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In past decades, more people have been buying annuities. A big part of this is due to the unique features that annuities offer, such as tax-advantaged growth and contractual guarantees such as lifetime income.
Of course, many kinds of annuities are available now. Knowing what annuity is right for your situation (if indeed a good fit) can be a challenge in some cases.
If you are looking for growth, then you might look at fixed index annuities or variable annuities, as they both offer more growth potential than traditional fixed-type annuities.
But to make a confident and well-informed decision here, it helps to know how these types of annuities are alike and how they differ.
At their core, both are contracts with a life insurance company for a certain period. Where their differences lie is how their money grows, their exposure to market risk, and the fees that they carry, among other things.
If you have spent some time exploring your options for retirement planning, you might have heard of a qualified longevity annuity contract, or QLAC for short. But what is a QLAC? What are some reasons that folks might consider this option for their situations?
As everyone knows, people tend to have many financial concerns nowadays. Having enough retirement income is a top concern among those who have stepped back from a full-time career. Among other things, low interest rates have made it harder to generate predictable income for even just run-of-the-mill living expenses in retirement.
With low rates hitting fixed-interest options such as CDs, Treasury securities, and bonds, the challenge is figuring out how to adequately supplement other sources of predictable income, such as Social Security or a pension. No wonder, then, that surveys have found that many retirees are afraid that they might run out of money in their later years.
Since they have a monopoly on paying reliable lifetime income, annuities are one vehicle that can help fill this gap. In fact, besides Social Security, annuities are the only thing on the planet capable of paying you a guaranteed income for life.
But even the income from an annuity may not be enough to cover a retiree's expenses when they get into their final years, especially if they need services such as long-term care or home healthcare.
Conversely, many retirees won’t need to start taking money from their IRAs or workplace retirement plans when they turn 72 (the new age at which required minimum distributions must start). RMDs can create a tax headache for those with considerable retirement assets, and they may be an excess source of income in some cases.
Enter again a possible solution with QLACs, which can help with providing income in later years or providing some tax relief for a while regarding required minimum distributions.
"I recommend Mike Marrone, and Marrone Financial, for their professionalism, financial experience, and knowledge of the retirement planning space. Mike is exemplary in his dedication to consumer education and in helping his clients find solutions that fit their complete financial picture."Brent Meyer Jr., Founder of SafeMoney.com