An annuity can provide you with a tax-deferred way of saving for your retirement. And once you've retired,an annuity can give you a guaranteed stream of income subject to the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company.
What's an annuity?
An annuity is a contract with an insurance company. With an annuity, the insurance company promises to pay you an income on a regular basis for a period of time you choose - including the rest of your life. Income payments can start now (an immediate annuity), or at some time in the future (a deferred annuity).
Why buy one?
An annuity can help you save for retirement,tax-deferred,and allows you to enjoy a steady stream of income for the rest of your life for a stated period. An annuity can also help supplement your retirement income. It allows you to save and potentially grow assets for retirement and other long-term financial goals.
What is an immediate annuity?
With an immediate (or income) annuity,you generally pay the insurance company a single amount in exchange for payments that begin immediately (generally within 12 months). Payments may be no less frequent than annually.
Payments continue for your entire lifetime,or for some other duration offered by the insurer,such as the joint lifetimes of you and another person,or a specified number of years. Depending on the option you choose, there may also be a death benefit,where payments may continue to your beneficiary for some time after you die. Immediate annuities can be either fixed,with generally unchanging payments, or variable,whe re payment amounts will vary based on the performance of underlying investments.
What is a deferred annuity?
Unlike an immediate annuity, the insurance company delays your pay-out income to the future. Deferred annuities have two phases: an accumulation phase and a payout phase. Accumulation phase allows you to grow your earnings tax deferred, and the payout phase is where you being to receive regular payments for your lifetime or another payment period. Deferred annuities may allow withdrawals during the accumulation phase. However, withdrawals may come with additional fee, charges and tax penalties. Review your contract before withdrawing money from your annuity.
How are withdrawals from annuities taxed?
An annuity is intended to be a long-term, tax-deferred retirement vehicle. Earnings are taxable as ordinary income when distributed, and if withdrawn before age 59 ½, may be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty. Please consult a tax advisor for specific information. There are charges and expenses associated with annuities, such as deferred sales charges for early withdrawals.
Annuities comes with a variety of fees and expenses, such as surrender charges, mortality and expense risk charges and administrative and maintenance fees. You should discuss with a financial professional to see if an annuity would be a good fit for your situation. Variable annuities are subject to market fluctuation, investment risk and loss of principal.
Financial Advisors do not provide specific tax/legal advice and this information should not be considered as such. You should always consult your tax/legal advisor regarding your own specific tax/legal situation.