The Savvy Annuity Buyer – 5 Questions to Protect and Earn

coinTreeAnnuities have a great allure, furnishing you income in retirement. But there are annuities and there are annuities. And they are dauntingly complex. One very smart advisor who can untangle them is Jeff Rose, CFP, the founder of Alliance Wealth Management in Carbondale, Ill His take: Annuities, like any other investment, make perfect sense in the right situation. In the wrong situation, they can cost you money – and even be dangerous. Read more

Retirement Strategy : A Personal Account

coinTreeA friend recently told me he’s planning to retire but is worried about his financial ability to do so. When he described his situation, I told him it seemed to me he didn’t have anything to worry about. But, still he’s worried. As luck would have it, I heard a finance professor lecture on retirement income planning the following day. He suggested a strategy that might just help put my friend’s mind at ease. I then also read an article in the Harvard Business Review by Nobel laureate economist Robert Merton touting the same idea. It’s not a cure-all, a panacea or magical solution. As a financial whiz-kid once reminded me, “No financial product has a ‘secret sauce’.”

The concept: use annuities as a key element in your retirement income strategy. Read more

Buying an Annuity? 6 Questions to Ask

coinTreeAnnuities are not for everyone, but they might play a valuable role in your retirement plan — as long as you take the time to learn about them, ask the right questions, and buy ones that are appropriate for your needs.
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Need to Fund an Annuity? Avoid Costly Mistakes!

coinTreeFunding an Annuity
As you come increasingly closer to retirement age you need to seriously consider the potential benefits of lasting income that can keep up with the rising costs of retirement and healthcare. As individuals are living longer there has never been a better time than now to consider having a diversified retirement portfolio that carefully encapsulates all of your various needs.
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8 Essential Annuity Questions – You Need to Know!

coinTreeUnderstanding Annuities and what part they play is critical in making sure you are getting the most out of your retirement planning.  We have listed 8 crucial questions you need to know to ensure your annuity works hard for you.

Answering these questions could put you on the path to finding the right annuity and help you secure the future you dreamed of. They come in 3 categories so you can zero in on strategies for you and your situation.
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QUIZ: Are Annuities Right For You?

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As traditional sources of guaranteed retirement income — such as pensions — disappear, many retirees are wondering where to turn after suffering through a severe market downturn in the past decade. An annuity may be the answer, but not all annuities are alike, and some may not be appropriate for you.

Take our ten-question quiz, brought to you by Kiplinger, to see how much you know about these products and whether you should invest in them.
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Annuities 101: Is An Annuity Right For You?

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What is an Annuity?

Despite the fact that many people are familiar with the term ‘annuity’, many might not understand what it actually means or how it can be used to help them plan ahead for a successful financial future.

Simply put, an annuity is an insurance product that will pay you income based on money that you have previously put in. An annuity is commonly used as part of a retirement strategy. They are often popular choices for investors who wish to see a regular and steady income stream in their retirement. According to the Government Accountability Office, annuities can be an important part of an overall retirement plan.
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Joint & Survivor Annuities

A joint and survivor annuity is held by two or more individuals, usually by husband and wife, under an arrangement wherein annuity payments are made in full while both the contract holders are alive, and at a pre-specified percentage (50-100%) of the full amount after the death of one of the annuity holders. One of the annuity holders is the primary annuitant while others are joint annuitants. For the purposes of this discussion, we assume a joint and survivor annuity with 2 annuitants, one primary and the other joint.

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Charitable Gift Annuities

A charitable gift annuity (CGA) provides a structured way to give to charity while securing your own future. A gift annuity purchaser secures immediate tax relief, in addition to a tax free post retirement income stream. The way this works is that in return for a lump sum gift contribution, the charity guarantees you a steady income for the rest of your life, either immediate or deferred.
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Equity Indexed Annuities

One of the key issues facing every investor is to find the right balance of risk as opposed to gain. If you play it safe, you get back minimal returns, with some pre-specified interest. If you go for high profit margins, the risk factor is something that you learn to live with. Faced with these opposing current, the insurance industry has come up an innovative solution in the form of equity indexed annuities, which give an investor the best of both worlds – A percentage share in profits, if any, from investments in the stock market, coupled with the security of a guaranteed minimal amount.
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