By investing through sub-accounts, which provide access to fixed money market, bond and stock funds, investors who purchase a variable annuity can maintain control of where their assets are invested while taking advantage of guarantees that are not offered with other traditional retirement and investment accounts.
Living Benefit Riders
Annuities alone, can provide great benefit to the right client but today most annuitants select to take advantage of the living benefit riders offered by most of the leading insurance companies. There are various living benefit riders available, each being unique but all with the common objective of providing protection to the investor and facilitating retirement planning through guarantees. Below is a list of just some of the benefits annuitants are provided:
- Guaranteed a minimum income stream for retirement (regardless of market performance)
- Exceed guarantees by locking in market gains through annual or quarterly "step-ups"
- Guaranteed death benefit options for beneficiary protection
- Access potential gains based on performance of sub-account securities
- Guaranteed income for joint owners (spouses)
Investment Freedom & Professional Investment Management
Most variable annuities available today provide multiple investment options covering a wide range of asset classes, risk levels and investment objectives - giving you an opportunity to design a portfolio specifically built to achieve your retirement goals. Through the combined efforts of living benefit riders and professional investment management, annuitants can invest more freely, wisely and with less emotion, knowing that their retirement income is secure, regardless of market performance.
Fees and Charges
Like all investment and retirement accounts, there are fees and charges associated with variable annuities. Since variable annuities can be designed with multiple benefits and guarantees, the fees will vary. Investors should keep in mind however, that variable annuities are long-term retirement accounts and surrender charges as well as tax penalties may apply as the result of early surrenders or withdrawals made prior to age 59 ½. Prior to purchasing an annuity, consult your financial representative regarding fees, early surrender charges and possible tax penalties.
Request Personalized Information
The only way to decide whether a variable annuity is right for you, is to speak with a professional who can assist you in evaluating your overall financial situation and structure a plan for the future. Through the use of The Living Balance Sheet®, our financial representatives can illustrate how a variable annuity could impact and potential enhance your retirement. For a free consultation, call 888-513-2300 or request a free consultation.
Variable annuities are long-term investment vehicles that involve certain risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested. The investment return and principal value may fluctuate so that the investment, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than original cost. Withdrawals of taxable amounts will be subject to ordinary income tax and possible mandatory federal income tax withholding. If withdrawals are taken prior to age 59½, a 10% IRS penalty may also apply. Withdrawals affect the variable annuity's death benefit, cash surrender value and any living benefit and may also be subject to a contingent deferred sales charge.
Variable annuities and their underlying variable investment options are sold by prospectus only. Prospectuses contain important information, including fees and expenses. You should urge your clients to read the prospectus carefully before investing or sending money. Clients should consider the investment objectives, risks, fees and charges of the investment company carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other important information. A prospectus may be obtained by calling 800.221.3253. To download a contract or fund prospectus, please visit www.GuardianInvestor.com.
There is no additional tax deferral benefit for contracts purchased in an IRA or other tax-qualified plan, since these are already afforded tax-deferred status. Thus, an annuity should only be purchased in an IRA or qualified plan if the client values some of the other features of the annuity and is willing to incur any additional costs associated with the annuity to receive such benefits.