Case Study: Annuities and Volatility

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Two years ago the S&P 500 hit an all-time high, just shy of 3000 points in the fall of 2018.  It was a level that seemed almost unthinkable.  Bulls were arrogant and bears were skeptical or maybe just jealous because they missed out on the rally.  By the end of the year sentiments had switched […]

Annuities Can’t Solve All Problems

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I was supposed to be out of the office for 3-4 days but when the call came saying I wasn’t allowed to come home for a while, it turned into me being away for almost three weeks.  It didn’t take long to realize how ill-prepared I was for that type of absence.  Had I known […]

A Clear-Cut Case for Annuities

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Not everyone gets to choose when to retire.  Quite often I meet people who have been forced out of the workplace for any number of reasons.  When this happens, retirement decisions have to be made when people are not mentally prepared.  This year it has been a much more common occurrence because of Covid layoffs […]

How Much Should You Put into an Annuity?

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This is a question that has a different answer for every individual.  I try to keep things a lot more open than the traditional management crowd that suggests a specific blend of stocks and bonds depending upon age and retirement needs.  Some people replace stocks with annuities and some replace bonds.  Some people put almost […]

Will This Election Ruin Your Retirement?

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SPOILER: I really don’t think so. Regardless, dozens of people have commented that they either need to do something before or after the election.  There is a fear from both sides that things in this country will go south if the preferred candidate doesn’t win.  Will taxes go up?  How will health care change?  Will […]

Annuities Slow Down Time

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I graduated from college almost 20 years ago. When I think back to that single point in time it seems as if those 20 years just disappeared. At a college reunion last year it took me by surprise to truly feel as if those times happened just last week. Many of you may feel the […]

Annuity Sales v. Advice

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Two years ago I walked onto a car lot to take a look at new trucks just to see what was available.  My truck is old but in good shape so I have no expectation of needing a new model for several years.  That didn’t keep the salesman from telling me how much better a […]

I Don’t Care if You Buy an Annuity

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Most of you should know by now that I operate differently than others who advertise online for financial services.  Last week my marketing partner, Jeremy, came here from Texas so we could brainstorm some new ideas for getting people the exact type of information they want.  Keeping this environment low pressure for you is a […]

7% Annuities

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This one takes me back to the very beginning of this website.  In the early years of my career, variable annuities came out with guaranteed income riders.  Since VAs have mutual fund sub-accounts the cash value of the contract goes up and down with the market.  But the guaranteed income rider assured the owner that […]

Surrender Fees Are Not a Big Deal

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This one is sure to hit home with a few critics but there’s an important lesson here.  Surrender fees are probably the biggest negative that come with annuities.  Since most other investments have nothing like it, declining fees over the years are new to everyone who is a first-time user.  There is a reason they […]

How to Beat the Market with An Annuity

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Yes, it is possible but you have to think about it differently than most everyone else.  The annuity itself may or may not beat the market but how you use it can definitely give you an advantage.  Too many people get stuck on evaluating a single assets rather than finding ways to build a portfolio […]

Bobble Heads Talk about Annuities

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About a week ago, someone signed up on the website, maybe read a couple emails and watched the Flex Strategy videos.  Rather than schedule an appointment to see whether it would work for him, he went and posted a question on the Bogleheads forum.  You can only imagine the response he got from all the […]

How Mules are Like Annuities

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Steady, reliable, strong, intelligent and tough is a good start.  Anyone who uses the first word ‘stubborn’ to describe a mule needs to look in the mirror.  Between mules and annuities, the only people that don’t like them are the ones who don’t understand them. A few years ago I took Kerry Pechter of the […]

The Best Time to Buy an Index Annuity

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Boy would I ever love it if there was a best time to buy an index annuity.  Let’s say there was a three month period in the year that always produced the best returns.  I’d work 18 hours a day and seven days a week then spend the other nine months fishing saltwater flats and […]

Consistency is the Key to Index Annuities

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It has been an up and down year, to say the least and coming off of the holiday weekend I thought it best to remind everyone where we were a year ago.  Perspective is valuable when analyzing options for long-term financial health.  Two contracts I wrote about last year are up for renewal again so […]

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 […]