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FAQ's Annuities

What is a Fixed Index Annuity?

A Fixed Indexed Annuity (FIA) is a fixed annuity that provides a guaranteed lifetime income and interest rate while preserving and protecting your premium. You do not pay taxes on your premium or interest until you take withdrawals or receive income. Unlike traditional fixed annuities, additional interest may be earned based on positive changes in commonly used financial indices such as the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Because the annuity you purchase is indexed, your premium and credited interest can never be lost due to an economic downturn.

How do I know if a Fixed Indexed Annuity is for me?

As Blair Aaronson always points out, there isn’t a perfect investment tool. It is our belief that investors should be safer with their money as they grow older. Our average client is at or nearing the age of retirement and wants to preserve and protect their assets. If you want unlimited growth potential and are willing to assume the risk of unlimited loss, then a fixed indexed annuity is probably not the right choice for you. If you are concerned about protecting your principal and enjoying a reasonable rate of return on your investments, then we feel you should join the Retirement Thru Design family.

Why is my existing broker trying to talk me out of this?

Current advisors are not going to agree with our recommendations because, in doing so, they would have to admit that their recommendations were not appropriate. All financial firms have conservation units to try to conserve your business because, once the asset is transferred, the advisor and firm no longer generate any income from this asset. Most risk advisors cannot sell indexed annuities. These annuities are offered by insurance companies; therefore, they will not bring up these tools in client meetings.

Is diversification the key to safety?

Consumers have been told time and again that diversification is the key to safety. Although diversification may assist in reducing the risk of total loss, it is not a “foolproof” plan to safety. As Lisa Smith reports for msnbc’s TODAY Money, diversification doesn’t always work. Consumers are encouraged to appropriate at least a portion of their portfolio to annuities and other products that are not directly linked to the stock market.
Source: Plan carefully to make sure your 401(k) doesn’t flounder

By: Lisa Smith

How do I know a Fixed Indexed Annuity is safe?

A Fixed Indexed Annuity is a contract between you and the insurance company that issues your policy. Fixed Indexed Annuities are monitored and regulated by the Department of Insurance of the state from which they are issued. The annuity is additionally protected by the financial strength and claims paying ability of the insurance carrier. Each state’s insurance regulator maintains jurisdiction over the insurance carrier and determines the specific amount and level of protection to which the individual is entitled.

Someone told me that my annuity has fees, is this true?

Current advisors will tell you that all annuities have fees. Variable annuities have fees that average 2.5% per year, but Fixed Indexed Annuities do not have any management or contract administration fees. The primary cost to a fixed annuity is committing the money for a period of time. The insurance company pays us and other advisors a commission which does not come from the client’s money; the commission is paid from the earnings of the insurance company. As long as you do not select an income rider or take withdrawals in excess of the penalty-free withdrawal amount, you will own your annuity and not incur any fees.

Where can I learn more about Fixed Index Annuities?

We strongly encourage you to visit the website of the National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) at

Can I liquidate my annuity?

There are many options available for withdrawing your money. The annuities we offer allow you to withdraw up to 10% after the first year – without penalty. In the event of premature death, your beneficiaries can choose to receive your annuity’s accumulated value as a monthly or lump sum payment.

Are there really rate caps that limit the gains I can make?

FIAs are designed to provide an increased level of protection against prolonged market downturns. Although the rate of growth is limited, your principal and subsequent market gains are not at risk of loss due to bear markets or weak economic conditions. If the index upon which your annuity is based performs well, you will receive a percentage of that growth. Should the market take a nosedive, your principal and interest earned will not be lost.

Aren't there other options with unlimited growth potential?

Yes, there are; however, most of these options carry with them the corresponding potential for unlimited loss. Retirement Thru Design has never had a client to lose one penny of their annuity product. Also, in addition to being free of management and administrative fees, fixed indexed annuities have the potential to earn more interest than traditional fixed annuities and other safe money alternatives.