Buying An Annuity: 5 Critical Decision Tools

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Any investor buying annuities must contend with a barrage of sales pitches, glossy brochures of happy couples walking on beaches, fearful Wall Street Journal articles about Ponzi Schemes and defrauded investors, and worst of all, ill informed friends, neighbors, and other Schmexperts who offer unsolicited and generally uninformed advice when you least expect- or want […]

Annuity Surrender Schedule

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We think the Annuity Surrender Schedule is the single most important component of an Annuity, and want you to know why. Pay close attention. The annuity surrender schedule tells you how much of your money you can have at any given time.  Why do we think this is important? Companies that offer shorter surrender schedules […]

Annuity Interest Rates

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Want to know why we think the Annuity Interest Rate is the most important component of an Annuity, after the Surrender Schedule? There are many annuity rates in contracts.  As Annuity contracts are long term, you need to understand what each rate means, and how you can use the various rates published by an Insurance […]

Using Free Withdrawals In Annuity Contracts

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The Free Withdrawal from your annuity is a critical element in your decision process, and any Annuity buyer must carefully consider how they would use free withdrawals, and when. Every annuity contract contains a clause allowing the free withdrawal of a certain percentage of the initial premium each year without a surrender charge. Individual states […]

Annuity Vs CD

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Annuity Vs CD: Which is Best? Annuity or CD? That answer depends entirely on what you have planned for the money.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods of saving.  And of course there are hybrid CD Type Annuities that offer Higher Yield’s than CD’s, with the tax deferred advantages of an Annuity.

Bonus Rates

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Want to know the ONLY time to consider a Bonus rate in an Annuity Decision? Many products include attractive bonus interest rates.  Some annuities offer bonuses as high as 10% or more just for signing up. Companies lose money on this from the start! To pay for this expensive form of marketing, the insurance company […]

Annuity Companies: Corporate Credit

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Analyzing the financial strength of a financial institution is the final critical component of your annuity investment process. The four major independent ratings agencies are: A.M. Best Standard & Poors Moody’s Fitch All of these agencies are online and you can find the strength rating they have assigned to each insurance company.  It is recommended […]

Case Study – Sales Tactics

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How Bad Products are Sold to Good People: There is a clever way to spin information in an annuity contract to make it appear safer, more lucrative and less restrictive than it really is. We need to dive in to this subject so that you can see first- hand just how difficult it can be […]

Case Study – Annuity A Vs Annuity B

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Now that we have established the Ground Rules and discussed the Decision Tools for Annuity Analysis, let’s put those tools to good use and examine two annuity products that are popular in today’s market.    We’ll simply call these Annuity A and Annuity B. I assure you, these are actual products that are being sold […]

Annuity Vs CD| Are You Losing Money, Safely?

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Certificates of Deposit or CDs are a great place to put money, right?  Well, the answer depends on if you are the bank or the customer. As a customer you give the bank your money and agree to leave it there, at the risk of a penalty, for a certain period of time, usually anywhere […]

Annuities: High Yield Safe Investments

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So you’re looking for high yield safe investments for your retirement….  What are your options? If you look hard enough at the best search engines on the web or in the classified pages of newspapers, you will find investment offerings like tax liens and private real estate investment note offerings yielding 8% to 12% or […]

Financial Ground Rules

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Money is a tool that institutions and companies use to make more money. Obviously, the less your money costs a company, the more profits the company can make with your money.  Of course they have to pay for your money, and they are constantly balancing the cost of money and their return on the money. […]

Annuity Returns: Which 10% Do You Want?

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Does market volatility leave you confused when trying to calculate your annual investment returns?  Or, is a flashy piece of marketing making it hard to calculate the actual gain you can expect?  Investment products and marketing can confuse even the simplest concept, so read on… By learning the difference between an Average Rate of Return […]

Test Your Annuity IQ

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Annuity Quiz We put this quiz together from the California State insurance licensing test. These are the types of questions your annuity agent may or may not have been asked to qualify them to sell Annuities. This may be all they know about these complex products! The answers are at the bottom. Most Americans use […]

Straight Talk on Fixed Index Annuities

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Straight Talk on Fixed Index Annuities Few products generate as much confusion and controversy as fixed index annuities, both pro and con. We’re often asked if these products are any good. Want the Straight Talk? Money managers dislike fixed index annuities because they lose management assets and many insurance agents simply don’t do a good […]

Annuity Benefits and Riders

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Generally speaking, Fixed Annuities and Variable Annuities offer add-on Annuity Benefits and Options.  These can add significant cost to your annuity.  The following are the key riders to watch out for… With added benefits come added expenses so be selective when you choose extra features and definitely do your homework so you know exactly what […]