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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-18-2006, 07:22 PM   #21
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

Thanks all for the replies. I'm glad this thread generated more discussion.

Brewer: I'm familiar with the Garrett Planning Network but haven't heard of Ayco. I'll look into it. Are you familiar with the Cambridge Advisors? cambridgeadvisors.com It is a network of planners that seems sound to me so far. They focus a lot on tax work, more than most planners do. That is something I'm considering, although I haven't looked into it seriously.

You mentioned studies of annuities. Do you have cites or links for any of those? I understand if not--I myself tend to come across things and read them but not keep good enough track for later.

When you say "payout annuity," are you talking about an immediate annuity, where you put money in and then immediately start receiving payments?

Peter: AFAIK insurance companies are the only non-governmental entities that can use the term "guaranteed" with their products. As you note, there is still default risk and inflation risk, but regardless, insurance companies can use the term. I do grant that the default risk is small if you choose a reputable and highly rated company, but it's still something to make me think twice if I were to buy an annuity. In today's rapidly changing business environment, how can one be sure that any company will be around in 30 years to meet its obligations?

Alec: thanks for the cites. I'll check them out. I am really interested to read some well-written articles on this topic. Often, if you're an investment person, it ends up being an article of faith that investments are better, and vice versa if you're an insurance person. I want to read good articles so I'm equipped to discuss these issues intelligently.

Best to all,
Leonard
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-18-2006, 07:25 PM   #22
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

Annuities have there place, but probably not for early retirees. *I plan to retire around 40 and I doubt I could find an attractive annuity to "guarantee" lifetime income for me and my wife over the next 60 years. *

Default risk is also more of a concern then you may think and is probably improperly priced into the annuity. *I don't have the study handy but I think the 20 year cumulative default rate for 'Aaa' rated companies is around 2% - probably more than double that for a 40 year period. *Try selling a product that supposedly "guarantees" life-time income while simultaneously disclosing that the "guaranteed" income stream has a 1 in 25 chance of dropping to zero at some point before the recipient dies. *
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-18-2006, 09:15 PM   #23
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ats5g
I can certainly use Vanguard's "balanced annuity" for an immediate variable annuity. After all this "balanced annuity" is just VWELX wrapped into an annuity, for only 0.56%.
Probably a good pick. Just for those keeping score, using this fund option for me and my wife 44 years old, joint with 100% survivor, inflation adjusted (cpi-u), per $500k you'd get a little under 16k a year. SWR on a similar mix held in a taxable port would be $21,500 @ 95% survivability for 40 years per firecalc.

So you're paying roughly...what is that...about 22% premium for the 'safety', sub off the odds of the insurer (looks like vanguard is using AIG? Thats what the link to give the online quote started with), sub off or add in the odds that CPI-U will over or understate actual inflation, and sub off the odds that you'll live past the 40 year run I did for firecalc.

Doesnt completely suck. I'd rather do that than hold a 100% tips port or sit in cash for years waiting for the correction...
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-19-2006, 06:55 AM   #24
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

Yrs and I have had this discussion before, but lets just say that not all Aaa-rated insurers are created equal. Prudence dictates that one should not have too much exposure to any one credit, but I would have few qualms about buying an annuity from the largest, most highly-rated mutual and fraternal insurers, assuming I ever could be convinced that such a product made any sense foe me (it doesn't).
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-19-2006, 09:26 AM   #25
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

Leonard:

As a future financial planner educator of people in or preparing for retirement, you should certainly spend a decent amount of time examining annuities. Many people, including me, like the security of knowing that certain amount of money will arrive in their checking account every month no matter what. It's not just soothing, it is a habit that has been acquired over many years of working. People here because they have been planning for retirement for many years already have a comfort with retirement products and carefully managing their own money. Others oftentimes just want to go into retirement with things remaining exactly like their work years but without the work . It's your job to discern where the client student is coming from and how to make their dreams or security real.

Sometimes the extra fees involved with some annuities are well worth that good feeling or knowledge of a check coming in every month. Not everyone wants to hash out whether or not 1-2% in fees each year is justifiable. This annuity issue also becomes more important as older type defined benefit plans decrease in availability, and people need a replacement product. I think your job should be to understand these changing environments (e.g. people's psychological changes and differences, the market's financial products, the changing world of monetary policy :, etc.) Continuity and stability are important factors in retirement. So a portion of monies transformed into a steady stream of checks should not be underweighted in your thinking. Nor overweighted.

My own plan lately has been to build a bond/CD ladder about 5 years out for this steady supply of income. As I age and wither away , I suspect this will be replaced with 5 to 10 year fixed, immediate annuities so that my financial decisions decrease in importance over time and also are reduced in frequency. Unless I'm still sharp as a tack, then I might apply for Warren Buffet's job. Part of his job description is eating cheeseburgers and playing bridge, isn't it?

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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-19-2006, 10:05 AM   #26
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ()
Probably a good pick.* Just for those keeping score, using this fund option for me and my wife 44 years old, joint with 100% survivor, inflation adjusted (cpi-u), per $500k you'd get a little under 16k a year.* SWR on a similar mix held in a taxable port would be $21,500 @ 95% survivability for 40 years per firecalc.

So you're paying roughly...what is that...about 22% premium for the 'safety', sub off the odds of the insurer (looks like vanguard is using AIG?* Thats what the link to give the online quote started with), sub off or add in the odds that CPI-U will over or understate actual inflation, and sub off the odds that you'll live past the 40 year run I did for firecalc.

Doesnt completely suck.* I'd rather do that than hold a 100% tips port or sit in cash for years waiting for the correction...

How does the taxes affect this 22% difference, it will be more, less, or none? If after the taxes the difference is 10% only, it is much less painful than self portfolio management.
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-19-2006, 10:13 AM   #27
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

I just saw an ad and thought of this thread. The ad: "How You Can Make An Easy Six Figure Income Selling Annuities Even If You've Never Sold An Annuity Before In Your Life!" No, you can't have the link.

Annuities have their place, but all the hype I see seems to lead to shark-infested waters. To be fair I guess the hyped mutual funds lead to shark-infested waters, too.
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-19-2006, 10:15 AM   #28
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

I havent got the slightest idea how an annuity payment is taxed.

With a "regular" porfolio I can, and do, employ a variety of tax strategies. We use my wifes 403b and HSA to suppress "ordinary/earned" income, then use much of whats left to fund both of our Roth IRA's. I can use muni's, ibonds, tips, qualified dividends and other low tax investments. I hold investments until they qualify for long term capital gains. Bottom line is our "ordinary income" is so low, most of the rest of our income is taxed at 0 or at 5%.

Ok, quick google and possibly incorrect analysis says that the annuity is taxable as ordinary income, with the taxable portion determined as the difference between how much you're "getting back" from your original "investment" and the actual payment. If assigned with survivorship, there are all the same taxes as any other inheritance: income and estate as applicable.

I dont know what happens exactly if your annuity "investments" are tax friendly or non taxable, or if you can even employ such critters in your annuity.

At first blush, looks like I can make my own investments a lot more tax friendly. Anyone with actual taxation on annuity experience care to comment on ways to make them tax happy?
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-19-2006, 10:16 AM   #29
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Umm, but are you mixing up products here? *Variable annuities do indeed commonly include obscene expenses and/or commissions. *Fixed and immediate annuities don't include explicit ones (although the insurer generally pays the agent a commission that gets reflected in the rate paid to the policyholder). *You can buy the annuity version of a no load mutual fund from several companies. *Annuities are like any other investment oroduct: caveat emptor. *But like any mutual fund, they may be suitable for some people.
I'm complaining about the fees in general, let alone the extortion amazingly high fees of variables. *

Although the fees are more reasonable in some annuities, it's still the equivalent of paying for things you could do yourself. *Or paying a load for a mutual fund that mimics a Vanguard index fund. *Or paying mutual fund expenses when you could own the equivalent ETF at a fraction of the cost. *

All of those choices may be appropriate for different people and different times of life, but we all need to understand when we're paying for "peace of mind", "financial management", or merely bare-bones "asset custody".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
I've heard this said by a number of people on this board. But the #1 feature of annunities, at least from my perspective, is that there is an income stream that will go on forever.
Until you're dead. *And your heirs don't receive any residuals, either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
Unless, of course, you are the recipient of a government pension ...
Perhaps the ultimate annuity (although arguably it's more in the nature of a tontine and a retainer). *It has pretty low fees too! *It even has a provision, admittedly an expensive one, to provide an income stream after the primary beneficiarie's death.

But maybe I'm being oversensitive when posters bring up the "govt pension" subject in response to my posts. *I was talking about annuity FEES, not the concept of annuities or their appropiateness.

My point is that an annuity involves an additional level of management and insurance that is not free. *Many may choose to self-insure and can do so at a very low risk. *But if annuities are such a screamin' good deal then there wouldn't be annuity salesmen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 73ss454
No one is condeming the concept just the fees.
Yeah, what he said.
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-19-2006, 10:41 AM   #30
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

A good summary on tax effects of nonqualified (ie, not in a retirement account) annuities is here: http://www.edwardjones.com/cgi/getHT...ities_tax.html

From a tax standpoint, it might make sense to do a tax free exchange of retirement account money (but not a ROTH) into an annuity as the annuity payments would be taxed the same as distributions from the retirement account.

Annuities can be a tax nightmare when someone dies with a taxable estate. The value of the annuity is taxed for estate tax purposes and there is no step up in basis--your heirs would pay tax at ordinary income rates on amounts in the annuity exceeding the amount you invest.

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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-19-2006, 10:47 AM   #31
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
From a tax standpoint, it might make sense to do a tax free exchange of retirement account money (but not a ROTH) into an annuity as the annuity payments would be taxed the same as distributions from the retirement account.
I had the same thought as soon as I saw the option to convert our IRA to an annuity. I'm thinking it would be way better to do this as close to wanting to withdraw from the IRA...as opposed to now when we're 20-25 years away from doing that. We'll have a much better idea as to our overall health and life expectancy then than we do now as well...yes?
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-19-2006, 10:59 AM   #32
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

Yes.
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-19-2006, 11:35 AM   #33
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

I love the air of agreement around this place these last few days...

Do you agree Martha?
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-19-2006, 01:24 PM   #34
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

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Originally Posted by ()
I love the air of agreement around this place these last few days...

Do you agree Martha?
Screw you, you're baiting me ( ).

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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-19-2006, 01:28 PM   #35
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

Hell Martha, thats two days in a row you screwed me.
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-19-2006, 01:29 PM   #36
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

I was good though, wasn't I. :P
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-19-2006, 01:34 PM   #37
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

I'd go for a third.

See ya tomorrow
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-19-2006, 07:06 PM   #38
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Yrs and I have had this discussion before, but lets just say that not all Aaa-rated insurers are created equal.* Prudence dictates that one should not have too much exposure to any one credit, but I would have few qualms about buying an annuity from the largest, most highly-rated mutual and fraternal insurers, assuming I ever could be convinced that such a product made any sense foe me (it doesn't).
Maybe. But annuities are fundamentally different from 30-year corporate bonds. If you own a bond of an insurer whose credit starts to deteriorate you can sell it and get out with 99% of your skin intact. If you were unfortunate enough to buy an annuity from the same company all you can do is sit and pray it doesn't keep getting worse.

What do you wager the spread to treasuries would be on a 40 year 'Aaa' rated insurance company bond that, once bought, could never be sold?
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-19-2006, 07:20 PM   #39
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

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Originally Posted by Martha
Annuities can be a tax nightmare when someone dies with a taxable estate.* The value of the annuity is taxed for estate tax purposes and* there is no step up in basis--your heirs would pay tax at ordinary income rates on amounts in the annuity exceeding the amount you invest.
Martha, this post makes me think that as one gets more invested assets, sometimes expert help really is needed. Especially help from a professional like an attorney or CPA who is acting under a well defined code of ethics.

It might be easy to make big errors.

Ha
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)
Old 01-19-2006, 08:55 PM   #40
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Re: Do annuities fit into an ER plan? (SWR-related)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ()
Probably a good pick. Just for those keeping score, using this fund option for me and my wife 44 years old, joint with 100% survivor, inflation adjusted (cpi-u), per $500k you'd get a little under 16k a year. SWR on a similar mix held in a taxable port would be $21,500 @ 95% survivability for 40 years per firecalc.

So you're paying roughly...what is that...about 22% premium for the 'safety', sub off the odds of the insurer (looks like vanguard is using AIG? Thats what the link to give the online quote started with), sub off or add in the odds that CPI-U will over or understate actual inflation, and sub off the odds that you'll live past the 40 year run I did for firecalc.

Doesnt completely suck. I'd rather do that than hold a 100% tips port or sit in cash for years waiting for the correction...
(),

I'm a little confused. Are you using a balanced portfolio SWR [with firecalc] to compare to the inflation adjusted annuity? For a 100% TIPS @ 2% real, I get a 40 yr 95% WR of $15,450 per year.

You can still annuitize VWELX variably. I got the following quotes from Vanguard, using similar numbers [500K, 44 yrs old, 100% J&S]:

First, with qualified assets [i.e. IRA]:

Quote:
Primary Annuitant -- Born: 01/01/1961 Sex: M
Joint Annuitant -- Born: 01/01/1961 Sex: F
Quote Expiration Date: 01/26/2006
Benefit Commencement Date: 03/01/2006
State of Residence: CA
Payments per Year: 12
Total Premium Amount: $500,000.00
Initial Payment Amount for Variable (3.5%AIR ) Joint and 100 % Survivor Annuity: $1,796.31

Qualified Assets: Yes
Then non-qualified:

Quote:
Primary Annuitant -- Born: 01/01/1961 Sex: M
Joint Annuitant -- Born: 01/01/1961 Sex: F
Quote Expiration Date: 01/26/2006
Benefit Commencement Date: 03/01/2006
State of Residence: CA
Payments per Year: 12
Total Premium Amount: $500,000.00
Initial Payment Amount for Variable (3.5%AIR ) Joint and 100 % Survivor Annuity: $1,762.91

Qualified Assets: No
Percentage of Benefit Excludable: 53.6%
Then upping the AIR to 5% to maximize initial payout, and lower probable increases in payments:

Qualified:

Quote:
Primary Annuitant -- Born: 01/01/1961 Sex: M
Joint Annuitant -- Born: 01/01/1961 Sex: F
Quote Expiration Date: 01/26/2006
Benefit Commencement Date: 03/01/2006
State of Residence: CA
Payments per Year: 12
Total Premium Amount: $500,000.00
Initial Payment Amount for Variable ( 5%AIR ) Joint and 100 % Survivor Annuity: $2,273.88

Qualified Assets: Yes
Non-qualified:

Quote:
Primary Annuitant -- Born: 01/01/1961 Sex: M
Joint Annuitant -- Born: 01/01/1961 Sex: F
Quote Expiration Date: 01/26/2006
Benefit Commencement Date: 03/01/2006
State of Residence: CA
Payments per Year: 12
Total Premium Amount: $500,000.00
Initial Payment Amount for Variable ( 5%AIR ) Joint and 100 % Survivor Annuity: $2,231.60

Qualified Assets: No
Percentage of Benefit Excludable: 42.3%
Fairly competitive with a 4% withdrawal, same"inflation protection" as VWELX [or a balanced portfolio], and a much lower chance of outliving money. Of course, one gives up the chance to leave any money to hiers.

Also, IIRC ()'s wife is a nurse and has a 403(b), so I'd definitely check out TIAA-CREF for annuitizing any of 403(b) or IRA money. TIAA is an extremely highly rated insurance company that doesn't have any shareholders with which it must give profits.

- Alec
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