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2010-03-30 14:20:35 GMT 2010-04-02 10:22:17 (GMT -05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) Yes (click here to learn more about ) Closed - Note: This project was manually closed by the voice seeker before it reached its original deadline. 0 0 0 direct invitation(s) have been sent by the voice seeker resulting in 0 audition(s) and/or proposal(s) so far. Voice123 SmartCast is seeking 10 auditions and/or proposals for this project (approx.) Invitations sent by SmartCast have resulted in 0 audition(s) and/or proposal(s) so far.
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There are a few priorities similar among those nearing retirement including preservation of financial independence and living without depending on family members for care. Also important to those in retirement are maintaining the wealth created over their lifetime, avoiding a legacy of debt left to a spouse and having an estate for heirs.
In looking closer at these financial concerns, the real issues are having income to maintain a reasonable standard of living, safety and outliving your income. How can these concerns be dealt with? What can you do to address these concerns? Is there a real solution?
A fixed index annuity may be an option for you. Why? They offer guarantee of principal, opportunity for tax deferral, flexibility, the knowledge that your money will be there when you need it most, and a lifetime income stream.
A fixed index annuity is a fixed annuity, either immediate or deferred, with potential to earn credited interest or provide benefits that are linked to an external market index. A market index is an unmanaged group of stocks or bonds that represents a segment of the investment market. Investors cannot invest directly in an index. One of the most commonly used indexes is the S&P 500, which is an equity index. The value of any index varies from day to day and is not predictable.
Principal protection and any interest credited with potential index gains are some of the reasons indexed annuities have enjoyed such popularity as an alternative source of income.
When you buy a fixed index annuity you own an insurance contract. You are not buying shares of any stock in the index. If the market index goes up, you get credited interest tied to the market index, depending upon the annuity's interest calculation method. If the market goes down, your credited interest and principal stays exactly where it was when the market index goes down, protecting your principal and interest from any loss.
Fixed index annuities are designed to help meet your retirement and other long-term goals. They are not suitable for meeting short-term goals because substantial taxes and surrender charges may apply if you withdraw your money early.
A fixed index annuity can provide income for as long as you live.
An important benefit of deferred annuities is the ability to use the value built up during the accumulation period to provide income payments during the payout period. While income payments are usually made monthly, you can often choose more or less frequent payments. The size of income payments is based on both the accumulated value in your annuity and the annuity’s “benefit rate” that goes into effect when income payments begin.
The insurance company uses the benefits rate to compute the amount of income payment it will pay you for each $1,000 of accumulated value in your annuity. The benefit rate usually depends on your age and sex, and the form of annuity payment you select. You can usually choose from many forms of annuity payments. You might choose payments that continue as long as you live, or as long as either you or your spouse live, or even payments that continue for a set number of years.
Income tax on interest accrued in an annuity is deferred until it is taken out. You may be required at this point to pay taxes on the tax-deferred accumulation. You may have to pay a tax penalty if you withdraw the accumulation before you are age 59½. The advantage of tax deferral is that you may be in a lower tax bracket. Also, during the accumulation period, you will be earning interest on money that you would otherwise have used to pay taxes. Tax-qualified annuities are subject to different rules. In any case, you should consult your own tax advisor.
Your annuity may have a limited “free withdrawal” provision. This lets you make one or more withdrawals without charge each year. The size of the free withdrawal is limited to a set percentage of your annuity’s guaranteed or accumulated value. If you make a larger withdrawal, you may pay withdrawal charges.
Most annuities waive withdrawal charges on withdrawals made within a set number of days at the end of each term. Some annuities waive withdrawal charges if you are confined to a nursing home or diagnosed with a terminal illness. You may, however, lose index-linked interest on any withdrawals.
Annuities provide a variety of death benefits. The most common death benefit is either the guaranteed minimum value or the value determined by the index-linked formula.
Fixed index annuities are designed to provide guaranteed income for life, no matter how long you live. Only an annuity offers this guarantee based on the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing company.. In summary, fixed index annuities offer principal protection, guarantees and income that you cannot outlive.
So, is a fixed index annuity right for you? Well, how long can you leave your money in an annuity? What do you expect to use the money for in the future? You should consider what your goals are for the money you may put into the annuity.
Is a guaranteed interest rate more important for you, with less risk of losing principal? Or, are you somewhere in between these two extremes and willing to take some risks? You need to think about how much risk you’re willing to take with the money.
Answering these questions will help you decide which type of annuity, if any, meets your retirement planning strategies and financial needs. Ask a qualified financial professional for help with these questions, then formulate a game plan to fit your retirement goals.
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