Income annuities are an ancient idea having a major resurgence in our markets. According to LIMRA, total annuity sales in 2011 reached $240 billion. In retirement planning, lifetime income annuities provide safety, security and a guarantee that annuitants will not outlive their income

But do you know the history of annuities? Did you know they have been around since the Roman Empire? Here is the history of annuities as compiled by Tom Hegna in his book “Pay Checks and Play Checks.

The problem is, neither you nor anyone else can answer these questions and therein lies the problem with retirement planning. What can you do? Since we cannot know exactly what will happen, planning for minimum risks and certainty is a good second best.

The danger in “how long will you live” is “you might outlive your money”. We call this longevity risk and you can buy insurance to cover it. The solution is simple: purchase an insurance policy that will pay you a guaranteed lifetime income (and also your spouse if you elect) regardless of how long you live. How much will this cost? The cost depends on how much income you want and your current age. The insurance is embedded in an annuity with a guaranteed lifetime income feature – providing an income you cannot outlive plus giving you maximum flexibility for other unknowns. So rather than guessing “how long you’ll live” ask “how much will it cost to guarantee a lifetime income that seems reasonable for my retirement plants”? We can help.

How much will your savings and investments earn or lose in the coming years? Again, no one knows because markets and interest rates cannot be predicted. If you put your money at risk and guess wrong, you could be “locking in” your greatest fear: running out of money before you run out of time. The same annuity that guarantees you a lifetime income also guarantees you positive earnings until your lifetime income starts. Your money is always safe. You can even link annual interest rates to market indexes that provide above-market potential in good markets and zero losses in down markets. Ask us about indexlinked annuities with lifetime income guarantees.

How much you’ll need for retirement is a function of many things: plans, health, inflation, taxes, Social Security, retirement income and much more. It is prudent to address the first two questions first because “how much” will be partially determined by them. If you have money left after locking up an income for life, set up a reserve for emergencies, higher inflation & taxes and “bucket list” experiences. Don’t make retirement complicated by worrying about risk investments and uncertainty. The “annuity solution” delivers certainty, predictability and peace of mind. The worry free solution is to call us to discuss suitability of an annuity for some of your retirement money. Otherwise, answer the three unanswerable questions

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