If you use an IRS approved 1035 exchange you may exchange your contract for a new annuity contract within your current company or you can exchange your annuity contract for a new contract in a new company. If done properly, this exchange will not incur a tax liability, your deferred earned interest will remain deferred in the new contract.
Annuity contracts allow for 10% of the account value to be withdrawn annually, this can be done all at one or more than once. If an annuity is used as an income stream, surrender penalties are waived. In the event of death almost always surrender penalties are waived for the beneficiary. In addition, most contracts allow for access to the account funds in the event of long term illness or terminal illness.
Variable annuities and fixed annuities are very different creatures. Fixed annuities earn a set rate of interest for a specific time period. Variable annuities invest your funds in separate accounts (sub accounts) that invest in securities such as stocks and bonds, etc. Each separate account will offer specific investment objectives, you select the accounts that will best help you reach your goal. Here are specific points to understand before investing in variable annuities.
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The number one reason that people purchase an annuity in the first place is income protection, protection from living too long. Think of it as an insurance to protect you from outliving your assets. It is not uncommon, and it is becoming more common, for people to outlive their retirement funds, people are living longer. For many people, it just makes solid sense. With the purchase of an annuity come contractual benefits known as settlement options.
In a 2011 survey asking Baby Boomer-aged women about their retirement plans and their investible assets, single women had substantially less money saved for retirement than did single men. In addition to less money saved for retirement, a high percentage (86%) of women surveyed planned to retire earlier than men.
How safe is your fixed indexed annuity? Should you trust a fixed indexed annuity with your important retirement funds? What happens if an insurance company were to fail? These and other questions are vitally important and the answers may surprise you.
Buying a US Treasury EE Bond can be a great idea if you want your funds held long term and have no need for the funds prior to their 20 year maturity. EE Bonds offer fixed interest rates for the life of the bond. The maturity period for EE Bonds is 20 years, if you redeem the bond in the first 5 years of ownership, there is a penalty affixed. EE Bonds offer safety, market yield and tax deferred interest compounding.