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08-05-2008 by Colleen King
Annuities are a tool that allow money to grow on a tax deferred basis. Not tax free, tax deferred. Tax deferred growth is the benefit of retirement plans, whether you are looking at an employer plan such as a 401k or 403b, or an IRA you start yourself. The idea is that you let this money grow, and when you are ready for retirement, either you won’t be working or you won’t be working as much, so your income drops, ergo your tax liability drops. Here is a link to a really nice simple chart (just the kind I like) that will show you the type of growth you stand to gain.
Annuities and tax deferral
Fixed annuities, whether a regular fixed or a fixed indexed annuity, allow your money to grow on a tax deferred basis, but does NOT have to be set up as an IRA. A lot of advisers used to tell people not to used an annuity as a personal retirement vehicle for IRAs because of fees that were often associated with them, and frankly because there was more money to be made for them if you went into a stock based account.
Well, since the stock market has become so volatile, a lot of people are looking to some kind of a fixed annuity because with these, unlike the stock market or the majority of variable annuities, your principle is guaranteed. Once you hit a certain age in life, you don’t want to risk losing what you have saved and try to rebuild it again.
When planning for retirement most experts will tell you to take advantage of all the ‘pre-tax’ options available. Once you max those out, but you still have excess money you would like to put away, you can either look at a Roth IRA or an annuity. The advantage of a Roth is that you are putting away after tax money so when you pull money out of it, your gains are tax free. The potential disadvantages are the annual limits on what you can deposit and if your income is above a certain amount you aren’t eligible to have a Roth. That still leaves you with annuities as an option. No limits on how much you can put in, your financial status doesn’t come into play so it’s one of those things to consider. Especially if you have some windfall bonus, inheritance or some other good fortune come you way.
So there is a combination of ways to do this, you just need to assess the best prospects! Be Well!