FIXED ANNUITIES POPULAR

September 16, 2008

Many physician-investors lookingto lock-in retirement incomehave turned their backs on stocksand bonds, and are putting cashinto fixed annuities instead. Unlikea variable annuity, which can fluctuatewith market ups and downs, afixed annuity pays a guaranteed rateof interest for the life of the policy.The average fixed-annuity rate isnow hovering just below 4%, comparedwith the anemic returns onmoney market funds, which arebarely beating inflation. You can buyan annuity for a set period, thenlater opt to take your money in alump sum or choose a lifetimeannuity payment. On the downsideare stiff surrender charges if youtake out your cash before the termis up and a 10% penalty from theIRS if you take it out before age 59 1/2.

Many physician-investors lookingto lock-in retirement incomehave turned their backs on stocksand bonds, and are putting cashinto fixed annuities instead. Unlikea variable annuity, which can fluctuatewith market ups and downs, afixed annuity pays a guaranteed rateof interest for the life of the policy.The average fixed-annuity rate isnow hovering just below 4%, comparedwith the anemic returns onmoney market funds, which arebarely beating inflation. You can buyan annuity for a set period, thenlater opt to take your money in alump sum or choose a lifetimeannuity payment. On the downsideare stiff surrender charges if youtake out your cash before the termis up and a 10% penalty from theIRS if you take it out before age 59 1/2.


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