Problems with Variable Annuities
Are Variable Annuities Right for You?
Retirement planning discussions these days often touch on annuities. Whether it’s a salesman’s pitch or a co-worker’s tip, you’ve likely heard of variable annuities. For decades, variable annuities were the darling of those who peddled retirement plans. No portfolio was complete without an annuity, the salesmen preached. There was method to their madness: just like life insurance, annuities pay large commissions. And just like life insurance, variable annuities are lackluster investments, if investments at all.
The variable annuity pitch always centers on the supposed low-risk quality of the product. While variable annuities, the logic continues, may not beat a market return, there’s an insurance component to the annuity that typically guarantees at least the amount of your purchases. Sounds good in theory: predictability of income with a guaranteed floor. And if it sounds complicated, rest assured it is. Indeed, variable annuities are one of the most complex insurance products on the market.
The complexity emerges slowly for policyholders. In the early years, the arrangement may seem fine: you’ve paid someone now to pay you back a larger sum in the future. But experience teaches that the sum may not be as large as you envision. And, what can be worse, getting any of your money back before maturity if you need it will come with very stiff surrender penalties. And even if you don’t need an early withdrawal, the fees start to increase as the contract matures and your return evaporates. Well, not really. It just passes into the waiting hands of the carrier.
Proceed with Caution
Be wary of complex variable annuities. Read articles such as the one found below. Resist high-pressured sales pitches. Resist quick decisions. Consult an independent financial consultant or counsel who is not compensated by sales commissions. Take your time and get professional help.
If you or a loved one purchased an annuity or other investment contract from which you or a loved one has experienced a financial loss (beyond that of reasonable investment risk) in California, contact the Evans Law Firm annuities, financial elder abuse, and fraud attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts, annuities, 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.
Some of the major annuity and life insurance providers in California are:
- Aviva/Athene/Accordia Life Insurance Company
- Transamerica Life Insurance Company
- John Hancock Life Insurance Company
- Bankers Life Insurance and Casualty company
- Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
- Midland Life Insurance Company
- North American Company for Life and Health Insurance
- Pacific Life Insurance Company
- Prudential Life Insurance Company
- Genworth Life Insurance Company
- ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company
- Lincoln Benefit Life Company
- Metlife/Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
- Unum Life Insurance Company of America
- Voya/Reliastar Life Insurance Company