Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefits

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Everyone needs to know this is just like having social security except with a residual balance.  With social security, all the money you put into it is gone, unless your spouse collects a portion of the payments. With an annuity you can add a guaranteed income feature that acts just like social security.  Buy the […]

Annuity Sales Tactics

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I’ve been working with Lester for about three years now.  When he found me in 2018 it was after more than a half dozen dinner seminars and several more meetings to see specific proposals from each advisor.  He was tired because the insurance guys wanted him to have nothing but annuities and the investment guys […]

A Firefighter Who Sells Annuities

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All of us on the professional side of this business come to it for different reasons.  For me it was a way of using my college education.  Some were similar to me, others found the opportunity simply because he/she could make money, while a select few came because of personal interests that turned into a […]

Annuities for Inheritance

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I met an older gentleman, Charlie, about a month ago whose wife passed away a few years ago.  He is managing assets mostly for his three children but is keeping the same investment philosophy going forward.  He wants to minimize risk and taxes.  His major concern is that with the newly proposed ‘American Families Plan’ […]

When Variable Annuities Work

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Over the past few weeks, several people have called with concern regarding changes to a few of the longtime favorite vehicles for passing along assets to the next generation.  While I’ll talk more specifically about annuities in those terms next week, I thought following up the variable annuity article from a couple weeks ago would […]

AST Podcast Now Available on YouTube

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For those of you who enjoy the newsletter in Podcast format there is a new option.  All episodes will now be available with video on YouTube.  For awhile, Ashok and I were meeting in Spokane, WA to record episodes together but we have since purchased high quality video equipment so we can produce episodes from […]

A Simple Guide to Variable Annuities

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Variable Annuities (VAs) constitute 60% or more of annuity sales annually.  This surprises me simply because most negative information about annuities in general is based on the structure of variable annuities.  To me it doesn’t make sense that 60% of people in or near retirement would want the associated complexity and cost.  Be that as […]

Ammo and Annuities

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Lately there are a lot of people asking about safety.  Although that is something everyone should consider, it seems to be a more pressing concern in the past few months.  There’s nothing new that should have people worried but it takes a different trigger for everyone.  Sure, federal spending is out of control but that’s […]

Annuity Straight Talk Podcast

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This week I am happy to introduce the culmination of a side project. It has taken nearly two months to get off the ground but will be a mainstay on this website for years to come.  The Annuity Straight Talk podcast will give everyone another option for consuming the information that will lead to sound […]

More Advisors Recommend Annuities

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A lot of things this year have been changing in my business but not in a way I would have expected even six months ago.  Since the beginning my focus has been on providing solid information and advice to consumers and that’s not about to change.  But rather than focus on finding more consumers I’ve […]

Which Annuity Would You Choose?

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I ran into a standard example last week when Sharon scheduled an appointment and asked for me to review an annuity proposal she had received.  Without naming names I’ll say that the proposal came from a large national firm that advertises aggressively for index annuity sales.  I know well how the company works and have […]

Annuities in a Retirement Portfolio

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Using annuities in retirement is an obvious choice whether the purpose is to create income, manage a portfolio or just grow money over time.  I’m becoming more direct with my commentary because several people who don’t like annuities have failed to come up with a reasonable alternative.  Sure you can get bonds, dividend stocks, REITs […]

Part II: Adjustable Index Annuity Rates

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Last week I tried to explain to everyone how rate adjustments work within an index annuity contract.  It’s an objective matter that offers little insight as to the structure but there is plenty of room allowed for the inquisitive mind to make a rational decision.  Even still, there are those who feel as though the […]

Index Annuity Rate Adjustments

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This is one topic I should have addressed a long time ago.  Insurance companies retain the right to make changes to rates inside an index annuity contract and lots of people take that to mean they are getting the raw end of the deal.  It seems to show evidence of less control for the consumer […]

Smart Annuities

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Safety and protection is the primary objective of using annuities.  Each type of annuity was created to protect your assets from at least one major risk in retirement.  Variable annuities let you invest in the market but protect you from taxes with non-qualified assets.  Fixed and fixed index annuities protect you from violent changes in […]

A Simple Stock Market Indicator

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Many of you know that I read Bloomberg news regularly.  Any subscriber gets an email each morning and evening with a few bulletpoints suggesting which is the most important economic news of the day.  Some of it is benign and some rather telling.  Everyone seems to want specific advice but general indicators are far more […]

Old Index Annuities Can Still Grow

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This is just a little something that may help those who have one of the biggest index annuity objections.  Many don’t like the fact that interest rates, meaning cap and participation rates in contracts can change from year to year.  Never mind the economics that explain option pricing, popular thought suggests that insurance companies are […]

Guaranteed Success in Retirement

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Attending webinars is a big part of this job.  I probably have time for about two per week but there are dozens more available on topics relating to all sorts of retirement products and strategies.  There’s definitely an opportunity in this business to be a professional student and I have to be fairly picky with […]

Pros and Cons of Expert Annuity Advice

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Late last week someone emailed to ask for my take on an article about indexed annuities from John, the Vice President of Research at Morningstar.  Given the writer’s experience with financial markets, I was curious to see whether he’d give annuities a fair assessment.  But it turns out that he doesn’t know a whole lot […]

Where Do Index Annuities Fit?

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Uncertainty is one of the greatest roadblocks that stands in the way of creating a solid retirement plan.  It comes in many forms that don’t always relate to the direction of equity markets, interest rates or general economic forecasts.  Yes, uncertainty does affect every person’s ability to know when to make changes but it also […]