A Comprehensive Guide
Navigating the landscape of annuities and life insurance can be like trying to read a foreign language if you’re unfamiliar with the terminology. However, understanding the jargon is crucial for making informed decisions, whether you’re an advisor, an insurance agent, or a consumer interested in financial stability and security. Here’s a breakdown of key terms you need to know:
Fixed Annuities: These offer a guaranteed interest rate and are considered low-risk. Your returns are predictable and steady.
Immediate Annuities: Upon purchase, these annuities start disbursing payments almost right away, offering immediate income.
Deferred Annuities: Payments start in the future. This deferral period allows your investment to grow, typically in a tax-deferred manner.
Annuity Rider: An add-on to the primary annuity contract that offers additional benefits like enhanced death benefits or income multipliers, usually for an extra fee.
Payout Phase: The period during which an annuity makes regular payments to the annuitant.
Surrender Charge: A fee for withdrawing funds from your annuity earlier than specified in the contract.
Lapse: When an annuity contract terminates due to non-payment, it is said to have lapsed.
Term Life Insurance: Life insurance coverage for a specified term, often 10, 20, or 30 years, a specific term. If you pass away during this period, your beneficiaries receive a payout.
Whole Life Insurance: Unlike term life, whole life offers coverage for the insured’s entire lifetime. It also includes a cash value component that can grow over time.
Universal Life Insurance: This is a type of whole life insurance but with more flexibility, allowing you to change your premium and death benefits.
Beneficiary: The person or entity who receives the payout upon the insured’s death.
Premium: The amount you pay to maintain your insurance policy.
Death Benefit: The lump sum paid to beneficiaries upon the insured’s death.
Cash Value: In permanent life insurance, part of your premium accumulates as cash value, which you can borrow against or invest.
Riders: Similar to annuities, life insurance policies can have riders or add-ons like accidental death benefits or waiver of premium for added protection.
Common to Both
Underwriting: The process of evaluating the risk of insuring a person.
Rollover: Transferring funds from one retirement account to another, such as from a 401(k) to an annuity, often without incurring tax liability.
Guaranteed Rate: The minimum interest rate to be applied to an investment. It is essential in fixed annuities and some life insurance contracts with cash value components to understand this guarantee.
Understanding these terms may equip you with the knowledge to dive into annuities and life insurance confidently. Both financial products offer unique benefits designed to provide long-term security. Annuities are powerful tools for ensuring a steady income stream during retirement. At the same time, life insurance may offer peace of mind, knowing that your loved ones will be financially secure in your absence. By understanding the terminology, you can better assess which options align with your unique financial goals and risk tolerance.
Ready to secure your financial future and ensure peace of mind for you and your loved ones? Don’t let industry jargon intimidate you. Contact a trusted financial advisor today to explore the right annuity and life insurance options tailored to your needs.
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