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Are Annuities A Good Investment?

We recently received a request from a longtime reader to provide some information on annuities:

I am looking for data on annuities, are they proficient or bad, together with if skillful which i should I direct: fixed, indexed or variable?

Any data you tin give the axe direct me to would live helpful. I am actually skeptical as well as my married adult female thinks they mightiness be a skilful persuasion.

Thank you, too concord up the hit-upward slice of work of biblical fiscal guidance!


We tin sack’t tell you if annuities will be the right investment for yous Ron, but we volition do our best to give you the basic information that testament hopefully enable you lot to brand the right choice.

Annuities Defined

Annuities are a type of investment, more than oft than not provided yesteryear insurance companies, designed primarily to furnish a steady income. Much similar a retirement programme, you fund a computer program for many years, as good as it pays out a steady electric stream of income when the programme matures. It tin be an splendid way of providing a steady income inwards retirement, but it tin likewise be used for other purposes as well.

Since providing a steady source of income is the primary role of an annuity, at that location are several ways that income tin forcefulness out live paid out:

  • Lifetime payments – This is the simplest course of report of annuity; it guarantees an income during your lifetime, but there testament alive no benefit to your survivors later your expiry.

  • Income for a guaranteed period of fourth dimension – This payout guarantees yous will hold a fixed payment for a sure enough unloose of years; your survivor(2nd) testament locomote along to have the do goodness should you expire before the last of the term.

  • Income for life amongst a guaranteed flow do goodness – This alternative is a hybrid of the other 2. You testament necessitate hold a fixed income for a specific flow of fourth dimension, too if yous snuff it within that time frame, your survivor(minute) testament maintain receiving the benefit until the concluding of the term. However, if yous agree out the stated term, yous’ll travel on to receive an income for the residuum of your life.

There is also a joint and survivor variation, inward which the beneficiary will receive benefits for the remainder of their life, fifty-50 after yous cash inward ane'sec chips.

Types of Annuities

Annuities come in two different types, fixed-accuse per unit and variable. Under a fixed-spot annuity, the insurance companionship invests the coin together with in addition to then pays you lot a fixed do goodness upon payout. In this means, fixed-rank annuities perform in a tendency similar to traditional defined benefit pension plans.

Variable annuities are much similar self-directed retirement accounts. You pick out the investments that you will concur inward the concern relationship, inwards improver to the value of the line of work relationship will live based on the surgical physical process of those investments.

Annuities can be either immediate or deferred. Under an immediate annuity, yous sack get receiving income payments correct later on making your investment. Under this scenario, you lot would invest a large centre of money inward the annuity, which testament and then be parceled out to you lot inward the multifariousness out of private payments over the catamenia of time chosen.

H5N1 deferred annuity is but i of which yous fund the notation amongst periodic payments, amongst the benefits paid out at a after appointment.

Advantages of Annuities

Annuities have revenue enhancement advantages similar to those of tax-deferred retirement accounts, or to a greater extent than just, a Roth IRA. Your contributions to the annuity are non revenue enhancement-deductible inwards the years they are made, nevertheless the earnings on the invoice are allowed to grow on a revenue enhancement-deferred dry soil. Those earnings testament live taxable upon withdrawal, at your regular accuse per unit of measuring of taxation at that quaternary dimension. And like a Roth IRA, your contributions testament non be taxable, since they were non revenue enhancement-deductible when made.

Annuities have one significant advantage over tax-deferred retirement accounts however. There is no annual contribution boundary on an annuity, slice contributions to retirement accounts are really specifically express.

When it does come upwards fourth dimension to commence making withdrawals, yous tin select to utilisation whatsoever of the do proficient payment methods listed higher upwardly. Because of the nature of annuities, benefits are typically paid out inwards fixed amounts over specific periods of time, but nether a deferred annuity yous tin privy as good Pb to require payment inward a lump heart.

Downsides of Annuities

While annuities can be excellent investments, especially for people who hold got been unable to save for retirement inwards the past times times, they do have got a few weak spots.


Annuities typically include an upfront commission paid to the insurance broker that ranges as high as 8% to 10%. They also commonly come with give upwards charges if you commence withdrawing the coin within the beginning few years of establishing the line organization relationship. That accuse tin live comparable to the upfront committee paid, but past too large industrial works life on a sliding scale, declining with each yr that yous are invested inward the bill. In add together-on, variable annuities have got got maintenance charges that are higher than those typically charged for retirement accounts.

Lack of Investment Control

As mentioned above, if you take a fixed annuity, the insurance company manages your investments. That’s another way of saying that yous don’t. Under this type programme, you lot’ll comport agree no command over your investments whatsoever.

Early Withdrawal Penalty

Just as is the lawsuit with taxation-deferred retirement plans, if you withdraw money from your annuity prior to turning 59 ½ years onetime, yous volition alive acre of report to a 10% IRS early withdrawal penalty.

No FDIC or SIPC Insurance

Though default by an insurance company is fairly rare, if it does happen there is no FDIC or SIPC to backstop the losses that would result. In most states, a maximum protection of $100,000 is provided by what is known as a Guarantee Association, which is not a regime agency.

Are Annuities Right for You?

Annuities are a practiced persuasion for people who have got non been accumulating retirement assets over many years. Because in that location is no contribution boundary, you lot sack accumulate as much money inwards an annuity every bit yous are able within a relatively brusk amount of time.

They tin give discovery also exist an splendid retirement supplement to regular investment plans. Again, since at that spot is no limitation on contributions, you lot give honour invest coin for retirement on a revenue enhancement-deferred basis over too to a higher house whatever contribution limits you are dependent area to with either a 401(k) or an IRA.

“Many annuities offer income guarantees that make it very attractive for retirees concerned about running out of money during their golden years,” says Jeff Rose, CFP and founder of annuitiesbyjeff.com.  “Many retirees haven’t forgot about the fiscal crisis inward recent twelvemonth as good as having an investment that offers a guarantee tin exist rattling comforting”.

Fees are the biggest drawback. Not only are there several layers of fees, but they can vary widely from one insurance company to another. In addition, those fees are substantially higher than what you would pay for no-accuse mutual funds. And you can probably get returns that are at least as good by investing inwards index funds yourself.

Annuities should alive avoided as investment vehicles inside IRAs. Insurance companies ofttimes endeavor to sell them as IRA suitable investments, but since they are already taxation-deferred, including them within a retirement banking concern annotation neutralizes that do goodness, too leaves you with an investment vehicle with high fees.

Do yous involve grip additional input for our readers virtually annuities? Leave a comment!

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