Annuities 101: Annuity Basics for Retirement Planning
Fixed and fixed index annuities can offer benefits that may fit your retirement needs, but do you know how they work, are sold and regulated? Below you will find the answers to these common questions and more.
A common concern for many retirees is running out of income or outliving their savings during retirement. Owning an annuity may help ease that concern. An annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company designed to assist you in meeting your retirement income goals. Fixed index annuities (“FIAs”) can be non-qualified or qualified (including Individual Retirement Accounts). Qualified and non-qualified FIAs are treated similarly with the biggest difference between them being the premiums used to purchase a qualified FIA may not be treated as taxable in the year the premium is paid to the insurer. FIAs can offer benefits, including tax deferral, principal protection and guaranteed lifetime income.
Annuities are a Mainstream Retirement Opportunity
A retirement readiness study by the Index Annuity Leadership Council (“IALC”) found 78 percent of workers are looking for a source of lifetime income. As there becomes a larger demand for guaranteed lifetime income, more retirees are looking to annuities as a retirement income product. Another study by the IALC found Americans are concerned about running out of money during retirement, and are almost equally worried that while they are alive, they won’t have the funds to enjoy retirement and cover basic necessities. While addressing that concern, fixed and fixed index annuities have started to become part of planning a balanced retirement portfolio, as more retirees look for benefits like lifetime income.
Fixed Index Annuities are an Insurance Product Sold by Insurance Agents
One feature annuity contracts offer is converting accumulated wealth into income. Annuities are sold by licensed insurance agents who work with clients to provide information about retirement products and options. Some agents are dedicated to selling a product from a specific company, while other agents are considered independent and can sell products from different insurance carriers. Agents are required to have an insurance license to sell fixed and fixed index annuities to consumers.
Annuities are Regulated by State Insurance Agencies
Fixed and fixed index annuities are primarily regulated by state insurance regulatory authorities. Every state has an insurance commissioner who regulates and supervises the insurance and annuity products sold within their state. Your state insurance commissioner’s office likely provides information about insurance carriers, insurance licensed producers and may provide information about annuity products, as well. Talk to a licensed agent to find out more about annuities and how they may help you reach your retirement income goals.
All info pulled from our friends at American Equity.