What should I take into consideration when shopping for annuities?

  • As always, keep an eye on the fees and broker commissions. You may be focused on the issuing companies, but don’t forget to check the commissions of the broker who is working with you. He or she may make as much as 3 to 8%, which can substantially reduce your investment.
  • The Company. Check out the issuing company, to verify that they have a good track record. The company’s reputation is a critical factor in making a wise choice. They are typically regulated by each state’s Insurance and Banking Commission. These boards may be contacted to investigate any complaints against companies you may be interested in.
  • Compare in Context. While of course you’ll want to compare the amount of payments you’d receive from several different companies (and they may vary quite a bit based on the same initial investment), don’t look solely at the numbers. Keep in mind the legitimacy of each company, knowing that when it sounds too good to be true, it typically is.