I am just starting to learn financial resposibility (better late than never) and how to invest wisely by frequenting this forum and reading recommended books. I just got through reading "Teach and Retire Rich" and started on "The Random Walk Guide To Investing" by Burton Malkiel. Everything I have read so far, including the current book, say to stay way from annuities unless you have maxed out on all your other retirement accounts (401k, IRA, etc).Your grandma may have built a new deck with annuities, but with no-load mutual funds may have built a new deck and a new house.
Well that's not entirely true Jarhead. It seems to me that you hate annuities but don't really understand them. I am a pretty accomplished investor that owns several properties, mutual funds, and annuities. I also believe that all products are great (mutual funds, annuities, etc), and also that there is no safer way to invest in the stock market than through the use of variable annuities. If necessary, I will provide alot of citations. For average people that do not have the ability to self insure, an annuity can be a great investment because it is able to guarantee a ceratin level of income regardless of what happens in the market. I have seen too many friends get burned with no load funds because they were working with people on the other end of a 1-800 phone number. When the market took a dip a few years ago my friends were nervous to retire because they knew that they may potentially run out of money if they were to start taking distributions from their account, so as a result they are still working.
With regard to my grandmother's annuity, she needed income badly, and the only place for her to get money was through her home equity. So, she took a reverse mortgage and put the money in an AXA product called a Retirement Income For Life. She is collecting a guaranteed level of income (35,000 to be exact) no matter what happens in the market. She also has a death benefit that will pay me when she passes so that I will be able to buy out her share of the house. From what I understand, if she put that money in a no-load, with market being the way it is, if she did not have that annuity and were to die this year, then I would have a major problem in terms of buying out her share of the house.
I think that this website is just a blog for people to slam annuities without a real understanding of what they can do. Please correct me if this seems wrong.
What I failed to mention earlier is that I am a retired police officer that has taken many courses in financial planning. The advantages of certain variable annuities are huge. The idea that this website believes that ALL annuities are BAD and ALL NO LOADS is good is probably the most rediculous thing I have ever heard in my life. I think you guys need to do some more research before reading a few books and making assumptions.
I was under the impression that this was an intelligent site to discuss different investing methods. I did not realize that this was a site slam annuity companies. If that is all that this site is, then I'll go back to intelligent conversations with my network of investors!!