Annuities have a bad reputation, but is it warranted? Annuity types vary, but the most common are:
Fixed Annuities pay out a specific amount to the payee.
Variable Annuities are precisely that – payments vary based on the underlying portfolio’s returns.
Indexed Annuities mirror a specific index, such as the S&P 500. Some consider these a happy medium between fixed and variable.
The most common knocks against annuities are cost, and the earned benefit may not index to inflation. On top of that, what if the account owner dies before attaining the full benefit?
What to watch out for:
- High cost.
- The benefit may not index to inflation.
- There may be no death benefit.
It’s hard to compare annuities to an investment in the stock market. Differences include:
- You have little control over your annuity investment once the contract is signed!
- They may earn little to no interest.
- Gains within an annuity are taxed as ordinary income, while gains within a taxable brokerage account receive more favorable capital gains rates.
However, they may be considered more similar to retirement accounts in that:
- These are long-term contracts with penalties if cashed in too early.
- Because of this, annuities offer limited liquidity.
- You typically have to wait until age 59.5 to withdraw from the annuity.
So, what are the benefits of an annuity? Certain types of annuities offer:
- Principal protection
- Access to principal
- Control over your money
- Tax-deferred growth
- Guaranteed growth
- Guaranteed income
- Inflation protection
- Death benefit
All of this comes at a cost! Is it worth it to you? Annuities are not created equal. It’s important to work with an expert to see if an annuity is suitable for you.
Already have one and unsure if it’s still appropriate? Work with us to determine if your investment will contribute to your overall goals. If not, you may have options!
All views, expressions, and opinions in this communication are subject to change. This communication is not an offer or solicitation to buy, hold or sell any financial instrument or investment advisory services.