Indexed Interest Potential

Benefits of Annuity Income

A fixed index annuity (also known as an FIA) can offer a lot of benefits to retirees. One of the best benefits of an annuity income strategy is the way they keep your money safe. Even if you choose an index that drops in value, you won’t have any losses. In addition, the insurance company is required by law to keep your principal protected. Because of this, you have the opportunity for earnings based on the performance of your index, without the risk of losing your hard-earned money. With a set reasonable rate of return** (over time) you won’t need to worry about losing your savings to market volatility. This benefit of annuities is reassuring to many retirees.

senior couple sitting sailboat benefits of annuities white bear lake mn

Index Interest Potential

Understanding the benefits of an annuity is a crucial part of your retirement strategy. Many retirees may assume because it’s called a “fixed” index annuity, that it offers no flexibility. But in reality, an FIA can provide you with a large amount of flexibility.

For instance, one of the many benefits of an FIA is how you have the ability to choose which type of index you want. You could choose an external index, even though you aren’t purchasing stocks or funds. Your FIA can grow interest based on the changes in the index you pick. You can even choose how much of your annuity you want to connect with certain indexes.

Another benefit of an FIA is the buyer’s ability to choose their crediting method. Because of this, the insurance company has to follow a set of timeframes and rules used to calculate any potential index interest. You could choose a monthly or annual crediting method, for instance. Certain crediting methods also use the average value over a certain period. Other FIAs may figure out interest rates by looking at the difference in index value from one period of time to another. Lastly, You may have an FIA that used an annuity contract date to designate its index value. This means that every year, on the same date, the value of the index is calculated.

What Affects Potential Interest Rates?

When you purchase your FIA, you may have a choice in which index or indexes you allocate your annuity’s value to. You can also choose the crediting method that’s used to record the changes in your chosen index or indexes. But before choosing your annuity‘s crediting method, it’s important to take a closer look at the contributing factors that influence the calculation of your index interest potential.

Certain FIAs set a maximum interest on the amount a contract can earn over a certain period of time. This limit is known as a CAP. The CAP is used to calculate your interest, rather than the index rate if your chosen index increases beyond the CAP.

Some FIAs implement a participation rate. A participation rate is usually applied after a CAP but before a spread. They’re used to determine how much of the index increase will be used to calculate your index interest rate.

Certain FIAs use a spread to measure index interest. They subtract a percentage from the gains that the index reaches within a set term. The annuity contract would get a credit of 6% index interest, for instance, if the index increased by 10% and the spread was 4%.

Crediting Method Choices

No single crediting method consistently produces the most interest under all the market conditions. But, some crediting options are more popular, for good reason. Here are some of the most popular methods:

This method tracks the changes in the market index from one contract year to the next. It then credits the interest based on that annual change.

With the monthly sum method, you track and add the individual monthly decreases and increases. Their total sum helps in determining the index interest credited to your annuity.

Total the individual monthly index value, then divide by 12 to find the average. Subtract the starting index value from the average. This determines the amount of index change. Then divide by the starting value to determine the percentage of interest credited to your annuity.

It’s important to keep in mind that participation rates, spreads, and CAPs will all be deciding factors in the calculation of indexed interest. They may reduce the amount of interest credited to your annuity.

For a better understanding of the way each crediting method works, feel free to speak to our team here at Safe Harbor. We’ll happily answer your questions and explain anything you don’t understand.

Automatic annual reset is a common FIA feature. At the end of each year of your annuity contract, the index values of your annuity reset automatically. This just means that each year’s ending value becomes the next year’s starting value. Automatic annual reset also locks in any interest your contract earned over the course of the year.

What is the Growth Potential of an FIA?

Want to understand the potential growth of an annuity? Let’s learn how to determine the fixed interest rate.  You first choose an index (or multiple indexes) to link to the annuity. There are many types of indexes to choose from, which can be confusing at times. But our team here at Safe Harbor is here to help you understand your options.

Okay, so now you’ve chosen your type of index. The life insurance will then record how well your index is performing using a crediting method. And then, at the end of the year, the insurance company will establish the rate.

You’ll receive the index interest earnings once the rate increases over a certain point. Protection remains, even if the index drops. The value of your annuity won’t drop just because the index did. Your interest rates are dependent on factors like the CAP, participation rate, and spread. Each decision will be different because every retiree’s situation is different. There isn’t a “one size fits all” approach when it comes to FIAs and other annuity income strategies.

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