Although 401(k) s are beginning to rebound a bit, financial safety and security continues to be sought in America. In this context, traditional whole life insurance and annuities must be considered as an safe and secure options for acquiring sufficient money to have a satisfying retirement.
The long standing traditional whole life insurance lasts for your whole life and the premium remains the same as long as the policy is in existence. Traditional whole life insurance contains the basic essentials of term insurance, with an investment element added.
You pay a premium amount larger than the premium which would be paid for term insurance and that part of the payment is invested over the life of the policy. The growth of that investment is nontaxable to you. This favorable treatment of return on investment is exclusive to life insurance and offers a significant wealth buildup vehicle.
In a nutshell, here’s what traditional whole life insurance have to offer:
o tax-favored cash values
o death benefits
o competitive interest rate
o guaranteed return
Next, an annuity is an investment contract between you and the insurance company. You receive a return on your investment that supplements your contribution. In the future, you can choose to “annuitize” the investment to provide income for a specified period of time in your lifetime.
The earnings on an annuity can grow without being lessened by taxes. These earnings are not taxable until you withdraw them, and then they are spread out over a number of years. When you begin receiving income from an annuity, only part of your income is taxable because you receive both interest and a partial return of the invested principal.
To make the best use of the positive tax advantages of an annuity, you also must be aware of the potential tax problems. The IRS imposes a penalty of 10 percent along with the tax owed on withdrawals unless you are over age 59 1/2 when withdrawing money from the annuity or cashing it in. These charges are in addition to any insurance company fees that might be imposed upon the withdrawal.
It is advisable to approach the purchase of an annuity with the expectation that you will not draw on it until you are older than age 59 1/2. To fully make the most of the tax advantages you should plan on holding the annuity for many years so that the earnings can grow without current taxation. No matter what the tax advantages of an annuity are, you still must pay close attention to the rate of return on the investment.
Here’s what annuities have to offer:
o a guaranteed return.
o a competitive interest rate.
o tax-free or tax-favored benefits
Overall both whole life insurance and annuities should be given a major consideration for providing either partial or full retirement benefit.