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Things to Do Before Purchasing An Annuity
  • Read all promotional material carefully. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

  • Know the type of annuity being offered.
    Is it a fixed annuity, equity indexed or a variable annuity? The type of annuity differs by levels of guarantees, risks and benefits.

  • Do the benefits meet your needs?

  • Do not buy the product unless you understand it.
    Seek advice from people you trust. Understand the advantages and risks of purchasing an annuity.

  • Ask how long the “free-look” period is.
    This is the time that you have to review the contract and get your money back if you have made the wrong choice.
    You should take the time to consult with financial professionals that you trust.

  • Determine your investment horizon.
    How long can you go without needing the money you are about to use to purchase an annuity?
    If you will need the money within 10 years, a deferred annuity may not be the right choice for you.

  • Ask about fees for partial or full withdrawal of the contract.
    Find out how much they are and for how long they apply. Make certain you understand all of the fees associated with the purchase of an annuity.

  • Ask if there is a guaranteed death benefit and if any withdrawal charges apply to death.

  • Ask about the credited interest rate.
    How long is it guaranteed and how is it determined?

  • Understand the tax consequences of purchasing an annuity, including the effect of annuity payments on your tax status in retirement.
    For example, will you be prepared to pay the additional income taxes that may result from your annuity payments?
    Will you need the money before you are 59½
    and have to pay tax penalties? You may want to consult a tax adviser that you trust.

  • Make sure your agent is licensed to sell annuities. Only individuals who are financial professionals as defined by the NASD are qualified to sell variable annuities. Check to see if your agent is appropriately licensed.

  • If you are exchanging one annuity for another one, determine if the benefits of the exchange outweigh the costs, such as any surrender charges you will have to pay if you withdraw your money before the end of the surrender charge period for the new annuity.

  • Evaluate the company issuing the annuity.
Need more info? For additional help with insurance in Nevada, call 1-888-467-4195.
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