A question about annuities

JudithApril 22, 2004

I sold a piece of property and have been talking with my bank's financial advisor about the best way to handle the money I received. First, I want to say that I am at retirement age and want to retire at the end of June and the sale of this property is what I have been waiting for to retire. In talking with the financial advisor, we went over my current expenses and what whould be my expenses after retirement. I am single with only and older brother and older sister who live in other states. My main concern is to have enough, with SS and my small work pension, to cover my expenses and do some repair work on my house and property which will include some re-fencing about 6 acres, a new roof for the house and some other major repairs. Now for my question about the annuities. The guy at the bank is suggesting that I put a large portion of my money from the sale in a deferred annuity. It would mature in 15 years at about tripple of what I put in to it now and I could name a beneficiary who would get the money if I died and even if I were still living, I would be 80 when it matured and probably not able to do anything with it then. I could draw out up to 10% of it each year without penalty. He is also suggesting that I put an equal amount in an annuity that would start paying me a monthly income right away but all of the funds would be retained by the issuing company if I died before getting back all that I put in. The monthly payment would be gauranteed for life. The way I figure it, it would be at least 15 years before I would get back all the I put in at the rate of the monthly payment. Does anyone have any thoughts on this or any experience with something like this? Are either of these a really good idea? I told two of my co-workers about it and both of them said it was not a good idea and I really don't want to tie up a good portion of my money for 15 years and have some relative get it if I died before the 15 years are up. My brother and sister are both quite a bit older than I and would not likely be alive in 15 years. I haven't seen my nephews and my nieces in more than 20 years and don't really know them and wouldn't know who they were if they were to come in the door. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.

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I'm very glad you sold the property. Judith. I know you're very eager to retire, and it's great that you can.

I have some experience with annuities because I bought one for my older sister a few years back with some money from our mother's estate. I was able to set her up with an annuity that paid her a guarented monthly income for life, but, in the event she died before the pricipal used to set up the annuity had been exhausted, the bulk would go to her heirs. So I know this can been done, and you don't have to accept one of the two choices offered you.

You need to spend some time on the Internet and educate yourself about annuities and how they work. That's what I did back then. What you want is a fixed income annuity -- there's no reason whatsoever for you to have a deferred payment annuity. At your age, it would be nuts to wait 15 years for the money, especially when you'll need to make repairs long before that.

I also suggest you find out how much these repairs will cost and invest enough money to cover them in a money market or similar. You won't get a very high rate of return, but the money for the repairs will be secure and you can tap into this account as the repairs are made.

What's left would be appropriate to invest in a fixed income annuity.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2004 at 12:06PM
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