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Annuities – what they are, how they work and how to choose the best type of Annuity

Found 146 Articles.
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Another Annuity Exit

March 21, 2012

The Fed’s zero interest rate policy and some other factors have been hard on insurers, especially those who sell annuities. They can’t promise the guaranteed income they used to when short-term interest rates are near zero and long-term rates are less than 4%. As a result, a number of firms have exited the business or […]

Build Your Own Annuity

January 5, 2012

I’ve often pointed out that people can build their own indexed annuity, receiving most of the benefits of commercial annuities at less cost, to the consternation of some insurance agents. Yet, you can use strategies similar to those used by insurers to generate the same guarantees and returns in your own accounts. You don’t have […]

The War Over Annuities with “Living Benefits” Continues

January 3, 2012

Variable annuity sales sagged after the 2000 stock market crash. They were restored after the industry developed “living benefits.” There are different versions, but they generally guarantee the account owner a minimum rate of return or lifetime income in return for higher fees. The annuities have their advocates and detractors, and they continue to fight […]

The Changing World of Annuities

January 1, 2012

Annuities changed a lot in the last year. If you’re considering an annuity based on what was available a few years ago, you aren’t likely to find the features you’re looking for. Even many of those who own annuities are likely to have seen changes in their contracts. Low interest rates, volatile equity markets, and […]

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Comparing Annuities and Bond Ladders

November 1, 2011

Which is better: an immediate annuity or a bond ladder? I’m asked that frequently these days, and the frequency increases as more Baby Boomers inch closer to their  post-career years. First, let’s define terms. A bond ladder is constructed by purchasing a portfolio of bonds that mature in different years. The simplest ladder is equally […]

Finding Safe, Guaranteed Income

October 1, 2011

Protect my principal, and guarantee my income. Those are the goals of many investors today, especially those in or nearing their post-career years. Now that the equity markets no longer are rising steadily upward, investors aren’t looking for ways to match or beat the indexes. They’re looking to protect the nest eggs they’ve worked hard […]

Shopping for Higher Income from Annuities

August 1, 2011

Your work isn’t done after you decide to add immediate annuities to your retirement portfolio. Immediate annuities can enhance your retirement. They provide fixed income that’s guaranteed for life. You can buy annuities with payments that increase with inflation if you want. We explained the advantages of annuities in our April 2009, August 2010, and […]

Delay Social Security, Buy Annuities

July 6, 2011

Your federal government is giving you retirement planning advice. The General Accountability Office issued a report July 1 titled “Retirement Income: Ensuring Retirement Income Throughout Retirement Requires Difficult Choices.” You might ask why the government is giving you and others retirement advice. The GAO compiles and issues reports after a member of Congress requests one. […]


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