Latest News

Should I Worry About Social Security?

September 21, 2018

You will get a Social Security check when you retire. If you doubt me, look around and count the votes. How many among us would vote to abolish Social Security’s safety net? What would be the future of any politician who tried? There’s a good deal of talk about privatizing Social Security, leaving beneficiaries to…

Read More

Have You Accidentally Left Your Spouse Without the Annuity Benefits He or She Expects?

September 19, 2018

Many a married couple is going to be in for a surprise. When one of you dies, the annuity may not behave the way you think. These contracts are complicated, with lots of moving parts. Unless you buy right—and title the annuity correctly—you might not get all the benefits that you thought you paid for.…

Read More
switch-annuity

If You Already Have an Annuity, Should You Switch to a New One?

September 17, 2018

Yes, if you’re in a fixed-rate annuity and the insurer is stiffing you with a truly rotten rate—say, 3 percent in a 4.5 percent world. Switch to a CD-type annuity instead. Yes, if you’re in a high-cost variable annuity and will switch to a low-load annuity. Probably, if you’re in a high-cost variable annuity and…

Read More

If You Inherit an Annuity, How Are You Taxed?

September 14, 2018

If you inherit a tax-deferred annuity from your spouse, you have all the same withdrawal options that your spouse would have had. You can keep the annuity, switch to another one (in a tax-free exchange), or take the money out on whatever schedule the contract permits. Ordinary income taxes are due on the earnings when…

Read More

The Low-Load Annuity Advantage

September 12, 2018

If you think you are a candidate for an annuity, go low-load. Their costs are small, compared with the rest of the products on the market, and you can take out your money whenever you want, without paying a penalty. Low costs, total flexibility. Why would you look at anything else? It may take only…

Read More
variable annuities risky

Variable Annuities – Bad Buys on Their Own, Risky with Income Guarantees

September 10, 2018

On the surface, variable annuities (VAs) seem heaven-sent to anyone who buys mutual funds. You generally start the annuity with $10,000 or $15,000, depending on the company. That money is invested in mutual funds—subaccounts, in an annuity, speak—and accumulate tax-deferred. There’s the usual range of investment choices: U.S. stocks, international stocks, bonds, and a balanced…

Read More

JG Wentworth Commercial Song Lyrics

September 7, 2018

Do you remember this commercial? It first aired in 2008 and has become a main stable as one of the most hated, but most remember commercials of all-time. I have a structured settlement and I need cash now! Call J. G. Wentworth! 877 cash now I have an annuity but I need cash now! Call…

Read More

Equity-Indexed Annuities – An Investment to Avoid!

September 7, 2018

Run, run, run from the investments known as equity-indexed annuities (EIA). All too often, they’re sold deceptively, to people who don’t understand how they work, by salespeople who are making a killing in commissions. Attorney generals in several states have brought and settled class-action lawsuits against companies that sell EIAs. FINRA, which regulates securities firms,…

Read More

Are Your Fixed Annuities Safe?

September 5, 2018

It depends. Fixed annuities are backed by bonds and other assets in the insurance company’s general account. They’re valued at the cash guaranteed in the contract plus any interest that has been credited. Failing insurance companies are placed into rehabilitation. If another insurer buys the business, your current interest rate should be good (although it…

Read More

How to Lower the Risk of Getting a Poor Fixed Annuity

September 3, 2018

It is recommended that you buy only CD-like, multiyear annuities that pay a fixed rate over a specified period of time. This is because you know exactly what you’re getting. At the end of the term, the insurance company has to offer you another good rate to keep your business. It can’t play games with…

Read More