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Achieve Accumulation and Cash-Flow Goals With
Annuities are issued by life insurance companies and purchased in the form of “contracts.” Two broad categories encompass all annuity types: accumulation annuities and payout (or income) annuities.
Common benefits of annuities include:
- Tax-deferred growth
- Access to all or a portion of funds
- Flexibility in the event of certain needs or circumstances
An annuity is categorized as “fixed” by the fact that the contract value does not change with outside factors, such as the stock market or bond market. By contrast, a “variable” annuity’s value does fluctuate with changes in the markets.
Accumulation Fixed Annuities@headingTag>
Individuals seeking long-term conservative growth with the advantage of tax deferral fit the typical profile of accumulation-annuity buyers. They seek an attractive rate of return but do not wish to expose their money to value fluctuations associated with traditional equity or debt instruments (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc.). Accumulation annuities vary by the way in which interest credits are applied. Interest credits may be based on a one-year renewable fixed rate, a multi-year rate that applies for several years, or on the positive results of a market index, such as the S&P 500® Index.
The key is, the contract value changes only by the addition of index credits, and will never go down in value. Accumulation annuities are differentiated by a variety of attributes, including: the ability to add premium after the initial purchase, maximum issues ages, minimum premium amounts, crediting options, length of surrender-charge schedules, premium bonuses, withdrawal options, and a variety of riders.
Payout (income) Fixed Annuities@headingTag>
Fixed annuities are an effective vehicle for providing the owner with income, and are popular among retirees. Income can be generated in several ways. An immediate annuity pays a guaranteed and specified cash flow comprised of both principal and interest for a selected period of time – which may be for the life of the owner(s), or a specified period of time. Upon the death of the owner(s), immediate annuities have no residual value. Income can also be derived from accumulation annuities, either through annuitization of the contract, or by way of an income rider.
Achieve Wealth-Transfer Goals With
Life insurance offers a means to increase the value of an estate to benefit loved ones or charitable organizations.
Life insurance benefits include:
- Death benefits which bypass probate and are generally income-tax free to beneficiaries
- Tax-deferred growth
- Access to partial withdrawals and loans
Life insurance is issued in a range of underwriting protocols. At one end of the range is “guaranteed-issue life insurance” which involves no medical exam or health-history questions. At the other end is “fully underwritten life insurance” which requires medical examinations, as well as consideration to the applicant’s occupation, financial status, hobbies, travel and more. The underwriting variations reveal a trade-off between cost of insurance and underwriting expediency. The EquiTrust UnderWRITE-NOW Processing falls in the middle, with consideration to medical-related questions but no exam, and most underwriting decisions issued at the time of application based on a short telephone interview.
Wealth-Transfer Life Insurance@headingTag>
Individuals with assets earmarked for their loved ones or charitable organizations can increase the value of their estates upon death, and maintain control of their assets in the event of financial need during their lifetime. Life insurance death benefits generally pass to beneficiaries income-tax free and bypass probate. During the owner’s lifetime, limited access to the policy value is available to help cover unforeseen expenses, including accelerated death benefits in the event of certain health conditions. Policy values can grow with interest credits, based either on a one-year renewable fixed rate, or the positive results of a market index, such as the S&P 500® Index.