Ep 12: Behind The Curtain Of Annuities And Free Steak Dinners

Ep 12: Behind The Curtain Of Annuities And Free Steak Dinners

The Smart Take:

Have you ever received an invitation to attend a steak dinner financial seminar? Were you pitched an annuity? This is a popular phenomenon in for financial salespeople, and it’s one that drives Kevin a little crazy. Join us in this episode as we take a peek behind the annuity curtain and deconstruct the marketing hype.

Prefer to read? See below for the transcript of the show.

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The Host:

Kevin Kroskey – AboutContact

Introduction:                     00:03                     Welcome to Retire Smarter with Kevin Kroskey. Find answers to your toughest questions and get educated about the financial world. It’s time to Retire Smarter.

Walter Storholt:                00:15                     Today’s podcast is going to be awesome because we’re eating steak during our conversation today. Oh no, I read that wrong, Kevin. We’re talking about steak, not actually eating it. Well, that was quite the letdown, but that’s okay.

Walter Storholt:                00:27                     Okay, we’re still going to have a pretty good show today. Kevin Kroskey, Walter Storeholt here with you on Retire Smarter. Kevin is the President and Wealth Advisor at True Wealth Design serving you throughout Northeast Ohio with offices in Akron and Canfield. You can find them online at TrueWealthDesign.com. In all seriousness. Great conversation on tap for today because we’re going to be talking about something that I’d be willing to venture. If you’re nearing that retirement age, you might have seen one of these come in the mail, might’ve received an invitation to a steak dinner and Kevin, this actually happened to one of your clients as I understand it, and they attended one of these steak dinners paid for by a well I guess another financial firm. And tell us a bit about how this all transpired, what happened and some of the questions that they had from this.

Kevin Kroskey:                  01:16                     Yeah, sure. So I have a couple of clients that actually when they come in for these meetings or progress meetings, they’ll just bring in all the propaganda that they get in the mail and, they could probably eat out most nights of the week. And I’ve heard if you are in Florida then not only can you eat out most nights of the week, you can, you can also go off for lunch too. So it’s out there, you know, you have people buying free meals and spending a bunch of money on these invitations and you know, going and usually, most of the ones that I’ve seen are usually around an annuity or if it’s not explicitly saying that, I can kind of read between the lines as far as some of the things that they’re saying as to why that’s the case. But this one specifically came from a client, smart guy, very smart guy, he’s an engineer.

Kevin Kroskey:                  02:00                     And as most engineers, as their minds work and wanted to know, well how do these things work? You know, it almost sounded too good to be true, but I’m kind of interested in it. And some of the things that he said, this gentleman who put on the show, if you will say that, Hey, there are no costs and there’s no stock market risk but their stock market-like returns and you hear things like that. It, I mean it kind of sounds too good to be true, right? I mean, no cost. I mean, who knew all the insurance companies in the world were actually nonprofits. Did you know that, Walter?

Walter Storholt:                02:30                     No, I didn’t.

Kevin Kroskey:                  02:31                     Me either. So we’ll talk about that. And then the other part about stock market-like returns without any risk. I mean that’s, that’s also not really true. So smart guy, engineer, I’ve had other questions like this come up over the years.

Kevin Kroskey:                  02:45                     We actually have some clients that have these and not that we sold these to them, but when we started working together and they bring in all their stuff and they said, Hey, we need some help. And we decided we want to work together. We kind of go through and analyze what they have and it’s not a uniform thing where we will just say, Hey, you got to get rid of this. I mean, ultimately there’s kind of a sunk cost usually when you get into these things and you’ve got to analyze it and sometimes it does make sense to keep them, even though we wouldn’t have recommended them in the first place. So how about I share a little bit more and kind of tell you why and show you where some of the myths and the gotchas are. Does that sound okay?

Walter Storholt:                03:18                     Yeah, I know that annuities can be a bad word in some circles, so yeah, give us the good, bad and the ugly of the annuity world.

Kevin Kroskey:                  03:25                     Yeah. You know, I guess one other thing that I should say is, I guess a quick full disclosure if you will. For our business, we are, we technically can sell these products and frankly, we could make more money if we did. However, we don’t for reasons. I’ll explain here in a moment. And if we just feel like there are better ways to go ahead and produce the returns that our clients need to go ahead and make their financial plans work. And there are some of these gotchas that we’re just not comfortable with. So the way that we work about 1% or so of our revenue, a very small portion comes from commissions. And that’s usually from life insurance commissions, mostly term insurance commissions from our clients. And most life insurance does still pay a commission. There’s typically no way to get around that. There are a few minor exceptions, but the way that we deal with that conflict as a firm is we just always show the clients how we shop the market.

Kevin Kroskey:                  04:16                     And we actually do disclose the commission in writing. So I’m not aware of any other financial firms that do that. But I always think that you, you need to know what your advisor is making and you need to know what conflicts are there and what may or may not be driving my advice. So just wanted to put that out there before we kind of get into the nitty-gritty as it goes. For the nitty-gritty. So no cost. So how could it possibly be no cost while it’s not any cost? So what happens if you give an insurance company your money for an annuity? Well, there’s a couple of different types of annuities. Broadly you can categorize them into an immediate annuity or a deferred annuity and immediate annuities make up a very, very small portion of the annuity market. I’ve checked a few years ago, I think it was about 2% or 3% and these things are really more like a pension or an income stream.

Kevin Kroskey:                  05:03                     So if you give the insurance company, say $100,000, they may give you $6,000 or $7,000 per year, you know, for your life that you can’t outlive. So just like a pension, but you’re kind of creating it directly with an insurance company. And so those are the immediate annuities. On the other hand, there are these things called deferred annuities. And here you could have something very simple and often is not a bad solution at all. But they could be just plain fixed annuities. There are often CD-like, but just because of the way insurance companies and banks work, typically banks will have to hold their collateral in a more highly rated and say US treasury obligations. Whereas insurance companies will go out and buy corporate bonds and typically corporate bonds pay more than the US government, so it’s not uncommon to find the fixed annuity rates are higher than say a similar, say a 5-year CD versus a 5-year fixed annuity.

Kevin Kroskey:                  06:00                     So, those aren’t bad. Those aren’t bad at all. They do have commissions. You may lock up your money for five years with some limited withdrawal provisions, but they’re not bad. We’ve actually used them for some more of our conservative clients over the years that did not necessarily want to invest in mutual funds where things were, at least in their eyes, less certain. So we have, again, those two categories. You have immediate annuities on one side and deferred annuities on the other, and we just talked about what I think are relatively decent and straightforward and they’re called the multiyear guaranteed fixed annuities. Then as you move beyond that, you start getting into more complexity, higher costs, and a lot more marketing, you know, whizzbang stuff rather than, you know, kind of good products for people to use. So what my client was told about was something called a fixed indexed annuity. Some people call them index annuities. These are the things that they say have stock market-like returns, but no risk. And it’s just, it’s just simply isn’t true. So how I explain this to my client is, you know, you’re going to give money to an insurance company and they’re going to go ahead and invest that in their own account. And a, if you look at an insurance company’s financial statements, it’s called their general account. And Walter, do you have any idea what kind of assets insurance companies invest in?

Walter Storholt:                07:21                     I’m going to guess that it’s like what you would otherwise be doing, right? Stocks and bonds and mutual funds, those kinds of assets.

Kevin Kroskey:                  07:28                     Yeah, it’s mostly in bonds. So I kind of mentioned that when I talked about the fixed annuities. I put you on the spot there. I apologize. You can yell at me later.

Walter Storholt:                07:35                     It’s all right. Sometimes I know what I’m talking about. Sometimes I just play the devil’s advocate, so people don’t really know when I don’t really know what I’m talking about. So I’ve got my basis covered.

Kevin Kroskey:                  07:44                     You add the color that we need, so thank you for that. So you know, insurance companies

Kevin Kroskey:                  07:48                     Have to be around the pay, the claims for, you know, whether their life insurance benefits are for these annuities and, if you look at any insurance company’s general account investments, by and large, it’s going to be probably 90% plus in bonds. So high-quality bonds, you know, they’re not doing a whole lot, maybe a little bit of real estate, you know, really very few inequity assets. So you’re going to give them money and they’re going to invest in bonds. So one, if you wanted to, you could do the exact same thing without the insurance company, right? You can just go ahead and say, well, okay, I mean, Hey, I can go out and I can buy a bond, but the insurance company’s going to take that. And I’m going to use the example of, there’s a company that focuses mostly on these fixed annuities and a lot of that is specifically on these fixed index annuities.

Kevin Kroskey:                  08:36                     And I’m not going to talk bad about them. They’re a publicly-traded company, so they have to file annual financial statements, annual shareholder reports, and there’s a lot of disclosure and clarity around that. And I’m just going to use their own words to explain how these things work. Does that sound okay?

Walter Storholt:                08:51                     Sounds fair. Yes, it does.

Kevin Kroskey:                  08:52                     I think so. So this company, and it’s called American Equity. In 2017 their annual report showed that they earned 4.46% so 4.46% on their general account. So, something in line with, you know, bond portfolio, you know, they, again, maybe they can do a little bit better in managing their bond portfolio than you can, but they earned 4.46% so they work on spreads. What does that mean? Is there an explicit fee charge? The annuity holder, after they give them, says give the insurance company $100,000 or so. No, but they’re going to operate on a spread and they’re going to keep a portion of that general account for themselves, for their operating costs to pay their agent commissions for you know, the person that sold you that product and for their profitability and they’re going to pay the difference to policyholders.

Kevin Kroskey:                  09:46                     And so I have those numbers right here. So for 2017 American Equity had a 4.46% on their general account. That’s what they totally earned. They paid out 1.74% to policyholders and they kept 2.72% for themselves to pay for their operating costs, agent commissions, profit margins, what have you. So, 4.46% only 1.74% went to policyholders, 2.72% they kept for themselves for profits and costs. How does that strike you, Walter?

Walter Storholt:                10:23                     Interesting spread of numbers. It doesn’t sound like a lot’s going to folks in the policy side of things though.

Kevin Kroskey:                  10:28                     I would say the exact same thing. And so they can control these minimum guarantees. So they may credit you a higher rate, but there could be a lower minimum guarantee that they could reduce your crediting rate too. And then as you get into these indexing, basically they’re taking some money, some of that 2.72% and buying some financial products called options on stock market indices.

Kevin Kroskey:                  10:56                     So without getting too far into the weeds, they are linking to the stock market. But you’re definitely not getting stock market-like returns. You’re getting bond-like returns or maybe a little bit better than bonds, but certainly not stocks. And when you do that, there are all kinds of other things that come into play. And I’m going to read directly from the annual report here. So American Equity wrote in the 2017 annual shareholder report says “We are currently in the midst of an unprecedented period of low-interest rates and low yields for investments with credit quality. We prefer in response to the persistently low-interest-rate environment. We have been reducing policyholder crediting rates for both new and existing annuities since the fourth quarter of 2011.” Let me pause for a moment. So basically, you know, an insurance person sold this product to somebody that put their money into it.

Kevin Kroskey:                  11:50                     These products typically, I mean if 5, 7, 10-year surrender charge. So basically, the client that bought this cannot get out of the thing until they’re out of the surrender without steep penalties. Why are those penalties there? Because the insurance agent got paid a big commission up front and those surrender charges basically lock the client in so the insurance company can amortize over that period of years what they paid to the insurance agent. So somebody bought one of these American Equity products in 2011, here we are almost in 2019 and American Equity says, well, Hey, you know, I know that we said we were going to go ahead and provide a linking method that was much more favorable when we gave you that new policy and this marketing brochure. But we just kind of changed our mind. And you know, really, I don’t know if you notice on page 972 of the contract, but there’s this language in there that says we only have to guarantee this minimum linking benefit if you will.

Kevin Kroskey:                  12:50                     And then linking benefit most commonly is kind of a cap. So the S&P 500 say it does 20% in a year, or in 2013 you did north of 30%. These products in these annuities will more commonly cap the return. It may be like 4%, 6% or 8% or something like that.

Walter Storholt:                13:08                     That’s a lot of headroom chopped off there.

Kevin Kroskey:                  13:11                     Well, yeah, and you know, even though the market historically on average, you know, has done around 10% it almost never does 10% there’s a lot of variability in stock market returns. The other thing with this linking that you just don’t get any dividends. So it’s just, I don’t want to get too far into the weeds on these things, but you’re going to get some sort of cap. The insurance company can control that cap. Usually, it’s higher for new policies because they want to induce you to go ahead and give your money to them.

Kevin Kroskey:                  13:38                     But then buried in the contract, there’s going to be something about a minimum guarantee that they have to provide for that cap or minimum guaranteed rate. There are other fees that they can charge. There’s just a lot of potential gotchas in there. So if I continue going on reading, what they said, it says “We continue to have the flexibility to reduce our crediting rates if necessary and could decrease our cost of money cost.” The money is basically what they paid to policyholders. “By approximately 49 basis points” or basically another half percent. So you know, they’re paying out 1.74% they can control that even more and basically take these crediting rates down to the minimum guarantees or you know, reduce these caps that link this annuity to the stock market even further. So it says it right in here. I guarantee you if you look at any marketing brochure that was used to sell one of these, that language did not show up in there.

Kevin Kroskey:                  14:32                     It’s all, you know, Hey, buy this annuity, you can’t lose any money. Hey, you can link to the stock market and you’ll often find some period of years where it may be its cherry-picked and they show that, Hey, this annuity could have done this. But there are all these gotchas in there and I’ve been in this business long enough to see how the insurance companies have done this. And you know something I can tell you for one client specifically. 2005 or so, they bought one of these, it was a life insurance policy that had this kind of indexing functionality in it. And the cap back then on the S&P 500 was 17% and the worst that it could do was 1% so your returns are going to be somewhere between 17% and 1%. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Would you take that

Walter Storholt:                15:14                     Wasn’t down in the negative. So yeah, I’d say that sounds good.

Kevin Kroskey:                  15:17                     Yeah, it sounded pretty good to me too. And granted you don’t get the dividends, but dividends today are only 2% back then there were probably like around 3% or so. So that’s important. That’s an important part of the return that somebody is going to get on investments. But at 17% and 1%. Want to take a guess what the cap is these days, Walter?

Walter Storholt:                15:36                     Oh, it can’t be anywhere near 17% especially reading this notice that’s in there about it, you know, needing to lower that over time. Let’s say, I don’t know, we’ll go down to 7% that’s a pretty dramatic drop.

Kevin Kroskey:                  15:49                     Yeah, you’re close a, it’s slightly better than that at 8% so it’s been reduced by more than half from 17% down to 8% so I’ve seen it happen. I’ve seen it happen time and again and you know this is from a company right here that I think like 95% of their business is these types of annuities. And so right here in their own shareholder report it says exactly what they do and how they manage their risks. What they don’t say is, you know, comes at the expense of the policyholders and I guarantee you that is never told in the story when you’re talking about, Hey, take a bite of your steak and oh, by the way, these things have no costs. You can’t lose money. It just doesn’t say that you really don’t make much money either. And we have all these potential gotchas because we want to manage our risk, but you’re going to be locked up in a product for 5 to 10 years, maybe longer in some cases. And there’s not going to be a lot that you can do about it because the surrender charges to get out of it are so steep.

Walter Storholt:                16:43                     So I guess if I can move into that devil’s advocate role isn’t just from the kind of seeing these things before and you know, listen to different things about annuities and seeing some of the marketing pieces that are in there. You know, I see the term peace of mind or safety is often used as the goal for this product. Now, depending on, you know, the advisor, if it’s being pitched is you know this is a great way to make money. Then you’re kind of debasing that in our conversation. But what if the goal is safety, peace of mind, does the annuity serve that function efficiently?

Kevin Kroskey:                  17:17                     I would say if that was the sole goal. Yeah, you can because I mean so does leave money in your mattress or down at the bank, but I don’t think any of those are really good smart financial decisions. What I would say is, and I’ve seen this time and time and time again with people that we work with on their planning, you know before you have a plan that you can actually visualize what the future is going to be like. You know, how your income sources from your Social Security and your pension or any other income sources you may have from the company that you work for over the years. How that is going to go ahead and integrate and how your investments are going to go ahead and support anything that those don’t meet and how much money do you really need to spend. And how is that spending going to change over time until we start synthesizing all of that together?

Kevin Kroskey:                  18:02                     And you don’t have kind of that clarity and some concreteness about what the future is likely going to hold. I’ve often found that people, and a lot of smart people, I mean we have several clients that have these kinds of annuities that literally the surrender charges are so high that it just doesn’t make sense to get out of them. And we just use it as a bond substitute for their plan. However, if we could have gotten them sooner and we could have done this plan for them and showed them like, look, you know, and we measure what kind of rate of return that they need for their plan to work and if that return is pretty low, I mean, it’s common that we’ll find clients that, you know, they only need to get one or 2% after inflation or 3% after inflation. You can do that with mostly a bond portfolio, even with low-interest rates today.

Kevin Kroskey:                  18:41                     And if you can see that clarity, then you can start having a conversation of, well, okay, I mean heck, you know, do I really just want to go ahead and buy the bonds myself and cut out the insurance company or do I want to go ahead and lock my money up and buy something? This perceived peace of mind. But honestly, now that I have this plan, I can see that it’s not as certain as some underlying guarantee, but guarantees are really expensive and if I don’t need to spend all that money on some guarantee, I’m okay with a little bit of uncertainty because my plan is really well funded anyway. So I’m just going to opt for the smarter financial decision. I’m going to have a little bit less certainty. I’m not going to pay for an expensive guarantee and this is the path that I’m going to go down.

Walter Storholt:                19:21                     So a lot of it, it does sound like it comes down to maybe efficiency. You can replace the other functions of something like an annuity with other pieces, eliminate the middleman and then have success in those different areas. Just using some of those other tools that are out there that they’re going to turn around and use anyway for you.

Kevin Kroskey:                  19:40                     Yes, and the other thing I would say is we started early in the conversation talking about those two buckets, two types of annuities. The immediate annuities are the deferred annuities and I mentioned that only two or 3% of the marketplace included sales and purchases of those immediate annuities. And of those, there are also annuities where there are no commissions and those represent a very, very small fraction of the total annuity market. And so when I look at data like that, on one hand when you have deferred annuities that are truly no commission and very few dollars are going into it, and then you have this sea of commissionable annuities, I’m really skeptical and I say, whoa, what’s really driving that is that really are all those commissionable annuities better than all the ones that strip the commissions out? It just doesn’t seem very plausible. And then when you actually look at some of the science-based evidence, converting your income, some of your money into an income stream that you can outlive can work well, particularly if you’re talking about the kind of as a bond substitute, if you will.

Kevin Kroskey:                  20:41                     And those are really those immediate annuities. And there’s a lot of good academic evidence on the fact that those immediate annuities work pretty well to provide retirement income and do it much more effectively than these deferred annuities. But only 2% or 3% of the marketplace are these immediate annuities. And the skeptic in me says, well, why is that the case? And there are some legitimate reasons why clients are a little bit resistant to doing those. But I can definitively tell you that the commissions on those immediate annuities, we’ve used them from time to time for clients and we can actually use a completely non-commissioned version of them. So the client gets more money on a monthly basis over their lifetime. And that’s what we do. But the commission ones are pay like 2.5% or 3%. These fixed index annuities pay, you know, double. And maybe even triple that. So again, you know, where are the incentives in these things? What’s really driving the sales of those? I would argue pretty definitively that it’s really the commissions and the sales incentives for the people that are selling these rather than really being good for the end client.

Walter Storholt:                21:40                     Yeah. When you start talking about those numbers of commissions and then we’re not talking about small amounts of money being put into these products either, right? Kevin? I mean a lot of the times, especially at some of these steak dinner seminars, you know, if you were to probably look at some of the stories or meet some of the people who have worked with these folks, we’re talking about significant amounts of money going into these products, right?

Kevin Kroskey:                  22:00                     Yeah. And the thing that, this is not good too, you know, these things pay commissions. Typically the front end loaded and you’re having a 5% or 7% or 8%, sometimes even 10% commission, literally like 10% commission. On average. Clients pay us about 1% to go ahead and take care of their financial planning, investment planning or tax planning or tax preparation. I have to work 10 years to make what this insurance agent made in one year. And while I have a little bit of resentment for that, what was really bad about that is that that insurance agent has absolutely no incentive to go ahead and service the client that they just sold that annuity to because they don’t get paid at all to do the service work. They get paid to go out and sell a new first-year commission for a new client and so people end up with these products and then after a while they ended up in my office or somebody like mine trying to figure out, I’ve got all this stuff, but I have no clue how it fits together and I don’t still don’t have any clarity even though I bought all this stuff that supposedly is going to give me peace of mind and I don’t have that either.

Kevin Kroskey:                  23:00                     I had a contract attorney that brought two of these things in my office, you know, a number of years ago and he said, I’m a contract attorney. I have no clue what the contract that I signed actually says

Walter Storholt:                23:12                     That’s not a good sign, is it Kevin?

Kevin Kroskey:                  23:14                     No, no. I’ll often use American Equity, you know just because they are publicly traded company and they have, if they misrepresent themselves in these annual filings and what have you, they will get sued and it will be a class action suit so they can’t do that. So, I like to go there. The other thing I like to say is all these products that these annuity companies come out with, they are created by the marketing department. They are created purely for, Hey, what can we go out and what can we sell? What can we get more commissions, more first-year money, what have you. Everything that we tried to do here is really created from the research department, what works, what doesn’t and why? Let’s use those things that do work. Let’s stay away from the things that are not likely to work. And if we do that consistently over time, we’re going to have good results.

Walter Storholt:                24:00                     One last thought and a, I think you’ll just find this humorous. I actually attended one of these dinner seminars before in the past and watched a presentation to see, you know, what it was like and it’s kind of funny hearing what you’re talking about now with what was talked about in the room. Not only was you know, sort of safety and peace of mind, something that was often pitch but they use the term or the sentence you know, and your financial plan, your retirement plan and the things that you’re invested in. You should be able to explain them to a five-year-old, a five-year-old should understand the concepts. Well that kind of flies in the face with the contract attorney not being able to tell what the world’s going on when he goes to read a contract.

Kevin Kroskey:                  24:41                     No, a couple of these that we actually have analyzed and kept for clients. I mean I can think of one specifically where you call customer service and for whatever reason, all insurance companies, customer service is like a black hole. And for this client, like I thought it was going to make sense, the keep, but the contract actually didn’t even have the data that would, that said, you know, here’s what the payout is going to be. You know, based on both the husband and wife’s life expectancy and their age. And so I call it in and you know, we had the client on the line and just said, you know, here’s what we’re looking for. And then we had to go to kind of a senior person and then that senior person still couldn’t get us what we needed. And then, I mean it was ridiculous.

Kevin Kroskey:                  25:20                     I mean it was like a black hole that we had to go into. And now every year we have to go and try and pull money out of this thing. And we have to do it very specifically because if you do it in an unspecific fashion, you can completely blow up this guarantee and this lifetime income stream that they could have. And so it’s like you got to be incredibly careful to navigate this and not screw it up and we have a good plan for it, but it’s just been, it’s completely impossible for them to have done it themselves. And the guy that sold it to them years ago, literally, they pretty much never heard from him again after he sold this to them. So these are people that you know have some means that, you know, the gentleman is a doctor or was a doctor and you know, they couldn’t get any advice. He just got stuff sold to them and we’ll deal with that. We’ll analyze if it makes sense to keep them, we’ll keep it. But if I could go back and do a situation like that over again, there’s no way I put them in that product in the first place.

Walter Storholt:                26:10                     Well, a lot of fancy marketing and slick brochures and all sorts of impressive efforts can go behind, you know, presenting these things to you and so you have to be aware of that, but they can fool some of the best of us and not necessarily fool, but certainly it can have us, you know, kind of on board with the mentality without even then thinking that there are other options and other ideas out there that might work for our particular interests. Kevin, interesting material as always. I know that we could probably do multiple podcasts in a row if we really wanted to get into the nitty and gritty of that very controversial financial topic out

Walter Storholt:                26:44                     There of annuities. But I feel like we covered it pretty good today. Any final thoughts that you want to leave the listener with today?

Kevin Kroskey:                  26:49                     Yeah. I guess one other thing about this, but if I could find an annuity-like this, and we didn’t even talk about variable annuities today, there they’re also in this kind of category.

Walter Storholt:                26:57                     That’s where I thought that going to go when we started off knowing that that’s the biggest lightning rod of all of them.

Kevin Kroskey:                  27:03                     Yeah. But if I could find these index annuities where I knew what the minimum guarantees were and they were a higher than what they were and the commissions were stripped out, I would totally use the product. And I would, particularly today we’re in interest rates are low and bond expected returns are also low, but they don’t exist. They really don’t exist. So if they do exist, I will use them.

Kevin Kroskey:                  27:23                     But the theory behind it works well, but all these gotchas and how the incentive lineup and the commissions that are embedded in them, they just don’t work well for people. So if you happen to have one of these, again, it is what it is. It’s not the end of the world. Chalk it up to maybe a learning experience, but you really have to analyze it and figure it out. I would say analyze it probably from an independent third party that didn’t sell you this thing and sees, you know, how’s it going to work for you? Does it make sense to keep it? If so, how’s it really going to fit into your overall retirement plan and retirement income plan and then you know, how are we going to incorporate it, you know, kind of around it. So if you are going to keep it, that’s going to impact how your investment allocation is going to be.

Kevin Kroskey:                  28:04                     It may impact your tax planning, particularly if it is not in an IRA account, but you need to get clarity on at first and you still need to do a plan. So if you need help with that, that’s what we do. It’s what we do 5 days, 6 days a week and that’s what we’ve been doing for a long time and be happy to help you do it.

Walter Storholt:                28:18                     To give Kevin a call. (855) TWD-PLAN. If you have questions, do you have an annuity? Are you thinking maybe it’s not the right fit for your financial plan? Would you like Kevin and the team to analyze it for you to talk to you about some of the other things that you might be able to utilize in your plan? Maybe it’s not that you’ve currently got one, but you’ve been thinking about working with an advisor who’s been recommending an annuity. You can get a second opinion as well from Kevin and the team at True Wealth Design, (855) TWD-PLAN that’s (855) 893-7526 or online as always at TrueWealthDesign.com and when you go to the site you can click on the “are we right for you”

Walter Storholt:                28:57                     Button and schedule your 15-minute call with an experienced advisor on the team. That’s True Wealth Design serving you throughout Northeast Ohio with offices in Akron and Canfield. Kevin, we appreciate the help on the podcast today. We’ll look forward to another fun one next time around.

Kevin Kroskey:                  29:11                     I appreciate it as well. Thanks, Walter.

Walter Storholt:                29:12                     A lot of fun. As always. That’s Kevin Kroskey. I’m Walter Storeholt. I hope we’ll talk to you next time on Retire Smarter.

Disclaimer:                          29:24                     Information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment, tax or legal advice. Information is obtained from sources that are deemed to be reliable, but their accurateness and completeness cannot be guaranteed. All performance referenced is historical and not an indication of future results. Benchmark indices are hypothetical and do not include any investment fees.