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Annuity Basics

What exactly is a Fixed Index Annuity?

Jeff Jones

I’m amazed at the number of people who understand so little about annuities. For 25 years, I have quizzed prospects and clients of their knowledge and perceptions of annuities. Some people claim, “Annuities are evil and should be banned,” while others have named their firstborn after these popular products. Life insurance is designed to protect a client’s financial dependents in the event of said client’s premature death, thus helping to protect loved ones from financial loss. Annuities are the upside-down version of life insurance and...

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How You Can “Lock In” All-Time Highs in the Stock Market With Fixed Index Annuities

Mike Riedmiller

The stock market achieved some all-time highs at thee end of 2017. This is very interesting since some people were calling for the stock market to crash this past year due to a number of factors. Of course, this crash did not happen. This has left many retirees and people approaching retirement with some important questions: 1. Is now the time to take some of my money out of the stock market? 2. Should I invest (risk) more money? 3. Should I adjust any of...

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Four Reasons to Own an Annuity

John Conley

Now that the Powerball winner has come forward to claim her prize of $758 million (before taxes), you can’t turn on the television or radio without hearing the word “annuity.” The winner of the lottery had a very important choice to make: to take an after-tax lump sum or pay the taxes and receive income for life. This got me thinking about the number of people who don’t understand exactly what an annuity is and how it can be beneficial when used in the following...

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Discover why people love safer growth of their money and the option for lifetime income

Mike Riedmiller

There is a lot of talk and debate about the pros and cons of annuities and whether they are good to have in your retirement plan. All investments have their strengths and weaknesses.  This, unfortunately, is something you don’t always hear about from people in the financial services industry or the so-called gurus you see in the media. First, let’s look at the three main types of annuities: Variable Annuities – Variable annuities usually have higher fees (2% – 4%). Your money is still “at...

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How the War Over Your Money Can Hurt You

Matt Jackson

There is a war going on for your money, and you probably don’t even know it. Licensed stockbrokers, Wall Street, and big banks offering risky securities are fighting against insurance companies and banks offering principal-guaranteed products. These groups are as opposed to each other as Coke and Pepsi. So, why the fighting? Why don’t stockbrokers tell you about the advantages of some of these principal-guaranteed products, like fixed indexed annuities (FIAs)? I believe it’s because of the reoccurring fees generated by the amount of money...

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Safety and Guarantees of Variable Annuities vs. Fixed Indexed Annuities

Nick Guida

Ever wonder why so many people include annuities in their financial plans? It’s because they’re looking for safety and guarantees. The most popular annuities today are Variable Annuities and Fixed Indexed Annuities. One of them offers safety from market loss and guarantees on your real money; the other does not. Variable Annuities do not offer any downside protection from market loss to the investments within the annuity. If you have a Variable Annuity, this may come as a shock to you, so please read on....

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How do I protect my retirement?

Granger Hughes

Many people today are faced with the harsh reality that they may wake up one day and their 401(k), or other retirement plan, may be cut in half. We put our lifetime and hard-earned savings onto the proverbial blackjack table. In reality, many people who play blackjack wouldn’t dare take their entire stack of chips and bet it on one hand; however, we do it every day with our retirement. Is this because we don’t know better, or have we been hardwired to think this...

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Who Does Your Financial Advisor Work For?

Joseph A. Grutta

Have you ever asked your financial advisor who they work for? Do they truly represent your best interests or those of the firm they work for? Are they acting on your behalf? Is their advice based on a fiduciary standard or a suitability standard? Do you know the difference? These are very important questions to know the answers to before turning your hard-earned money over to someone to manage on your behalf. For many years, I have encouraged people who are looking for help managing...

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Why the Social Security Administration Can’t Help You With Your Benefits

Sam Liang

The Social Security Administration (SSA) can’t help you with your Social Security benefits. That sounds funny, I know, but they can’t. What I mean is that they can’t help you put a plan in place to maximize your benefits. An article in last year’s Wall Street Journal said it best: “The Social Security isn’t your financial advisor.”1 Everyday, 182,000 people visit an SSA office. They field 445,000 phone calls daily. In 2014, they received 17 million applications just for new and replacement cards. 59 million...

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6 Things to Consider When Buying an Annuity

Bryan Bentley

So, you are considering purchasing an annuity to help protect your retirement savings or to solve a concern that may not be easily addressed with other investment vehicles. Here are a few things to consider when making a decision about buying an annuity. 1. Surrender Charge Period Expressed in terms of years, the surrender charge defines how long your money must remain in the annuity before you have unrestricted access to it. With most annuities, a portion of your money is available penalty-free during the...

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