Is a Variable Annuity Right for Me?

For the casual observer, it sometimes seems that variable annuities are either “terrible” or “wonderful.”

Commentators in the financial media seem to occupy a polarity of opinions we might see in politics. What gets lost when these commentators collide is “the individual.” Unfortunately, the discussion is rarely centered on whether a variable annuity is relevant and useful to you and your set of needs.

Before considering investing in a variable annuity, you may want to make sure that you are exhausting the contribution limits of your 401(k), IRA, or other qualified retirement plan.

Variable annuities are sold by prospectus, which contains detailed information about investment objectives and risks, as well as charges and expenses. You are encouraged to read the prospectus carefully before you invest or send money to buy a variable annuity contract. The prospectus is available from the insurance company or from your financial professional. Variable annuity subaccounts will fluctuate in value based on market conditions, and may be worth more or less than the original amount invested if the annuity is surrendered.

At the end of the day, however, variable annuities are really a value judgment.

Do you value the guarantees and predictable income that annuities can provide?

Are the fees charged worth the price of mitigating the risk fluctuating markets can have on your financial security in retirement?

Only you can be the judge of what constitutes value to you. Leave the punditry on variable annuities to others and focus on whether they make sense for you.

The guarantees of an annuity contract depend on the issuing company’s claims-paying ability. Remember variable annuities have contract limitations, fees, and charges, including account and administrative fees, underlying investment management fees, mortality and expense fees, and charges for optional benefits.

Most annuities have surrender fees that are usually highest if you take out the money in the initial years of the annuity contact. Withdrawals and income payments are taxed as ordinary income. If a withdrawal is made prior to age 59½, a 10% federal income tax penalty may apply (unless an exception applies). Annuities are not guaranteed by the FDIC or any other government agency.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2019 FMG Suite.

Share |
 

Related Content

Perception vs. Reality

Perception vs. Reality

There’s an alarming difference between perception and reality for current and future retirees.

Traditional vs. Roth IRA

Traditional vs. Roth IRA

One or the other? Perhaps both traditional and Roth IRAs can play a part in your retirement plans.

Retirement Plan Distributions

Retirement Plan Distributions

There are a number of ways to withdraw money from a qualified retirement plan.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

A Bucket Plan to Go with Your Bucket List

Longer, healthier living can put greater stress on retirement assets; the bucket approach may be one answer.

Inflation - Back to the Future

Even low inflation rates over an extended period of time can impact your finances in retirement.

Volunteering in Retirement

For many, retirement includes contributing their time and talents to an organization in need.

View all articles

Roth 401(k) vs. Traditional 401(k)

This calculator compares employee contributions to a Roth 401(k) and a traditional 401(k).

A Look at Systematic Withdrawals

This calculator may help you estimate how long funds may last given regular withdrawals.

Inflation & Retirement

Estimate how much income may be needed at retirement to maintain your standard of living.

View all calculators

Retirement Plan Distributions

There are a number of ways to withdraw money from a qualified retirement plan.

View all presentations

Should You Tap Retirement Savings to Fund College?

There are three things to consider before dipping into retirement savings to pay for college.

The Power of Tax-Deferred Growth

Why are 401(k) plans, annuities, and IRAs so popular?

Retiring the 4% Rule

A portfolio created with your long-term objectives in mind is crucial as you pursue your dream retirement.

View all videos