Annuities are contracts with an insurance company that can help protect you against the risk of outliving your assets. Annuities provide future income in return for your contributions.
You make payments and accrue interest and income over time. A “deferred annuity” allows you to accumulate funds tax-deferred and then establish a payout stream at a later date. An “immediate annuity” can provide a payout beginning immediately after an initial premium payment. Annuities offer an array of choices both during the deferral and payout periods to suit your needs and investment style.
Designed for more conservative investors close to retirement
Fixed annuities allow you to protect assets from market volatility. These contracts with an insurance company often pay you an agreed-upon percent for a guaranteed number of years.
- Withdrawals may be subject to surrender charges during the early years of the contract, and funds withdrawn from any annuity prior to age 59½ may be subject to a 10% IRS penalty. However, annuities may offer more access to your money than a Share Certificate or CD through special access features.
- Unlike a Share Certificate or CD, your earnings compound on a tax-deferred basis.
- While fixed annuities are very secure, they’re not insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) or its counterpart the FDIC. They are guaranteed by the company that issues them, which is why it is important to understand the ratings of the issuing company.
There are tax deferral advantages, a death benefit, the potential for lifetime income and the extra safety and security of guarantees from the insurance company to also consider. A Financial Advisor
located at Freedom Credit Union can help you determine if a fixed annuity is right for you.
For investors who can handle the ups and downs of the market
Investors with longer time horizons and the ability to withstand market fluctuations often choose variable annuities. The annuity has two phases: an accumulation phase (where you make periodic payments) and a payout phase (where you get a guaranteed minimum payment).
- During the accumulation phase, you make purchase payments and allocate the money among investment options offered as you see fit. The variable annuity has “subaccounts” which let you move money around to different money managers with different investing objectives and instruments. There are typically no extra fees for these moves.
- Your money grows tax-deferred until you take a distribution. All the funds, including those that would be used to pay taxes, are allowed to remain in the account to grow.
Income payments can vary depending on the performance of the managed portfolio, let a Financial Advisor
located at Freedom Credit Union walk you through the Variable Annuity.
Stable - even if the market isn’t
Index annuities can give you a chance for returns based on market increases with stability and principal guarantees more traditionally associated with fixed annuities. The interest you earn follows an index: Most use the S&P 500, Dow, or an international index. When the index gains, you do. But when that index loses your annuity stays steady at zero.
- Similar to fixed annuities, you receive a minimum income guarantee and no market exposure to downsides.
- All the gains you make – any gains from previous years – can be locked in and never go down.
- While you’re protected from losses, some annuities may put an upper limit, or cap, on the index-linked gain you can make.
- While the floor for most market investors can be anywhere, including a very negative outcome for their money, yours can be zero.
A Financial Advisor
located at Freedom Credit Union can walk you through the Index Annuity.
One lump sum can provide you steady income for life
Purchasing a payout annuity – sometimes called an immediate annuity – is like buying a regular check for yourself. Payments start right away, usually within 30 days of your purchase and can last as long as you live. There are a variety of payout options. You may choose the security of a guaranteed monthly income or the potential for income to grow based on the variable investment returns of the market.
- You purchase a payout annuity with a single payment, which means you decide up front what you have to spend and what you need in return. You typically can’t add money to the annuity later on.
- You can often choose to be paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually – whatever works best for you.
- You may have options to guarantee income for a set period of time or for as long as you live. Your payout can be a fixed amount or adjusted for inflation. And there are ways to guarantee an income for you or both you and a spouse. You’ll even have choices to make sure that no matter how long you live, you or your beneficiaries will receive your principal back.
- For payout annuities that aren’t part of a retirement plan like an IRA, each payment you receive will be part return of principal and part earnings. You’ll pay taxes when you receive the payment but only on the earnings portion. That helps keep taxes down.
A Financial Advisor
located at Freedom Credit Union can help walk you through the Single Premium Annuity.