An annuity is an investment product that is sold by insurance companies and other financial institutions. They are meant to hold and grow funds, and they are often used as a means to save for retirement. When you invest in the annuity, you can choose a payout system that can begin immediately or at some point in the future. For example, you might make an investment of $200,000 when you are 60 and then start receiving income in payments when you are 70.
Of course, that is just one example. There are several main types of annuities available, and many will wonder which of these will be the best annuity for retirement. These are known as fixed, variable, and indexed. We answer the question “what is a fixed annuity?” here.
Fixed Annuities Are Great for Retirement
Fixed annuities are risk-free and you will earn a stated interest rate on your money that will be paid out the same each year. There are two subcategories of fixed annuities called immediate and deferred annuities. An immediate annuity begins payments a short time after you invest and can be for life or for a number of years. This is the type of annuity to get when you are just about to retire or you are already retired and you want to have a safe and consistent income.
A deferred annuity is a good option for those who want to save money for retirement later. It can be a good way to build retirement income and will ensure that you have a guaranteed return. Keep in mind that these are not affected by the stock market, unlike variable annuities.
For those who have a more conservative approach to their finances, and who like the idea of having a constant, steady payment, a fixed annuity could be the best annuity for retirement. However, it’s still a good idea to learn about the other options.
Variable annuities can be a suitable option for retirement planning. However, it’s crucial to understand the distinctions between fixed and variable annuities. Both types allow for either a lump sum or a series of payments for investing, with the insurance company making payments to you at a later date.
Variable annuities have two distinct phases: accumulation and payout. During the accumulation phase, you contribute money to the annuity and have access to a variety of investment options. This phase allows your investment to potentially grow over time, based on the performance of the underlying investments.
In the payout phase, you start receiving payments from the annuity. The payouts from a variable annuity can fluctuate based on the performance of your investment choices. This can provide an opportunity for growth but also exposes you to the risk of market volatility.
In summary, variable annuities offer the potential for higher returns compared to fixed annuities, but they also come with additional risks. Make sure to consult a financial professional before making any investment decisions to ensure the chosen product aligns with your risk tolerance and financial goals.
The money that is invested in the accumulation phase will have an interest rate that varies depending on the performance of the money you’ve invested. It can be great when there is a bull market, but it could cause your payments to be lower during a downturn. While they could be used for retirement, there is more risk than with a fixed annuity.
Indexed annuities are tied to the performance of an index like the S&P 500, for example. They will provide you with returns that are based on that performance. However, there is a certain minimum that they will not fall beneath. However, these annuities may not provide retirees with the consistency that they would get from a fixed annuity.
What to Consider When Choosing the Annuity
Below are a few things you need to think about when you are choosing and buying an annuity of any sort. Keep these in mind, and it can make choosing the best annuity for retirement easier. Also see The Pros and Cons of Annuities
In most circumstances when making purchases, you want to buy when interest rates are low. However, this is not the case with annuities. When you are buying an annuity when the interest rates are higher, you will get more income for the same amount of investment money.
Therefore, it could be a good idea for those who are planning for retirement to wait for the interest rates to rise. Some might choose to stagger the annuity purchases across several years. This will reduce the risk of putting too much money into an annuity when the rates are low.
It’s essential to consider the age at which you purchase an annuity. Buying an annuity when you’re young might not be necessary, but waiting until you’re close to 80 may not be ideal either. Some companies may not sell annuities to individuals over 80 years old.
Typically, acquiring an annuity around the age of 60 can be a good strategy. This allows you to start withdrawing money when you retire in about 10 years. However, the ideal timing for obtaining an annuity will ultimately depend on your specific retirement plans and financial goals.
Keep in mind that each person’s situation is unique, so it’s crucial to consult with a financial professional to determine the best course of action for your individual needs and retirement planning.
Consider the options that suit your needs when purchasing an annuity. Keep in mind that adding more options may result in lower payments. It’s essential to select features that align with your individual circumstances and requirements.
For instance, those without dependents might consider opting for a basic annuity for retirement, which could provide higher payments. However, it’s crucial not to overlook options that address your specific needs just for the sake of receiving higher payments. Always weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each option and consult with a financial professional to ensure you make the best decision for your financial future.
Always take the time to think about your specific needs when it comes to the annuity you choose for retirement, as well as the rest of your retirement planning. You do not want to put all of your savings into an annuity, even a fixed annuity. It is always risky to put all of your eggs into a single basket. For example, if you have all of your money in an annuity, it would be difficult to get out cash quickly if you have an emergency.
Companies to Consider for Annuities
Today, numerous companies offer annuities for retirement. It’s not only essential to understand how to choose the right annuity but also to select a reputable company. Some of the top options include New York Life, Pacific Life, CUNA Mutual, AIG, and Jackson National Life. Take the time to explore offerings by these and other companies to find the best annuity for your retirement.
Stay tuned for more reviews in the coming weeks, as they will provide valuable insights into various annuity products and help you make a well-informed decision for your retirement planning.