Sep 3, 2019 by |

California and San Francisco Annuity and Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Annuity Downsides

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Annuities Are Complex and Expensive

Your Money Is Tied Up For Years

Our lawyers recommend you always beware when an insurance agent tries to sell you annuities or life insurance, particularly if you’re a senior. Annuities are complicated insurance products with a lot of red flags for consumers: sales commissions on annuities are high, contract fees are high, enhanced benefits are rarely beneficial in practice, and any money tied up in an annuity can be withdrawn only by paying a hefty penalty in the “surrender” period for the annuity, which can be as long as 15 years.  Withdrawals are also subject to tax at ordinary income rates.  To top it off, the Obama Administration’s initiative to hold advisors to a higher standard of conduct has been scrapped by the current administration.  As one industry watcher put it, “the door is still wide open for unscrupulous agents to sell products that are a poor fit for clients.”[1]

The San Francisco annuity and financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent consumers, often seniors, who have lost money through high commissions and fees, withdrawal charges and tax bills as a result of the sales and exchanges of inappropriate annuities and life insurance. If you or someone you know is over 60 and lives in San Francisco or elsewhere in California and is a victim of annuity fraud, call us today at 415-441-8669.

If you are considering an annuity be sure to consult with your tax advisor before making any purchase as purchases, replacements (exchanges of one contract for another), and withdrawals all have tax consequences. Weigh of the risks presented in what an agent tries to sell you. Be sure to consider:

  1. Illiquidity – Your money will be tied up for years in an annuity and any withdrawals will be subject to withdrawal penalties and tax.
  2. Dying early – If you die before annuity payments kick in you will lose the income benefits you were sold. Death benefits to your heirs may be reduced or eliminated by any early withdrawals you make.
  3. Company risk – Annuities are not insured investments like CDs, bank deposits or securities accounts. The carrier’s promise to pay is only as good as the company’s word.
  4. Inflation – Rising inflation will reduce the spending power of the annuity payments promised for the future.

Never allow yourself to be pressured into a purchase. Avoid tactics like “free lunch” seminars; the end result can be a sale of an expensive annuity or life insurance policy that you do not need and which can wipe out savings through fees, penalties and low growth. 

Contact Us

If you or a loved one been the victim of this kind of annuity fraud or financial elder abuse in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other Evans Law Firm annuity fraud attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>. California law provides injured seniors with restitution (getting your money back), extra damages (to punish the fraudulent conduct) and awards of attorneys’ fees and costs to the senior forced to bring an action against the wrongdoers. If you have suffered a loss from this kind of agent/advisor misconduct, the lawyers at Evans Law Firm will work with you to see  those responsible for your loss pay up.  Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies.  We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement.  We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.

Annuities and life insurance produce large sales commissions for brokers but are often inappropriate products for consumers, especially seniors. Leading providers and distributors of life insurance and fixed, variable and fixed indexed deferred annuities in California are listed below.  We are not in any way suggesting that any of these carriers or distributors has done anything wrong.  Rather, the list is provided solely as a reference for our readers.

AIG/American General Life Insurance Company

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company

American General Life Insurance Company/AIG

American International Group, Inc. (AIG)

American National Life Insurance Company

Ameriprise Financial/RiverSource Life Insurance Company

Ameriprise Financial/Securities America, Inc.

Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company

Athene Annuity and Life Company

Athene USA

Aviva Life Insurance Company

AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company/AXA US

AXA Advisors, LLC

Bankers Life Insurance and Casualty Company

Berkshire Hathaway Group

Berkshire Hathaway Life Insurance Company of Nebraska

Brighthouse Financial, Inc./MetLife

Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.

Crump Life Insurance Services, Inc.

CUNA Mutual Group/CMFG Life Insurance Company

Delaware Life Insurance Company

EquiTrust Life Insurance Company

Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company

Forethought Life Insurance Company/Global Atlantic Financial Group

Genworth Financial, Inc.

Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company

Genworth Life Insurance Company

Global Atlantic Financial Group/Forethought Life Insurance Company

Guardian Life Insurance Company

Guggenheim Partners, LLC

Guggenheim Partners/Security Benefit Life Insurance Company

ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company

Jackson National Life Insurance Company

John Hancock Life Insurance Company

Lincoln Benefit Life Company

Lincoln Financial Group

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company

Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc.

Metlife/Metropolitan Life Insurance Company/Brighthouse Financial, Inc.

Minnesota Life Insurance Company

National Life Group

National Life Insurance Company/Equity Services, Inc.

National Western Life Insurance Company

Nationwide Life Insurance Company

New York Life Insurance Company

North American Company for Life and Health Insurance

Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company

Oxford Life Insurance Company

Pacific Life Insurance Company

Principal Financial Group

Prudential Life Insurance Company

Raymond James Insurance Group

Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company/Tokio Marine Group

RiverSource Life Insurance Company/Ameriprise Financial

Securities America, Inc./Ameriprise Financial

Security Benefit Corporation

Security Benefit Group, Inc.

Security Benefit Life Insurance Company/Guggenheim Partners

Security Investors, LLC

The Standard Life Insurance Company

Symetra Financial Corporation

Symetra Life Insurance Company

Transamerica Life Insurance Company

The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York

Unum Life Insurance Company of America

USAA Life Insurance Company

The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company

 Voya/Reliastar Life Insurance Company

Wells Fargo Advisors

Western & Southern Financial Group

The Western & Southern Life Insurance Company

World Financial Group Insurance Agency, Inc.

 

[1] David Blanchett, head of retirement research at Morningstar, a leading independent investment research firm.  Mr. Blanchett was quoted in a recent Barron’s article “What to Watch Out For When Buying an Annuity” by Karen Hube.  You can read her July 19, 2019 article here: https://www.barrons.com/articles/what-to-watch-out-for-when-buying-an-annuity-51563581054.

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"I contacted Attorney Ingrid Evans for advice about a financial elder abuse case. She was extremely knowledgeable, bright and informative. I highly recommend her. I am an attorney myself, and know when I am talking to a another excellent attorney."