It seems much longer than 8 years ago when income riders within Fixed Indexed Annuities (FIAs) provided guarantees never offered. Historical income value roll up rates that were as high as 8% are now being outperformed by uncapped strategies. To me, its amazing to see how the evolution of income planning has redefined itself, especially in under a decade. Today, more financial professionals are redirecting retirement funds into FIAs that provide increasing income streams, as well as uncapped strategies, for life. Depending on when you plan to retire will determine which increasing income strategy may be best equipped to meet your needs. This is why it is important to work with a professional who specialization lies within income planning solutions.
The days of FIA annual point to point strategies that can only provide a return of 3.0% are well behind us, and good riddance. Through many of today’s specialized indexed strategies, policy owners within a FIA can now participate in 90% + of the market upside (within a predetermined indexed strategy) with absolutely zero downside. This means that you can never lose your principle or earned interest moving forward, regardless of how the market performs. As this past recession has shown, principle protection in down markets is key to making your retirement a reality. These recent uncapped strategies are causing more financial professionals to redirect client funds into guarantees absent in a turbulent market. Depending on what your individual circumstances (retirement time-line) are will depend on which strategy may best suit your needs.
Income payouts within FIAs can illustrate much higher than ever before. Income Account Values (non cash values) used to determine income payouts can participate up to 250% of a selected index return while in deferral. Additionally, annual income payouts can increase by up to 150% of the same selected index. For example, one particular FIA that has a 6% annual return (of a selected index) would result in an income payout increase of 9%, never to decrease! Furthermore, each year the selected index increases in value the income will continue to increase by 150% respectively. Within a couple of these strategies I have seen income payouts potentially double within a 15 year period, while continuing to increase for life! These are income payouts that have never been seen before, specifically designed to protect retirees from absent pensions and a bankrupted social security system.
So how did this evolution happen? Simple. Over the last several years analysts have learned to maximize the upside potential within specified indexes, while protecting the profitability of the issuing company. Because of the extreme market fluctuations we have seen since 2008 (the most volatility since the Great Depression) statisticians and actuaries have been able to capitalize on market profit points, passing on the gains to the policy owner.
Where the evolution of income planning ends up remains to be seen. I can tell you from personal experience that today’s potential income payouts and uncapped strategies were never contemplated 8 years ago. FIAs today are replacing fears of inflation and market downturns with comfort and predictability. Now, finally, retirement can be planned with a higher quality of life than ever before!