In 2016 fixed annuity sales were a whooping $117.4 billion! That’s up $7 billion over 2009 sales, making it a record year for fixed annuities. Those are some pretty wild and staggering numbers!
Why are folk’s putting so much money in annuities? Is it because of great advertising, hot new products, a bear stock market, or even bullish one? Yes and no.
While fixed annuities are always a hot ticket, advertising and consumer awareness campaigns are partially responsible. Hot new product’s and riders are also fueling sales. In this very competitive market this has become common to see redesigns and new products on a relatively normal basis. This competition has been shown to benefit the consumer in many ways by simply offering more choices. More choices may not be good however, if the advisor and/or financial planning firm/bank/credit union and the like, are ill equipped to offer the best. I don’t know about you, but for me… I want a specialist!
All in all annuities companies are changing product’s by adding option like, special riders and new and improved strategy crediting method’s. Think “out with the old in with the new.”
Now of course in the fixed product realm, the basic foundation of fixed annuities are the same. Principal protection, locked-in gains, the ability to earn either a fixed rate (traditional fixed annuity) or an stock market index rate (fixed index annuity).Both of these are fixed type of annuities, so the numbers above represent both annuity crediting method’s.
So the saying goes, “not all annuities are created equal”. Boy is this true. In my 14 years of specifically working in the annuity industry, hand in hand with consumer’s and holding licenses with 20 plus carriers and access to dozens and dozens more, I can tell you, it pay’s to compare. Each of those companies mind you have in some cases over 10 products available for purchase. The real number of fixed type, annuity products available, is over 1,000! Mind blowing really.
So how do you know if the annuity you currently have or one you may be purchasing right now is right for you? This is a very very complex question, even for many of the advisors who sell them.
Some words of advice… Make sure to educate yourself and/or choose an advisor “an annuity specialist” that can show you ton’s and ton’s of companies. Remember, it’s all about you, you, you! It’s highly recommended that you work with an advisor, thats asking all the right question’s. They really need to ask lot’s of qualifying questions, I cannot stress this enough. We use an Annuity Comparison Question. It’s something that I designed and created well into my now 15 years as an annuity specialist.
Heres a perfect example of why its so important to work with complete pro. Let’s say you have a medical need that surrounds your cardiovascular system. You need to see a cardiologist, right? Your primary care doctor is not the person to see. As a matter of fact if you did, they’d refer you to a cardiologist. It’s likely your primary care doctor knows a decent amount about the human cardiovascular system. However, even they know that when it comes time to need a real pro, they bring in the big guns, the cardiologist!
Considering this is your livelihood, your retirement we are talking about, choosing to work with an annuity specialist can make a world of difference. It can mean the difference of being a very satisfied annuity purchaser or possibly an unhappy one.