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What is an Annuity?

Social Security is a sort of Annuity.  An annuity is where you make one or multiple payments in exchange for receiving a set amount of income for a period of time such as the rest of your life. Annuities have been around for a long time and are commonly used by conservative retirees who want to make sure that they’ll have a regular income for the rest of their lives.

An annuity of your own can be a way to supplement your social security checks and pension plan. How much you receive depends on whether you opt for a guaranteed payout (fixed annuity) or a payout stream determined by the performance of your annuity's underlying investments (variable annuity).

Even though annuities are a way to invest money, they’re actually an insurance contract.  By being in a pool of other annuity customers, insurers can offer attractive returns to annuity holders that they could not get on their own. People in the pool who pass away at younger ages are, in effect, subsidizing more attractive income streams for longer-lived annuity holders.

Tom, determine what's right for you.

Two basic types of annuities:

Deferred annuity - your money is invested for a period of time until you are ready to begin taking withdrawals, typically in retirement.

 

Immediate Annuity - you begin to receive payments soon after you make your initial investment. For example, you might consider purchasing an immediate annuity as you approach retirement age.

 

Within these two categories, annuities can also be either fixed or variable depending on whether the payout is a fixed sum, tied to the performance of the overall market or group of investments, or a combination of the two.

 

Tax:

Money that you invest in an annuity grows tax-deferred. When you eventually make withdrawals, the amount you contributed to the annuity is not taxed, but your earnings are taxed at your regular income tax rate.

 

Basics:

  • For conservative retirees

  • You need to work with a professional, they are available now to chat with you

  • No limit on how much you can contribute annually to annuity (unlike 401ks and IRAs.)

  • Keep in mind that some fees can be high – so negotiate and ask for lower fee annuities

Tom, do you understand what an Annuity is for?

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