All about Annuity Fees

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It’s a common misconception that truly comes from an uneducated place.  You’ll often hear, “annuities would be fine if not for the hidden fees.”  In almost every case that is nothing more than a scare tactic because all but one annuity that I’ve seen has the fees clearly disclosed up front.  There is a reason […]

What’s Your Plan with All the Free Money?

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I didn’t get a direct payment from the federal government because of Covid-19.  Some of you who are still working did but I’ll bet most did not.  This isn’t about welfare, rather that every one of you has been propped up financially by federal spending whether you realize it or not.  In order to truly […]

What It’s Like to Own a Good Annuity

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This started just one year ago.  A standard case came across my desk and I showed one couple how my approach might give them more control over retirement assets.  They had been to a seminar and got the usual pitch.  Being a few years from retirement they had already decided to protect some assets and […]

An Annuity that Works

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I guess it’s not enough for me to just tell you what products to avoid.  After a couple weeks of pointing out hidden issues and over-hyped contracts, a few people reached out to disagree or say they don’t want to hear about what doesn’t work.  So again I will encourage any of you who can’t […]

Overrated Annuities

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It’s time for me to pick on a couple different products that have proved to not be worth the hype.  About once a month, on average, I get an email touting the incredible opportunity of some new contract or index.  I look at all of them just to see if the claim merits me adding […]

Hidden Fees in the Allianz 222

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When was the last time you had a moment when something complex became crystal clear to you?  It happened to me on Thursday morning.  I ran up against the Allianz 222 again and called a rep at a different company to get some clarification on a competing product.  We talked about a lot of differences […]

Guaranteed Income Annuities Have Changed

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I’ve never been too successful talking about interest rates.  Most people have a pretty light appetite for fundamentals which unfortunately leads to the majority settling for something less than the best deal available.  So I’m going to give a simple example of how recent conditions have changed annuities in a way that will underscore my […]

My Biggest Mistake with Annuities

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There’s a lot to learn in this business.  Much of it requires consuming massive amounts of information and just about everyone is capable of doing that.  The rest is experience that only comes from seeing things change and develop over years.  My experience with using annuities has made me ever more confident in the advice […]

Case Study Update: Annuities at Work

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One year ago I wrote a quick story about Bill.  We had been working together for about a year after he called asking for help with a retirement plan.  Initially he was looking for guaranteed income and came with a long list of requests in regards to benefits and company rating.  I came back to […]

Help at Home for Covid-19

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I’ve had the privilege of meeting several exceptionally talented people that contribute to society from all sectors of our economy.  Most people wouldn’t want to be mentioned on the website so I’ve not made a habit of featuring clients, but we are in the midst of unique circumstances. Meet Jacob Mirman, a physician in Minnesota […]

The S&P 500 Over 25 Years

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Take a look at the chart below and you’ll see the values of the S&P 500 since 1996.  This was recently released from JP Morgan and I grabbed a screenshot in order to point out a few things.  It maps out the high and low points or extreme volatility of probably the second best market […]

Midland National Fixed Annuity Rate Special

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In times like this, a strong financial institution is the most important thing.  Last week I shared with you the Midland National balance sheet to show how well-capitalized insurance companies are and why that strength gives you the safety everyone envies right now.  One thing I left out is that Midland is a privately held […]

Analytical Approach to De-Risking Your Portfolio

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Most people don’t want to get too technical but those who do are able to make much better decisions.  My best clients often take as much as a year to make a decision and as a result they are all comfortable and happy with how things are working out.  I don’t expect deep analysis from […]

Buying the Wrong Annuity Can Be a Blessing

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Back when this website was launched the main objective was to catalog my notes, research and ideas about annuities.  A different point of view and some basic math exercises will prove that a good strategy beats any product.  So it stands to reason that I never consider it a good thing when someone buys the […]

Meet My Wife, Erin Sabin

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At a time when everyone is looking for a little something to keep busy, my wife would say that personal health and wellness should be a priority.  She is the most diligent, dedicated and disciplined person I know.  When the local gym closed down two weeks ago, she couldn’t teach her popular fitness class so […]

A Look at an Insurance Company’s Balance Sheet

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This question has come up a lot lately because of all the economic mayhem happening.  One local client who is a good friend called to specifically ask, “given all that’s going on, is the annuity really a safe place to have money.”  My answer is that there has never been a better time.  Insurance products […]

Fixed Annuities Have Never Been So Sexy

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When I started this website it was all about fixed annuities.  A good fixed rate will solve any problem in retirement and beat the projections of every long-term guarantee.  Running the numbers and learning how to analyze solutions provided the inspiration to start spreading my message.  Unfortunately it wasn’t long before rates started dropping.  Multi-year […]

Don’t Sell Stocks. Do This Instead.

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You should all know by now that I’m one of the few annuity proponents that has always said that you need stocks to achieve growth.  No matter your risk tolerance it has always been more appropriate to compare annuities to other safe allocations and I’ve mostly picked on bonds because of the risk associated with […]

Ideas for Times Like These

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There must be some value in all the things I’ve written about on this website.  After all, I live in the world you are trying to figure out.  My job is meant to help people plan for times like these.  Loyal readers have heard it a hundred times and clients/friends know exactly what I’m talking […]

People Who Don’t Listen to Me

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This job comes with its fair share of criticism but rather than complain I reserve the right to remind everyone when I called the shot.  I didn’t specifically see this week coming because I prefer the casual approach.  I thought it would be more consistent and gradual and have only been hinting at it for […]