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Only you know your circumstances. If you are worried about principle protection, you can have your IRA or the 401k funds put into very safe investment vehicles such as bonds. If they are in a more risky investment now, you may transfer them to any (other) company's IRA fund without tax ramifications. I got a lot of information about the yearly limits and such by calling the IRS directly when I was converting and transfering IRAs and thinking about moving my retirement fund from work after I left into one of my IRAs. I believe it's allowed once a year, but call them. Here's their number: Live Telephone Assistance Monday – Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. your local time (Alaska & Hawaii follow Pacific Time). When calling, you may ask questions to help you prepare your tax return, or ask about a notice you have received. Telephone Assistance for Individuals Toll-Free, 1-800-829-1040. Also ask if there's a tax ramification if you convert your IRA into an annuity. I saw one thing online when researching your question that said it's the same as cashing in the IRA and that's taxable. Annuities can be great, but make sure you ask the IRS, maybe a financial advisor at your bank (many have them) and don't believe just what a sales broker may tell you. Good luck! Decisions, decisions, decisions
It sounds like an Indexed Annuity... The first thing to look at is if it is a Variable Annuity or a Fixed Annuity. ( VAs are usually used for inflation protection). Also, are you going to defer annuitization or are you going to immediately take distributions. Second, if you do this, it will be the last stop for this money probably. It will be tied up here for the rest of the life of the 70year old due to back end fees associated with most annuities. So you have to think, is it a good company with strong financial ratings ( Moody's, Standard and Poor's, Etc.). Third, 99% of the time these are recommended they are done so by insurance professionals. Not to be bad-mouting an industry that gets a wrongful black-eye ( insurance is very important ) but these agents or reps. make a lot of money off of annuities. Therefore, maybe ask the rep/planner/agent what his cut is. It could be a lateral move plus a way for the person to generate some commissions. Also, regular non-insurance financial advisors might recommend these for the same reasons. It could be a good place for an income stream and principal protection ( if it is not a Trimble ). Personally, my motto is Cash is King and if you can have access to your IRA/401k and it is in a tax-efficent, safe securities, accessability is the next big factor. PS: Make sure there is a survivor benefit ( this doesn't just mean a spouse if you are unmarried or a widower, these can be children too! ) This will be the best way to make sure the full amount of the annuity reaches your family. Also, life with period certain which means if the 70year old passes away the next day, a certain amount will still go to the family. If you annuities with just a Life option, you will get the biggest monthly payout but there is a lot of risk for passing that money on.
You seem to think the annuity would be an investment. For the most part, it would probably be like an allowance. If you give the insurance company $100,000 and it pays you the guaranteed 6% a year, or $6,000, you'd need to live at least 17 more years before you got more than the $100,000 principal back from the insurance company. (I'm assuming there are no stock market gains above 6%; bear with me for a moment, because I'll get to that part.) So, unless you beat the odds and live a longer than average life, the annuity is like an allowance, where the insurance company holds your money and doles out 6% until you pass away. Then, the insurance company pockets whatever part of the $100,000 it didn't return to you plus any profits it earned from investing the money. It doesn't share profits with you if the stock market rises less than 6% a year. It can use those profits to help cover the high commissions it pays on annuities. If you live longer than average or the stock market gains more than 6% (which won't be much of the time), then you might get more than your original $100,000 back or more than 6% a year. But that's a gamble. There's no certainty you'll come out ahead. Basically, unless you're a poor manager of money and want the steady income of an annuity for peace of mind, you should avoid annuities. Some people who can't control their spending may benefit from annuities, more as a budgeting device than as an investment (annuities tend not to be good investments). It's not invariably wrong to buy an annuity, but make sure you do so for the right reasons.
Where's your IRA money at? The bank or ? Transferring how much money? I'd would do it or invest small amount of money approx. $10K or less. I had money in an annuity as an IRA when I worked for an investment firm. First of all, I transferred all monies to a mutual fund as an IRA RLVR (IRA ROLLOVER). Had it in there for 1 year and wasn't impressed, therefore, I liquidated all monies in the mutual fund and transferred it to an IRA RLVR in a bank. It has been there for since 2004 and I've been totally satisfied. The return every quarter has been high! I worked for a market timing service for 13 yrs and worked with a lot of annuities and mutual funds. Since you're 70 yrs old, as I said before, I wouldn't invest more than 10K in an annuity. You CAN'T BE GUARANTEED any type of consecutive % rate! It will fluctuate tremendously. Don't let a financial adviser lead you down the garden path. Remember, you'll be paying him/her a fee for eternity! Be careful how you invest in this wishy-washy market!
If you fear you will outlive your IRA money, then moving into a combo annuity (where it gives fix interest rate and also the ability to invest in equities to get higher returns) is a good idea. Though, you want to find out how much the annuity will pay you every month. If you are married, you can have the money continue to pay to your spouse if you die first, though monthly payout will be less. Once you and your partner dies, the annuity will stop paying. Its something to think about because I don't know how much you have in your IRA. If you had lots of money in an IRA and you die, the money will go to your spouse. When your spouse dies, it will go to your spouse's estate and family members will have to fight for it in ccourt. You and your spouse can avoid this family fight by having a Will done.
Moronic since the management fees on the annuity are outrageous. Check out Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman's websites and read about annuities.