constructing a bond ladder that provides them the income they need without taking on significant credit risk or burning through principal.

    For those willing to tolerate more risk in their retirement fundsor those who want to save a lot for retirementvariable annuities might be the right choice.

    Variable annuities can be a viable solution for those who are willing to stay invested in stock-like markets, but need guaranteed income, living benefit or death benefit tied to their annuity to help them achieve their financial goals, says Brady Kirkpatrick, a CFP with CenterPoint financial Group, Inc. For example, some variable annuities have a living benefit attached to them where you can still take some income from a minimum benefit if the markets are down significantly, preventing you from withdrawing principal.

    When deciding between these types of annuities, though, focus on your own tolerance for risk and what blanks you need to fill in in your retirement plan.

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    Is An Annuity Right For You

    If you could use reliable income in retirement, you should at least consider annuities as part of your retirement plan, ideally focusing on fixed annuities over variable or indexed ones. The best annuities can provide needed funds for the rest of your life on terms that you choose.

    Annuities aren’t great for everyone, though. If you already have sufficient income streams set up for yourself, you don’t necessarily need another one. After all, if you spend a big chunk of money on an annuity that will pay you for the rest of your life, but then you die after just a few years, all that money will be gone, and your loved ones can’t inherit it.

    Read more about annuities, and perhaps consult a trusted advisor, as you determine whether these investments work for you.

    Offsetting Taxes For Your Beneficiaries

    Advantage Annuity

    An annuity can be a good option if you are looking for a way to offset the taxes your beneficiaries will owe on your estate. With an annuity, you can add an enhanced death benefit rider that will pay your beneficiaries a larger death benefit. This can help offset the taxes they will owe on your estate and provide them with more money.

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    Getting Out Of An Annuity May Be Difficult Or Impossible

    This is a major concern relating to immediate annuities. Once you contribute the money to fund an immediate annuity, you cannot get it back or even pass it on to a beneficiary. It may be possible for you to move your money into another annuity plan, but doing so could also leave you subject to fees.

    On top of the fact that you cant get your money back, your benefits will disappear when you die. You cannot pass that money to a beneficiary, even if you have a lot of funds left when you die.

    What Is A Good Return Rate For An Annuity

    The top rate for a three-year annuity is 2.25%, according to Annuity.orgs online rate database. For a five-year, its 2.80%, and for a 10-year annuity, its 2.70%. That said, its important to keep in mind that annuity return rates are not measured the same as, for example, a mutual funds rate of return.

    Whereas a mutual fund could return 30% one year and lose 6% the following year, annuities are designed to provide steady income over time, in some cases, for as long as you live. Income preservation into your 80s and 90s is the trade-off you make for guaranteed income from this insurance product. Its generally not about chasing the highest rate of return you can find, but rather a safe product provided by a financially sound company with great customer service.

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    A Guaranteed Income For Life

    An annuity may be a good option if you are close to retirement and are looking for a way to guarantee income during retirement. Annuities can provide a stream of income that lasts for the rest of your life, no matter how long you live. As a result, this can be an excellent way to hedge against the risk of outliving your other retirement savings.

    How Much Could I Get From An Annuity

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    Our analysis shows that someone with £500,000 in pension savings who buys an annuity at age 66 could currently expect retirement income of £30,886 a year. If they had £1m in pension savings, that figure would rise to £61,918 a year1.

    If they opted for income drawdown instead, a £500,000 pension could provide annual income of £31,331 until age 87 or £25,126 until age 95. This assumes the pension fund grows at 5% a year after charges and that the income increases annually with inflation . For a £1m pension, the corresponding figures are £62,662 and £50,252, respectively.

    Compared with a year ago, when annuity rates were much lower, the gap between the income you can expected from an annuity versus income drawdown has narrowed significantly.

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    Deferral Of Income Tax

    With the exception of an immediate annuity, all annuities defer income taxes owed on all of interest or gains that your original deposit has earned until the money is withdrawn by either you or your beneficiaries. In essence, they work for you as a tax shelter–a big draw of annuities. The true advantage of this is that your money is allowed to stay in the account earning interest or growing for you, rather than sitting in the coffers of the IRS. The taxes are deferred until you or your beneficiaries actually withdraw the money. If you’re in a qualified annuity, you will owe ordinary income taxes on any and all of the money when you withdraw it, and if you are in a non-qualified annuity, you or your beneficiaries will owe ordinary income taxes only on the amount you withdraw above the amount you originally deposited. Non-qualified annuities are taxed on a LIFO method, which means last in, first out. So any interest or gains that your funds has earned are considered to have been put into your account last, and therefor this is the money that has to come out first. And you will owe taxes on these funds. Once you have withdrawn your earnings, then you can withdraw your original deposit without incurring any additional taxes. If you happen to die with money in an annuity, your beneficiaries will also have to pay taxes on any gains that you have not already paid taxes on when they withdraw those funds.

    Who Should Invest In An Annuity


    Annuities are best suited those who have maxed out tax-deferred contributions to 401 plans and IRA plans. The Internal Revenue Service defines the maximum allowable contributions to pretax 401 and profit sharing plans, and both Roth and traditional IRAs. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are no limits on the amount that you can invest in an annuity.

    IRA and 401 accounts have hardship withdrawal or loans features if you need money for medical care, education and some other expenses. An annuity is not as flexible once you make a deposit, the contract locks into a surrender period of two to over 10 years where you will pay fees along with a tax penalty if you withdraw any of the money.

    Annuities carry annual fees, transfer fees, expense risk charges and other fees. explains more about annuities fees with information from the Security and Exchange Commission . Be prepared to compare the expenses of retirement accounts or see an independent financial planner for guidance.

    There are a few types of annuities, like tax-sheltered, singled life, or joint. Low-cost fixed or variable annuities are often the best option as a part of a retirement portfolio. Monthly payments will fluctuate with a variable annuity, while fixed annuities pay out one monthly amount. No annuity is protected or insured, but they are considered safe investments.

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