People Who Don’t Like Annuities
This unfortunately is going to be something I’ll have to continue to address on a regular basis. A lot of people have a lot to say about annuities and most of it isn’t good. I could make it quick and just say that negative opinions only come from people that don’t understand, but it would help some for me to go into detail and talk about why that’s the case. It’s not that negative opinions are wrong, it’s just that they don’t tell the whole story.
I truly appreciate when someone brings an objection to me, rather than trusting an ill informed or alternatively motivated person. If the hours upon hours of video and volumes of articles I’ve written on every subject related to annuities doesn’t give me some credibility then you probably don’t care much for the details. The information on this website is exposed to scrutiny from anyone who wants to see it. Challenges to my claims have come and gone without much extra information on my part so you can pretty well rely on the accuracy of anything you see or read here.
It’s quite possible that someone can find fault in something I say but it’s never going to affect any of you in a bad way. I’m not arrogant enough to say that I know everything and I get new information all the time. To this point, negative comments about what I do come from a few specific areas that I’m going to explain below. Believe me, if I didn’t truly know that this is a worthwhile pursuit, I’d be doing something else with my life. This will be reiterated throughout the explanations below.
Biased Friends and Family
Bias can come from any direction and for any reason. Trusted friends and family members are worth listening to but should not have the last word. Possibly they don’t like annuities because of a bad experience with one in the past. I understand and support anyone who was done wrong but that shouldn’t cast a shadow over all products. Several people I have talked to will rely on something they’ve read or heard that amounts to nothing more than gossip. Again, tunnel vision is a problem and it’s not likely they have a grasp of the entire annuity market and every viable alternative. By all means listen to what they have to say but consult an expert before you take anyone’s advice.
Journalists, authors and media personalities hold views confined to topics they cover and influenced heavily by their sponsors. There’s no other way around it and you can’t deny the bias. In large part it happens in politics, science, medicine and many other areas of our lives. Unfortunately we can’t rely on what we read in published works or what we see on the news. We all have to do additional research to form our own opinions. I will be the first to say that you also shouldn’t take information on this website as the final say. You need opinions from more angles so that you can make your own decision.
This is a big one and it’s not black and white. I know investment managers on both sides of this argument. Some like to brag about not charging commissions which is ok because there are fee-based annuities of all types available as well. Any of these guys might not like annuities because of tunnel vision, just like friends or family, but mostly I think it’s dependent upon the individual’s background. If someone starts working at Merrill Lynch and stays there until he/she is stable enough to become independent, you can guarantee they have no experience with annuities and have been taught to stay that way. Being independent from the very beginning of my career helped me develop an open mind and see all sides of an argument. This is not a criticism of fee-only advisors but a reminder that their advice is somewhat limited. Anyone worth your time who advertises as a retirement specialist is guilty of malpractice if they disregard an entire industry created to benefit retired people.
If someone you know does not hold a license that authorizes them to hand out financial advice then take what they say with a grain of salt. Mostly I’m talking about bankers and CPAs. Bankers will limit advice to what’s available through the bank that pays them and it will not include a full suite of asset classes and options. Do I need to remind everyone how much a bank makes when you put money in a savings account? Bankers are there to benefit the bank, period. CPAs are highly educated individuals who are licensed to prepare tax returns. Some CPAs work in high levels of finance and bookkeeping for major corporations so I’m not doubting qualifications or expertise as a whole. Contrary to popular belief, CPAs are not your friend and only assist you in dutifully reporting yourself to the federal government every year. Asset allocation, income distributions and every other part of a solid retirement plan, besides taxes, falls outside the scope of a CPA’s education and training.
There is no shortage of beliefs, opinions or advice available for any topic you want to investigate. If you have a certain opinion there is no doubt you’ll be able to find someone who will verify it. It doesn’t mean it’s wrong but as things change you need to explore differing viewpoints that will allow you to really solidify your own opinion. When it comes to retirement and annuities, products, rates and opportunities are always evolving. Listen to whoever you can. Read as much as possible. If you can find a good objection to the information I post, please share it. That kind of dialogue improves my service and helps other people as well.
Stay informed and prosper in your worry-free retirement.
Watch The Episode: People Who Don’t Like Annuities
Last Updated on November 8, 2023 by Bryan Anderson