The Downsides to Annuities for Seniors
Resist Hard Sell Tactics
Especially The “Free Lunch” Seminars!
By some estimates, American seniors hold two-thirds of the individual wealth in the United States. Insurance agents pursue senior consumers especially with insurance products like long-term deferred annuities. Every time an agent sells a contract he or she receives a sales commission. Our litigators recommend against annuities for any consumers, especially seniors because the commissions and fees are high and the contracts tie up your money for years. If you’re over 60 and live in Marin County or anywhere else in California and have suffered a loss due to cancellation, replacement, full or partial surrender, or fees on any type of annuity, call our California financial elder abuse and annuity attorneys. today at 415-441-8669 for a free review of your policy.
Agents use high-pressure sales pitches, seminars, and telemarketing to pitch annuities. Beware of agents who “cold call” you, offer you a free lunch, contact you repeatedly, offer “limited time offers,” show up without an appointment, or won’t meet with you if your family is present. Many of these questionable sales practices violate California law. See, e.g., Cal. Ins Code §§ 785-789. In any event,avoid high-pressure sales seminars and promises of guarantees too good to be true – they always are. If you are considering an annuity here are some tips you should keep in mind:
• Pay attention to annual maintenance costs. Fees on annuities can cost 50-100 percent more than mutual fund fees.
• Avoid contracts that offer a premium bonus. This is a phantom benefit that neither you nor your heirs are ever likely to realize. “Bonuses” are often just marketing gimmicks.
• Know that annuities are illiquid; withdrawals are subject to surrender charges and tax penalties. Under some contracts surrender periods last as long as ten years and penalties can be as high as 15%.
• Consult your tax professional before you buy or surrender an annuity. Every annuity transaction has tax consequences.
• Review any proposal with a professional with nothing to gain from your purchase.
Our litigators know from experience that annuity owners are often hit by hidden costs and withdrawal penalties when their policies go into effect. Agents gloss over costs and details and may not themselves understand how a complicated annuity performs over time. The problem is compounded by the fact that once you’re sold an annuity you cannot get out of it without paying a withdrawal penalty and a tax on the amount withdrawn.
If you or a loved one has suffered loss on an annuity in California, contact Marin, San Francisco and California annuity and financial elder abuse attorney Ingrid M. Evans and the other attorneys at Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. 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.
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
Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company
Athene Annuity and Life Company
Aviva Life Insurance Company
AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC
AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company/AXA US
AXA Advisors, LLC
Brighthouse Financial, Inc./MetLife
EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company
Genworth Financial, Inc.
Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company
Genworth 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
Metlife/Metropolitan Life Insurance Company/Brighthouse Financial, Inc.
Minnesota Life Insurance Company
Nationwide Investor Services Corporation (NISC)
Nationwide Life and Annuity Insurance Company
Nationwide Life Insurance Company
New York Life Insurance Company
Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company
Pacific Life & Annuity Company
Pacific Life Insurance Company
Security Benefit Corporation
Security Benefit Group, Inc.
Security Benefit Life Insurance Company/Guggenheim Partners
Security Investors, LLC
Security of Denver Life Insurance Company/Voya
Transamerica Life Insurance Company
Voya Financial Advisors
Voya/Reliastar Life Insurance Company
World Financial Group Insurance Agency, Inc.