Guaranteed Lifetime Income Benefits for Fixed Index Annuities in Retirement

Troy Sharpe: Do you have enough? Can you retire? How long will your money last, and if something happens to you will your family be okay? These are the big questions that millions of people just like you struggle with leading into retirement and even in retirement. Continuing along with our annuity series, we’re going to talk about the guaranteed lifetime income feature to these financial planning tools. You’re going to understand the pros, the cons, the questions you need to ask, and you’re going to be more educated to make better decisions and understand if this financial tool could be a part of your overall retirement strategy.

Troy Sharpe: Hi, I’m Troy Sharpe, CEO of Oak Harvest Financial Group, certified financial planner, professional host to The Retirement Income Show, and also a certified tax specialist. I’m really excited about today’s video because we’re starting to get into the meat and potatoes of what can make these contracts so powerful. In the previous two, we talked about the accumulation potential or the growth engine of the fixed indexed annuity, but millions of people don’t buy it necessarily for the growth potential, they buy it for the guaranteed lifetime income features.

When you look at all the products that are on the marketplace, there are some very simple and key things to understand to help identify which products work best for your particular situation. Now, there’s a caveat here. Rates are constantly changing. Almost every single month, we get different companies that offer more income versus others. Today, again, it’s a primer, it’s meant to be educational, and help you understand the pros, the cons, what you need to know so you can ask good questions when shopping for guaranteed lifetime income strategies as a part of your overall retirement plan.

First, I want to lay some groundwork. I want to look at why guaranteed lifetime income can be attractive for many people in the country. We all know that we’re living longer. Now this white paper, which we’re going to have a link in the description, which you’ll be able to go through was put together a couple of years ago. First and foremost, I want to talk about life expectancy. On average, men who have reached age 65, can expect to live until age 84.3, while females who have reached age 65 live an average of 86.7 years.

Now, when we talk about averages, we have to take into account that this does take into consideration people that are still smoking, people that necessarily don’t work out or eat healthy and may pass away at 67, 70, 72. If you’re healthy and take care of yourself, you don’t smoke, you don’t drink a ton, there’s a good chance that you will live past these ages. We’re living longer as a society. If you look here, about 25% of today’s 65-year-olds will live past age 90, and about 10% will live past age 95. Just today on the way in to record this video, I was walking out of the building and a client was walking in.

I hadn’t met him before but he said, “Troy, I want to introduce myself.” The first thing he tells me was that his mother had just passed away last week and she was 100 years old. A coincidence that I’m doing this video today, but he tells me that she had dementia and she was struggling for some time but she was very lucid at times. What he experienced was it was somewhat of a financial drain on his family because they had to pay for resources that she needed, people to help keep up the house, people to help take care of her. Not to mention she had increased medical expenses because of her condition.

That’s one of the aspects of why guaranteed lifetime income can be attractive for some people. I love this first sentence here. Living longer doesn’t necessarily mean we’re living better. Truth of the matter is if we do live longer than those averages, we may not have the highest quality of life, but it doesn’t mean we don’t need money, we don’t need income. Matter of fact, health care is a larger and larger part of the overall budget as we age. Fidelity did a study in 2018 that a retired couple age 65 may need approximately $280,000 to cover healthcare expenses.

That includes co-pays, deductibles, insurance premiums, out-of-pocket costs. It does not include long-term care costs. In 1960, the average person spent only $146 annually on healthcare. In 2016, that number was $10,345 adjusted for inflation. That’s nine times higher than they were in 1960. Healthcare is one of the expenditures that in every other part of society technology typically leads to lower costs. Think about big-screen televisions, they used to be huge, they used to cost a ton, now they’re much smaller, much more powerful, and they’re much, much cheaper.

Technology in the healthcare industry extends our lives and believe it or not, even if we’re healthy the longer we live, the more we spend on healthcare expenses. Underneath this quote right here, it says healthcare is the only civil system where new technology makes prices go up instead of going down. Think about technology in electronics for example, big screen televisions. They used to be huge, they used to cost a ton of money. Now you can get them relatively smaller and flat screen and they’re much more inexpensive.

What technology does in the healthcare industry is it extends our lives, and even though you’re healthy, because you’re living a longer life, typically healthier people tend to spend more in healthcare because they have such extended longevity. Before we get into today’s video, just a couple quick stats on long-term care. On average, 52% of Americans turning 65 will need long-term care. 46% of them will be men and 57.5% of them will be women. Now, Genworth did a study in 2017 that the median cost can range from $45,000 to $97,000 per year. These are just median numbers.

Your particular situation matters. Many of you may know my story with my grandparents, and so what got me into the retirement planning industry. After I finished college, my grandfather had two aortic aneurysms. My grandparents raised me for those that don’t know and had to be airlifted from where they retired in Murphy, North Carolina to Chattanooga, Tennessee to perform surgery. It was overnight process. It was a nine hour procedure. Survival rate was 50%, but he survived, but he suffered hypoxia in the brain which- essentially a lack of oxygen during the surgery and when he awoke, he had symptoms quite similar to a stroke victim. We had to go through speech therapy.
We had to do physical therapy because his arms, legs atrophied. He had a bed sore on his coccyx back here about the size of a half dollar. You could actually see the spine. We had to go to a nursing home, was $10,000 a month for several months. Then we had to bring him home for home healthcare and that was $40,000 a month. That was two nurses in 12 hour shifts working 24 hours a day and that went on for six months for my grandparents. I’ll never forget, I asked my grandmother if she had a plan, if what the advisor was doing, what the plan was because I was concerned about her running out of money.

She said, “Troy, I don’t care how much money it takes as long as we do what we can to get him better.” That was my first real lesson that when it comes to medical expenses, especially if you’re taking care of someone, if you’re a caregiver for someone you love, you don’t care how much money it takes. You just want that person better, and I’ve seen that in my career play out many different times over the years. A few years ago, there was a study done by Allianz Life Insurance Company and the study results were 75% of people, three out of four retirees, their biggest fear was not dying, it was running out of money while living. Healthcare costs do play a large role into that fear.
Today’s video is we talk about guaranteed lifetime income strategies. Part of the benefit of these tools is not necessarily what they do, it’s the peace of mind that they provide. It’s the security that they can provide. Now I’m sure most of you know that the purpose of having a guaranteed lifetime income is to make sure that you have income coming in every single month, as long as you and your spouse are alive. We have, this is the main purpose, but in the financial industry, oftentimes you’ll hear advisors talk about this three legged stool.
For decades in this country, with social security combined with your pension and savings, this was able to get your parents and your grandparents through retirement because the savings, they could earn 8%, 10%, 12% pretty easily on either CDs or government bonds. That’s not necessarily the case anymore. Pensions no longer exist for most of you. Now, if you’re a federal employee or a state employee or here in Houston, a lot of oil and gas companies for long tenured employees still have pensions being offered, but for most of you, pensions no longer are a choice.

What we want to do in retirement, it’s just a basic tenet of retirement planning is have multiple streams of income, whether it’s from real estate, whether it’s from dividends, whether it’s from social security, any type of investment that gives you income is typically good for security and retirement because without income, there is no retirement. Without the pension, the lifetime income feature from an annuity does become an alternative to consider. We’re big fans in multiple streams of income. The more income you have from my experience, the more secure you are and there have been many studies shown that people who have a pension or an annuity for a guaranteed lifetime income are typically more happy in retirement and less concerned about the stock market.

Another benefit of a guaranteed lifetime income stream in retirement is that it dissociates market performance from the amount of income that you have. We want you to be in the market. You need to be in the market with a certain percentage of your portfolio which is determined by your situation, your risk tolerance, et cetera, but it is hard to absolutely plan around what the market is going to do in any given year. When it comes to income planning with the stock market, it does create some uncertainty because things beyond our control can completely blow that plan up.

If you have a million dollars you can take x amount of income but then if the market crashes, all of a sudden the market performance can affect your lifestyle, the amount of income you can take. One of the benefits or one of the purposes of a lifetime income strategy is to separate the performance of your portfolio from your lifestyle, from the amount of income that you live on. Of course, the purpose also is to help protect against outliving your money. These are some of the things that a lifetime income strategy can do for you, but what does this mean for you?

In my experience, I’ve seen that it does help people feel more comfortable and happier in retirement to have income deposited into their bank account no matter what the stock market is doing on a monthly basis. I’ve also found that it helps people feel more comfortable with spending money today, because they know they have a certain amount of income should they spend too much or should the market not perform on the back end of their plan that they don’t have to worry about running out, they don’t have to worry about being under a bridge and being completely homeless.

Okay, now we’re going to jump into how the guaranteed lifetime income feature works, how it’s calculated, and what you need to know when navigating the marketplace or when working with a financial advisor. If you watched the previous videos in this series, and this is a series designed to be watched from beginning to end, we talked about the fixed indexed annuity and the growth mechanism. The engine inside the indexed account that allows it to grow or gives it the opportunity and potential for growth. In that video, I put a T-chart up here and I said we’re just going to focus on the accumulation value today and learn how that works and everything you need to understand.

I said we’re going to come back to this other side in a future video when we talk about guaranteed lifetime income. Well, now we’re in that future video. To recap, the accumulation value, you make a deposit just like any other account and if you take money out, it’ll reduce that account balance, it will grow by some amount which we don’t necessarily know. They’re designed to average 3-6% on the principal growth side, but we don’t know exactly what that is going to be worth in 10 years, just like we don’t know what our stock account or any other account will be worth. The fixed indexed annuity has this feature. It’s a rider typically that you can attach to the contract and it’s called an income account.

The purpose of it is to guarantee that at some point in the future you have a pool of money that is much larger than what you deposited in order to withdraw an income from. That income will be guaranteed to last as long as you are alive. Let’s say your accumulation value over here averages 5%. That’s excellent. For a safe vehicle no market risk that’s good. Could average three, could average four, could average six. The income account value is a pre-determined guaranteed rate of growth. One of the most common numbers out there is 7% guaranteed growth. Many people may say, “Troy, well 7%, that’s too good to be true.”

Well, the catch is, whatever this account grows to at 7% you can’t just walk away with it. That’s not the purpose. It’s designed to ensure that you have a much larger pool of money to withdraw an income from and that income will be guaranteed for as long as you’re alive. Most of the companies out there in the marketplace today will guarantee this interest rate will compound for up to 10 full years. That means at the end of 10 years roughly we know we’re going to have about a $600,000 pool of money fully guaranteed no matter what the stock market does during that time frame, from which or from where we can withdraw a guaranteed lifetime income. This is the basic premise, but there’s more to the story.

If I were to ask you is 9% better than 7%? Some company out there or some contract was offering 9% guaranteed growth on the income account, is that better than 7%? Well the simple answer, if you look at it through a vacuum, is yes, 9% is better than 7%, but we have to understand that this is just one part of the equation when it comes to calculating what your guaranteed lifetime income will be. Remember, the only purpose to do this is because you want an income for life that is independent of stock market performance. You want to make sure if you run out of your other funds that you still have income.

The only thing that matters is how much income will I receive if I put x amount of dollars into the strategy. While 9% may grow to a higher number, whatever this number is the income account value we then have to multiply it by a distribution rate. This is what you might see in the marketplace. It’s important to point out that there are hundreds of companies out there. This is just an example, this is not standard across every single contract, some companies have higher or lower growth percentages. Some companies have higher and lower distribution rates. What we might see is if you just want the income guaranteed for your life only, a single lifetime pension, guaranteed lifetime paycheck.
You multiply in this example, to get the income amount you’ll receive, you multiply the income account value by the distribution rate. If you’re 60, 4.5%, if you want a guarantee it for you and your spouse’s life, you multiply it by a little bit lower number, because the insurance company is going to guarantee the income for two lives. If you’re age 65, you multiply it by 5, you multiply it on joint by 4.5%. Some companies will increase this distribution rate, so 4.6 at 61, 4.7 at 62, et cetera, some do it on age banded brackets, as we see here.

Most important part when you’re looking at these strategies is to look at them as part of a larger plan. This is just a tool. Once you have a plan in place, it sure makes it easier to identify what’s the best strategy to complement the rest of your plan, such as your stock portfolio, bonds, et cetera. Okay, so now a simple example. If our income account value grew to $600,000, and we had a distribution rate of 5%, our guaranteed lifetime income is $30,000 per year. Pretty simple. Before I move on to some comparative examples, we’re going to look at immediate annuities, we’re going to look at an investment portfolio, we’re going to do some comparisons.

I want to put everything that we’ve talked about so far, I want to bring it together for you. Accumulation value, we make a deposit of $300,000, hypothetically, let’s say the account grows to 450,000. Again, with fixed indexed annuities, your principals are 100% safe, you’ll never lose if the market goes down. In exchange for that safety, you’re typically going to average 3, 4, or 5, maybe 6% with the best growth opportunities out there. We have seen clients make double-digit returns, but the market has to perform well. You have to have a crediting method on cap that allows that to happen. We want to keep it simple, though, let’s assume over a 10-year period it grows to 450.

The income account is guaranteed at 7%. To make it simple, it grows to 600,000. Many contracts out there will say whatever is higher, whenever you decide to take income, the contractor will get what we call a step up. If the accumulation value is higher than your guaranteed lifetime income account, then your lifetime income will be based off the higher of the two values, but do not expect that to happen. Insurance companies base their reserves that the Department of Insurance requires them to have, if you remember back to the first video, there’s a dollar-for-dollar legal reserve system.

There are certain very stringent rules that life insurance companies must follow to make sure they can use that word, guarantee. They base their reserves, they base everything they do on the guarantees. It’s very unlikely that the accumulation value will ever outgrow the income account value. Now, during the accumulation phase, typically there’s going to be a fee for this 7% guaranteed growth. This is an important concept. The average in the industry is around 1%. Some of them might be 0.8, 0.9, 1, 1.1%. That’s about the average. The impact of the fee is calculated typically off this higher income account value.

Let’s say in year 2, it’s 350,000 at a 1% annual fee, that’s a $3,500 in real dollars fee. That fee does not reduce the income account value. This is a guaranteed calculation, it does come out of the accumulation value. Not all contracts do it this way. Some will calculate the fee based on the accumulation value. That’s a more consumer-friendly structure. Most companies will calculate the fee of the higher income account value. Of course, it always gets deducted from the accumulation value. Now, this fee does not reduce the amount of guaranteed lifetime income. That was a math problem. It’s a calculation.

The impact that it has is it reduces the amount of money that is left if you should pass away early to go to your beneficiaries. This is a real-world example actually. Right now the number one income-producing contract on the market if you put $300,000 in, this is a single male who wants to take income at 70 years old $300,000 fully guaranteed will get him $35,055 per year for life. Hypothetically, assuming this accumulation value grows to $450,000, every single time a yearly income payment is made, it will reduce the accumulation value. The fee that comes out will reduce the accumulation value. Any interest earned will increase the accumulation value.

This is a big difference between immediate annuities or other annuities that you have to do what’s called annuitize. Your principal can still earn interest. Just because we’ve activated our guaranteed lifetime income principal does not stop earning interest. There may be some questions about that, feel free to put them in the comment, but we’re going to continue to go through in this series more examples and you’re going to get or gain more and more familiarity with how these contracts actually work. I do want to point out that I’m speaking in generalities here. I’m not talking about any specific company, any specific contract.

I’m just trying to educate you so you understand what you need to know about how these operate, and also what the pros and cons are. Now we want to compare what we just talked about, a deferred income annuity, with what we call a SPIA, or a single premium immediate annuity. Single premium deferred annuity, this is the fixed indexed annuity with that income rider attached to it that we just talked about. This is a single premium immediate annuity. Single premium, both of them same thing. It means you make one investment, one purchase payment, and you have a guaranteed lifetime income contract.

The difference is, this one immediately, the I immediately starts giving you an income, typically in 30 days. This one is a deferred income annuity. In my example, we deferred it out for 10 years. Again, why don’t we defer it out for 10 years? A couple of reasons. As part of a plan, we’re getting a guaranteed growth rate for every year we defer. Additionally, the distribution rate is increasing every single year we defer it. I have the numbers up here on the board but first I wanted to show you what the sheet here is. This is a quote tool that we use. If someone calls us and says, “Troy, I want an immediate annuity.” We’re an independent company so we don’t work with any one particular company.

Our job is just to find out what’s out there and help our clients get into the most amount of income possible. This is what we ran. Again, we’re looking at a 60-year-old male single lifetime income with what we call a 10-year period certain. That means if he makes his $300,000 investment and then gets hit by a bus the next day, that 10-year certain means that someone, a beneficiary, will receive a payment for 10 years. With the fixed indexed annuity, if he makes the investment, and it’s in the deferral stage where it’s growing, and then he gets hit by a bus, the full account value, the amount he put in plus any interest minus any withdrawals or fees is the death benefit that will go directly to whomever he named as a beneficiary.

What we want to do is compare the pros and cons of the immediate annuity with a deferred income annuity. By the time you’re watching this video, all these numbers will probably be different. This was a quote we ran, $300,000 income immediately, Nationwide actually came up number one. One thing to point out here you see Nationwide is about $90 above the number two company out there for immediate annuities. Nationwide is well aware of what the marketplace is paying. I don’t want to call it a promotion necessarily, but this is how insurance companies attract business.

They increase their rates. They make their strategies more attractive. Then once they hit their quota, and they get towards the end of the year, sometimes this will happen, they’ll decrease rates. They’ll make their products less attractive, and that helps them manage their books. Again, it helps them manage their reserves. By the time you’re watching this video, whatever is down here at the bottom may actually be the number one. Nationwide, which right now is number one for this particular scenario, it may actually be number six. A little insight into how the insurance industry works. If we took that 1653 it’s $19,836 per year, over a 30-year period, that immediate annuity will pay $595,000.
If he passes away after the 10th year, that 10 year certain, there is no more death benefit because he’s past the 10-year option. He received 10 years of payments. The single premium deferred annuity that we’re talking about in this video, if he defers for 10 years, the guaranteed lifetime income, the same situation right now, this is the number one in the marketplace for this particular situation may not be by the time you’re watching this video, or if you’re a different age, it may be a different number, income-wise, but over the next 20 years, because you defer for 10, receive income for 20, not only do you have a much higher lifetime income, but you’ll receive more over the same timeframe, over $105,000 more over the same timeframe.

Is one necessarily better than the other? No, I don’t like the term better. They’re just different. They have different purposes. They fit differently inside a plan. The important part is to understand what those differences are and help identify which is best for your plan. Okay, just a midway review here. We’ve talked about how the index annuity works when you add an income rider to it, the guaranteed growth, how that impacts the accumulation value, how the accumulation value is calculated with withdrawals coming out, if there’s any fee and then interest gains, adding back to that value.

We’ve compared it to a single premium immediate annuity, pointed out the differences between the deferred fixed index annuity with rider versus the immediate annuity, which pays you immediately. Now, I want to get across this point that these tools are not a replacement for your stock portfolio. The single premium deferred annuity, the fixed indexed annuity with income rider, it should complement your investment portfolio. Just because it has these certain benefits, we’re still big believers that you should have some money in the stock market long term. The stock market has proven time and time again, that it’s the best place to grow your assets over long periods of time.

In the short term, the stock market can be volatile. When your accounts drop, a lot of times people become fearful. They become uncertain about the future. They start to spend less. We want your quality of life to maintain throughout retirement and that’s why what we’re talking about today should not be considered a replacement for the stocks in your portfolio. They could be considered a replacement for the bonds and the CDs or the money you don’t have really doing much, but either way, they should complement your investment portfolio.

With that said, I do want to do a quick comparison to show you the power of the fixed indexed annuity with an income rider when we’re talking about income planning because when it comes to the stock market, we have no idea what it’s going to be worth in the future. If we plan on a certain amount of income, those plans could be upended due to poor performance. With the fixed indexed annuity, we’re income planning. We know exactly what that income is going to be in the future. We can plan around that with the other choices we’re making with our spending, our investment risk tolerance, and everything else in our life.

We are going to look at a 55-year-old person with $300,000, and I just want to do a comparison. Keep in mind, it’s not to replace the stocks it’s to complement the stocks, but this does a really good job of showing the power of the indexed annuity with an income rider. Okay, so we have four different scenarios here. I’ve put the indexed annuity at the top row. All of this is hypothetical growth for the annuity, and this is a stock portfolio. It could be stock bonds, could be any combination of assets, but it’s your investment portfolio. I put the estimated value in 10 years, based on this growth rate, the amount of income that can be withdrawn with the annuity, it’s fully guaranteed, and then the investment portfolio utilizing the 4% rule.

Then we’ll talk about this last column in a minute. Hypothetical 3% growth in the annuity accumulation value or the investment portfolio, 3%. It grows to 403,000 in 10 years. Now, a lot of times people think that the market always is going to average 7, 8, maybe 10, or 11%, depending on who you’re listening to over long periods of time. The truth is from 2000 to 2009, the market was actually averaging negative per year. 2000 was a horrible year to retire. 2001, ’02, the market was down, ’08 everything collapsed. If you retired in 2000, there’s a very good chance that you struggled during that 10-year period.

2009 was an excellent time to retire because the market started to rebound and then over the next 10-year period, it averaged doubled digits per year. We don’t know, it is possible that we could have a stock market performance of 3% over the next 10 years, especially as interest rates rise and the federal reserve does what we call a quantitative tightening. Typically whenever that happens, the market does struggle. Either way, I want to do the comparison so you have an idea of what tools can help complement your income if that is a concern of yours.
At 7%, the account grows to 590. At 10% per year for 10 years, the account grows to 778, but utilizing the 4% rule at age 65, we see comparatively speaking, how much income each portfolio could provide given these three growth rates, and then we can compare that income to what is fully guaranteed with no market risk from the deferred income annuity. When I talk about complementing, this is what I mean. We have no idea what the market’s going to do, but if it does average 3% or 7%, the money in the annuity not only eliminates that market risk and uncertainty, it provides a substantially higher amount of income, it’s guaranteed for as long as you’re alive and there’s no risk for the remaining years of your lifetime of poor performance causing that account to exhaust and then there’s no more income.

With the indexed annuity income example here, even if you’ve received so many income payments that your accumulation value goes to zero, the lifetime income is still guarantee, you still receive that income as long as you’re alive. Now, this is percent of the original investment, percent of the original deposit, so in all of these examples, we deposited $300,000. No market risk, fully guaranteed 32,055 is 10.7% of your original deposit annually, no market risk for as long as you’re alive. Pretty self explanatory here with the other three scenarios, 5.4%, 7.9, 10.4. I hope the market does 10% a year, I hope it does 15% per year, but the question is what if it doesn’t perform at those levels?
Where are you getting your income from? How does that impact your lifestyle? Does that jeopardize your quality of life or standard of living and the big one is if something happens to you, will your spouse be okay? Will it jeopardize his or her standard of living? A lot of uncertainty with the stock market. It doesn’t mean we avoid it, we absolutely need to have money there. This is just a financial tool that can help complement the portfolio while also removing uncertainty, increasing security and from my experience, helping people generally be more happy in retirement.

Before I jump into the last part of this video, the question ultimately comes down to, what do you value? That’s it. This is the math that shows how much income and how that income is calculated but for me, the math is almost irrelevant. Mathematically, it can make a lot of sense but my concern is how does this impact your quality of life, your happiness, your security. I’ve had clients before that said, “Troy, I hate annuities. I won’t touch annuities, don’t ever talk to me about them,” and that’s okay if they feel that way but those same people a lot of times are scared to death to spend money because they have it all in stocks and bonds and they’re afraid they either will run out.

They don’t know what it’ll be worth down the road and they simply can’t plan, so it creates a bit of paralysis. Throw everything else out the window. A lot of the decisions that we make in retirement comes down to, what do you value? Is it security? Is it peace of mind? Is it knowing that no matter what the stock market does, you’re going to have an income to go with your social security? If that’s the case, then this could be a viable financial tool for a part of your overall retirement plan. One last thing to point out here before I move on to the taxation of these strategies, a concept called stacking and I’m going to talk a little bit about Roth conversions with these contracts and how that can tie into an overall plan.

The 4% rule back to this chart that we’ve looked at and I’ve calculated what income would be provided based on various growth rates on a $300,000 portfolio over a 10 year timeframe. Look, I truly believe that the 4% rule is antiquated. It was developed some 30 plus years ago, maybe almost 40 now, and bond yields were much, much higher and interest rates were going to come down. Your bonds were expected to increase in price. Today’s environment is completely different. I’m much more a fan of what we call a dynamic spending model, but to convey a point here to tie into the conversation today, the 4% rule calculates 4% based on the account balance whenever you want to start taking income, then assumes an inflation adjustment each year, moving forward.

I just want to point out that at 3% growth, if we adjust this upwards for 3% or 4% annual inflation adjustments, it’s going to take 20 years before we get up to where we are right here. Even at 23,606, if we adjust up for a 3% inflation, it’s probably going to take 12, 13 years before we get up to where we are right now. Then obviously this one would surpass the guaranteed lifetime income. No doubt within a couple of years, within probably just one year, I guess, but the point is if we knew the market was going to average 10%, or we were going to average 10% in our portfolio, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. If this happens, great.

If this doesn’t happen, you have a solution, you have some insurance in place to mitigate the impact of poor performance over the next 10 years. Now, to tie into today’s conversation, there are increasing annuities out there, just the same type I’m talking about today. The difference is the distribution rates for increasing lifetime income annuities, the deferred income annuity we’re talking about today, the distribution rates start out lower. Instead of being 4.5%, it might be 3.5% or 4% for a 60-year-old. For a 65-year-old who wants a joint payout, instead of starting at 4.5% it may start at 3.5% or 4%.

These are options, and then you can compare on the marketplace what fits your retirement plan better. Increasing income annuities are available, just like we’ve talked about, the distribution rates just start lower, and how they calculate your annual income increase is different by contract. Some companies will tie it to the CPI, some companies will tie it to a fixed rate like 3%, some companies will tie it to the performance in the accumulation value. All different ways to slice the bread there, but the important thing to understand is that if you’re younger, or you have a very long life expectancy, maybe an increasing lifetime income annuity is something that’s more attractive for your retirement plan.

I want to briefly introduce you to a concept we call stacking. When we’re building out retirement income plans if this concept is attractive to you, when we build out the plan and look at the income needs, we’ll graph it out, we’ll chart it out, we’ll look at inflation, we’ll look at the go-go years versus the slow-go years. Sometimes when we have this stacking plan in place, where let’s say we have $500,000, if we wanted to dedicate it to guaranteed lifetime income strategies. Instead of putting it all into one contract and taking income from all of it at a certain point in the future, sometimes it’ll make sense to break it out into three different contracts, and tentatively plan on taking income at different points in the future.

We may plan on taking the bigger one first because that will give us a larger amount of income in our go-go years, but we plan on living a long time and we want to have some inflation adjustment. If this starts to give us, I don’t know, 18,000, 20,000 a year, and this one kicks on, gives another 12,000, 15,000 a year, this one kicks on, gives us another 12,000, 15,000 a year. Just throwing numbers out there. This was a concept called stacking and for some of you that may make sense as opposed to looking at a large contract and taking income all at one time.
How are fixed indexed annuities taxed? First and foremost, any gains, if we’re using non-IRA dollars, your gains are deferred, so you do not pay tax on that deferred income account or your accumulation value as gains are made. Only when you start to distribute the money as a lifetime income or as a simple withdrawal do you incur taxation, and they are taxed on what we call the LIFO method. It’s last in first out. The interest gains that we’ve earned and that have been deferred similar to your IRA, they have to come out first and 100% of that income is taxable. Then when we get down to principle, all those distributions are going to be tax-free.

Then once we get back into the insurance company’s pocket, all of those distributions again will be subject to income tax. When you use your retirement account money to allocate funds to an indexed annuity for lifetime income purposes or just safe growth, it follows the taxation rules of the retirement account. Now back in the ’70s, with variable annuities, and even the ’80s and ’90s and still, you’ll have some people who are really uneducated about annuities talk about this. They’ll say, “Troy, there’s no reason to ever put an annuity inside an IRA because the IRA is already tax-deferred and the annuity is tax-deferred.”

I can’t tell you how mind-blowingly- I’m going to be polite here. I can’t tell you how much that frustrates me because this is not the 1970s anymore. The reason you put money into a fixed indexed annuity is because of the benefits the contract provides, safe growth, protection from principal loss if the market goes down. The potential to earn reasonable rates of return- heck, the potential for double-digit returns in any given year but most importantly, your money is 100% safe. Then you start talking about guaranteed lifetime income and some of the things we’ve covered in this video. That’s why you put money into an annuity.

You don’t put money into an annuity because you want tax deferral. That is just such antiquated thinking. It’s the benefits that that investment decision has for your plan, why you make a decision as opposed to the taxation. We don’t ever let the tax tail wag the dog. One of the cool things about using IRA money is we can still do Roth conversions with these contracts. Now, if you do a larger deposit and just have one contract, some companies will allow you to incrementally do Roth conversions, what we call partial conversions. If you put $500 in, you can convert $100,000 each year.

Most companies don’t allow that. As part of our tax plan, if we’re planning on doing conversions over the years, we’re going to go ahead and break it out into, one, two, three, four, five different contracts and this does a couple of things. One, not only makes the Roth conversion more manageable from an income tax perspective, but it gives us more flexibility. I’m a big fan of breaking it out. Even if we think we’re going to need a specific amount of income at a specific point in the future, it’s your call. I like breaking it out regardless because this gives us the flexibility to take income at different points in time. It also gives us the flexibility to do Roth conversions.

Now a lot of times advisors won’t do this, because it’s a heck of a lot more paperwork and takes more time, but I believe it is the right thing to do for most people most of the time. Everyone’s situation is different. If you need $100,000 and you know you’re going to need $100,000 per year, probably no reason to break it out unless you’re planning on doing Roth conversions. I just want to point out that IRAs- you don’t avoid using IRA money necessarily, because of the dual tax deferral, that doesn’t change. You use these contracts because of the benefits they provide.

That’s the number one purpose. A benefit is if we do these Roth conversions now all of a sudden, we can have all this income, which is tax-free, and a lot of times this will lead to your social security being tax-free. Check out some of the videos I’ve done on Social Security if you want to hear about that. I want to thank you for watching this video, a ton of content and as a reminder, this video is part of a series of videos on annuities designed to be watched sequentially. We don’t want you to jump into chapter eight before you’ve read the first seven.
Go back, check those out. The end screen here, we’re going to have a list of those videos, and we’re going to continue this series. We’re going to go much deeper dive into strategies, into planning and some of the more nuanced concepts of some of the videos that we’ve already covered. We’re going to continue the education and we’re happy you’re along for the ride.

Guaranteed Lifetime Income Benefits for Fixed Index Annuities in Retirement
Guaranteed Lifetime Income Benefits for Fixed Index Annuities in Retirement

It would be nice to have a Guaranteed Lifetime Income in Retirement. When planning for retirement, annuities offer a guaranteed lifetime income option, but it's not for everyone. It's important to understand what you want and your goals in retirement, in order to see if this is an option for you. The first step, of course, is understanding what this option is and its cost to you.