First of all, we do not sell annuities – or indeed any financial products. We are not insurance agents nor do we represent any insurers. We work for our clients – some of whom have purchased annuity contracts they later wish they hadn’t.

Here is how we may be able to help you:

The Tax Position of Your Annuity Contract
– We’ll explain the rules to you, in plain English.

Do You Own an Annuity in an IRA?
– It’s legal, but it makes little or no sense. We’ll explain why.

The Cost of the Annuity Contract
– Many owners of annuities have no idea what they’re actually paying.

The Cost of the Underlying Investment Options
– We’ll help you understand this layer of expenses.

Surrender Charges That May Exist
– We’ll show you how to understand them, and weigh the pros and cons.

Other Charges and Fees

– Annuity contracts can have several layers of fees and expenses.

Possible Early Withdrawal Penalties
– The tax code imposes a 10% penalty on certain withdrawals. We’ll explain it to you.

What’s in it for us?

That’s simple – maybe something, maybe nothing.

Until fairly recently, when asked to manage the underlying investments in an annuity, we respectfully declined. There were two primary reasons:

  • Since annuities are proprietary products, the investment sub-accounts are generally not set up so that investment advisors can have adequate oversight to effectively manage them.
  • Even in cases where this could be arranged, the high cost of most annuities led us to conclude that adding yet another cost layer (our advisory fee) would simply not be in our clients’ best interests.

However, in the last few years a small number of insurers have introduced very low-cost annuity contracts that feature hundreds of investment vehicles that we consider appropriate for our clients. Because these insurers have also created a platform to work with fee-only investment advisors, we are now able to integrate your annuity investment options with your other investment and retirement accounts.

If you’d prefer to exchange an existing high-cost annuity for a very low-cost one, but are not interested in having an independent, fee-only investment advisory firm oversee the assets for you, we would be pleased to show you how to accomplish the contract exchange yourself. Our fee for doing so would be zero. We consider this goodwill.

Let us know if you think we can help.