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Life Newsletter - November 2023

Volume 5, Number 50


  • ANNUITY 101


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This month’s newsletter is devoted entirely to annuities.


The first article (Annuity 101) contains a list of ten questions and answers so can learn about the basics.


The second article contains a video demonstrating how annuities helped one retiree maintain her independence.


The final article outlines five advantages of combining annuities and life insurance for retirement.


People are living longer and healthier lives, with retirement looking less like a slowdown than a new chapter in life. A change in how retirement looks and how long it lasts also means exploring how you can make your savings and income from varied sources last as long as you do. That’s where annuities come in. They can help you create a guaranteed income stream you won’t outlive.


If you feel you don’t really understand annuities, you’re not alone. In fact, according to the 2023 Insurance Barometer Study conducted by Life Happens, 64% of people say a reason for not owning one is simply because they don’t understand them. If this is you, these ten Questions and Answers can help you get a handle on the basics, before you reach out to discuss the topic with an insurance or financial professional.

How can an annuity help me?

Do I need an annuity?

What kind of annuity is right for me?

What are the benefits of annuities?

What if I buy an annuity and my needs change?

How much do annuities cost and are there fees involved?

What are some other important considerations?

Are annuities safe?

What happens to my annuity when I pass away?

Where can I buy an annuity?


Thanks to the strategies that Linda Billings put in place for her retirement, with the help of her insurance professional, she doesn’t have to work. As part of the planning they did, Linda purchased several annuities, which now cover 100% of her current and anticipated monthly expenses.


“I don’t worry when I get into bed. I don’t fret about my financial situation anymore,” says Linda. “How many people headed for retirement are able to say that?”



This article by Shawn Plummer, appeared on June 12, 2023 in Life Happens.


Preparing for your retirement needs careful planning to ensure you get the right benefits after years of hard work. Combining annuities and life insurance can be one way to achieve a comprehensive plan that sets you on the right track for a relaxing retirement.


You can use both annuities and life insurance as part of your retirement strategy. This approach delivers several benefits, depending on your specific financial situation.


What Are Annuities and Life Insurance?


First, let’s look at the two options. With an annuity, you pay a regular premium in exchange for a guaranteed stream of income to cover your living expenses during your retirement. This could be for a fixed length of time or for the rest of your life—you can choose from different types of annuities to match your financial capacity.


Meanwhile, life insurance helps your loved ones manage financially after your passing. You pay a premium in exchange for a death benefit. Your beneficiaries will receive cash when you die to cover any expenses they need to, like paying for your funeral, replacing lost income, covering debts and more.


1. Guaranteed Income and Death Benefit


Combining annuities and life insurance can give you a reliable source of income during your retirement years, as well as a death benefit for your beneficiaries after you die. You have the option to use a portion of your life insurance policy’s premiums to purchase an annuity, allowing you to maximize your coverage.


Purchasing what’s known as a period-certain annuity offers a similar benefit. This type of annuity provides guaranteed income within a certain period, such as 10 years. If you pass away during that period, your beneficiaries will continue to receive your income until its expiration. Compare this to a conventional life annuity, which pays out until you die (an uncertain period of time).


It’s important to work with a qualified insurance professional to identify the best ways to combine annuities and life insurance.


2. Tax Advantages


Both annuities and life insurance policies offer tax advantages that contribute to improving your retirement plan.


Annuities offer tax-deferred growth, which eliminates the need to pay taxes on your earnings until you withdraw them, reducing your tax liability while your annuity increases in value. Meanwhile, life insurance proceeds are generally income-tax-free for your beneficiaries.


3. Diversification


Uniting your annuity and life insurance diversifies your retirement portfolio. Annuities let you forecast and conserve your source of income, while life insurance assures a potential lump sum payout to your beneficiaries.


This diversification helps manage risk and protects your retirement savings from market fluctuations. It further balances your retirement planning and asset management.


4. Estate Planning


You can use life insurance as part of your estate planning strategy to transfer your wealth to your heirs in a tax-efficient manner. Combining annuities and life insurance further provides you with a comprehensive estate plan covering both lifetime income generation and a legacy for your loved ones.


Other than the smooth transfer of wealth, you can expect the following benefits:

  • Improve control over the distribution of assets after death.
  • Avoid probate, which makes the processing of death benefits time-consuming and expensive.
  • Minimize estate and other taxes that may be due upon your death.
  • Use annuity payments to cover ongoing expenses.
  • Ensure the fair share of the inheritance.


5. Peace of Mind


Overall, both annuities and life insurance promote peace of mind for you and your loved ones. If you want to know for certain that you won’t run out of money in retirement, annuities can help. And with life insurance, you can be assured that your loved ones will be financially protected when you die.


Having both annuities and life insurance gives you more flexibility and control over your financial assets. More importantly, this approach helps address your care costs, bills, debts and other financial expenses.


Retirement should be carefree and relaxing—financial certainty is a key part of making sure you can enjoy this period of your life. Working with a qualified insurance professional is the best method when considering annuities and life insurance. Your insurance professional will explain your options and guide you to a solution that maximizes these advantages. 

About Paul Cholak

Paul has over forty years of benefits experience and has been Director of Employee Benefits for large companies, as well as a benefits consultant with major consulting firms. He understands the life and health insurance needs of individuals and families of all ages. He also has considerable experience in selling life and health insurance to employer groups.

He guides you through the steps of getting insurance and is available to help you both BEFORE and AFTER you've made your purchase decision.
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