With the future of Social Security uncertain and traditional pensions becoming a luxury of the past, the burden of financing retirement is increasingly falling on the shoulders of your clients. To address these growing concerns we reviewed how we can help our senior clients with risk management strategies that include annuities. We have looked at the “features” of an annuity. We pointed out that features are what the product “has” or “does”; benefits are “why” your client would want those features. In other words, features are about the product, while benefits are about the client.
In this article we will look at the benefits of the annuity product for our clients. In other words we will learn “why” our clients would want to have an annuity. The reason we want to review both the features and the benefits of the product is because “features” are the language of logic. Even people who insist they buy logically or based on features do so because that’s what makes them “feel” better. Benefits are the language of emotion. Focus on emotions, not intellect. People buy on emotion but are moved to action by logic. We have to provide an emotional justification to make a logical purchase.
It may be generally unknown that annuities can reduce or eliminate taxes on Social Security. Income over a certain amount may cause a portion (up to 85 percent) of Social Security income to be taxed. Enough money may be placed into an annuity to reduce income below the threshold amount so that Social Security benefits will not be taxed. This, of course, only works for those who do not need the investment income to augment their current income.
In the payout phase of an annuity, the payments are split between the return of premium and gain. This is accomplished by using the exclusion ratio.