Simply put, an-nu-i-ty (derived from the Latin word annus meaning year) is the long-term equivalent of the CD (certificate of deposit) offered by banks. It’s a contract between you ( the annuitant) and the insurance company to make multiple payments to you over a number of years, for a lump sum given now (immediate annuity) or to start payments in a number a years ( like when you retire). The government has given this product an additional enhancement by allowing the accumulating interest to be tax deferred, meaning that you pay no tax on the annuity as it grows in value.
In addition, for professionals who live in fear of losing their assets in a law suit, the annuity is protected from attachment by creditors. Can it get any better than that? So now with the stock market out of favor and investors looking for a safe and secure harbor, guess what is now popular? The annuity! Take either the fixed or the variable with one glass of water before bedtime and get the best night’s sleep you have have in years.
I cannot understand why insurance companies have not come up with a better word for their annuity products. A nice soft and lovable acronym to make the average investor sit up and take notice. We already have IRAs, CDs, MIAs, CPAs, SUVs and the NBA. If more people were familiar with this product and took the time to understand how it works the insurance industry would have the equivalent of an OFS (out of stock).
With the annuity, your principal is secure and your profit can be guaranteed. Many retired municipal employees are receiving their retirement checks from annuities set up by their union while they were working. The only regret these retirees have now is that they did not dump more money into the annuity while they were working.
But don’t weep, you have not missed the boat. The insurance industry is flush with cash and plenty of annuity products are available for the rest of us. Now that you have this information, your only sin would be to wait too long, to procrastinate in the belief that you will not get old, that you will never lose your job, that you are just too important to retire or to be asked to leave, that you are just too big to fail!
MassMutual Services has been in insurance business since 1857 and is a leader in the annuity business. You owe it to yourself no, your family, to see how an annuity can change your life.