What is a fixed annuity?

An annuity is a long-term retirement savings product that can help protect you from outliving your money. It's a contract between you and an insurance company. When you put money into an annuity, you create something that will in turn pay you an income month after month, year after year, for as long as you live if you like.

What it can do for you

Adding an annuity to your retirement planning strategy can make a big difference in two ways. First, there is the real benefit of having income you can count on for the rest of your life. Second, there is the benefit of simply knowing you'll have income for the rest of your life—that's called peace of mind. And you can enjoy that now.

Helps you sleep better

A fixed annuity can help you save without exposing your money to the risks you would face with stocks, mutual funds or even most bonds.

Fills in the gaps

Oftentimes pensions, IRAs and social security don't add up to enough retirement income. An annuity can supplement your retirement income and guarantee income for life—no matter how long you live.

When you might need it

If you're in one or more of these situations, an annuity
might be exactly what you need.

You're saving for retirement

If you're already contributing the maximum to other retirement plans, like an IRA or 401(k), an annuity offers supplemental retirement savings on a tax-deferred basis.

You are retired

A fixed annuity is ideal if you're on a fixed income. It can be used to supplement your other retirement income by providing guaranteed payments for the rest of your life.

You're worried you might outlive your savings

Annuities can provide guaranteed income for the rest of your life, whether you live to be 100 or even 110. It could happen.

You're responsible for others

With an annuity, you can provide your loved ones with a payment in the event of your death, also called a death benefit.

How an annuity works for you

You have many choices to discuss with us if you desire. You get to choose the initial premium amount, how long you wish to let the annuity grow before you annuitize it as well as withdrawal options.

How it grows in value

When you purchase your fixed annuity, you'll know the guaranteed minimum interest it will earn. It will be the same every year. Your rate could go up or down from year to year, but never below the minimum. In some cases you'll receive a bonus added to your premium. A premium is simply the money used to purchase the annuity, usually a lump sum.

How it's taxed

Your annuity grows tax-deferred. Unlike savings vehicles that are taxed as you earn, your savings remains in your annuity, earning interest and causing your retirement savings to accumulate even faster. You aren't taxed on those earnings until you start taking the money out. But by that time it’s possible you'll be on a fixed income and in a lower tax bracket therefore saving you money.*

How you receive income

When you decide to receive income from your annuity, depending on your annuity, you have several options to choose from like systematic electronic withdrawals, personalized checkbook access, guaranteed annuity payout options, and the ability to receive guaranteed income for the rest of your life.

How to make the most of your annuity

The longer you wait to take money out of your annuity, the more it grows, and the more income you'll have in the future. An annuity also has a death benefit, similar to life insurance although not tax free. It's paid to someone you designate as the beneficiary. So you know it's going to be there for the next generation as well.

How you're protected

Your annuity is guaranteed to never lose principal (your original premium) during the accumulation phase. You're also guaranteed to receive a minimum value if you surrender (or terminate) the annuity contract.

A few key features

  • Tax-deferred interest accumulation
  • Guaranteed death benefit
  • Access to cash withdrawals
  • Potential for income you can't outliv



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Kramer & Kramer LLC is a Financial Services, Estate Planning, Investment and Retirement Planning Firm. Today, more than ever it is important to do your homework and due diligence to determine who is best suited to help you with your retirement and benefits planning decisions.


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