Part II: Adjustable Index Annuity Rates

Newsletter

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

Newsletter

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

Newsletter

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

Newsletter

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

Newsletter

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

Newsletter

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

Newsletter

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?

Newsletter

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 […]

Annuities by the Numbers

Newsletter

Well it turns out that there is something of a fourth installment of my series that I was supposed to have finished last week.  I’ve told enough stories and you all are probably tired of it.  Let’s add some numbers so I can show you how my learning, evolution and solutions stack up to a […]

Part III: Annuity Solutions

Newsletter

The first six or seven years of my career in financial services was not always easy but it was simple.  I learned the basic fundamentals of good planning and figured out how to look at things critically in order to find solutions for those who were able to think outside the box.  In the early […]

Part II: My Annuity Evolution

Newsletter

Like I said last week, it was all fixed annuities for me in the beginning.  It may sound boring but if those same rates were available today then I’d spend every hour of the day completing applications.  The pain from a market correction in 2001 was real and several people understood the value of asset […]

Part I: How I Learned about Annuities

Newsletter

My wife and I don’t agree on politics, so we don’t talk about it.  I’ve always been up for a good argument or debate but she doesn’t like confrontation.  Whenever the topic comes up it’s unintentional.  She asked me how I became such a conspiracy theorist.  Well that makes me sound like a bit of […]

Review of Annuities and 2020

Newsletter

Before we look forward to all the things that may change this year let’s get our bearings and review the past year.  You’ve all heard me say over and over that perspective is important and that’s never truer than when we may be facing a dramatically different financial environment.  2020 was an interesting year to […]

Allianz Benefit Control

Newsletter

More than a dozen people have asked me about this in the past month which tells me that many multiples of that have also seen it.  Allianz has always had the largest distribution system for index annuities and that’s why so many people see the products, not because there is an incredible value for consumers. […]

20% More Income

Newsletter

Payouts on income annuities have been low for years.  It’s a situational problem since in some scenarios a person can get a really good deal.  But for the average retiree the numbers don’t always seem to be compelling. Early in 2020 I decided to introduce people first to the most complex use of the Flex […]

2020 Annuity Index Performance Comparison

Newsletter

This started last year as an exercise for one person who wanted to see all growth options in one place.  It can be hard to decide which annuity to use when so many people will tell you that one product is better than the others.  Not a whole lot has changed but a few things […]

Index Annuities Have Evolved

Newsletter

Using a good indexed annuity, with the right perspective and strategy, can solve all the concerns a person might have in retirement.  This week is a shout out to Carl in Florida who bought one from me about five years ago. Carl came to visit last summer and after several years of working together we […]

Case Study: Annuities and Volatility

Newsletter

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

Newsletter

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

Newsletter

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 […]