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Archive for April, 2011

Fixed Indexed & Income Riders of the Rise for 2011

Record-High 2010 Sales of Fixed Indexed and Income Annuities,

Beacon Research Reports

updated 3/8/2011 7:16:39 AM ET
EVANSTON, Ill., March 8, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Fixed indexed and income annuities broke sales records in 2010, according to the Beacon Research Fixed Annuity Premium Study.1 Annual indexed annuity results climbed 6% to an estimated $31.4 billion. Income annuity sales grew 2% to $8 billion. Each product type also claimed its largest share of sales in the Study’s 8-year history – 48% for indexed and 11% for income annuities.

“Both product types benefitted from growing interest in guaranteed lifetime retirement income and protection from downside risk,” said Jeremy Alexander, CEO of Beacon Research.

Fourth quarter indexed annuity sales were an estimated $8 billion, 16% ahead of fourth quarter 2009. Income annuity sales of $1.9 billion advanced 4% from the year-ago quarter. Indexed and income annuity sales fell quarter-to-quarter by 7% and 11%, respectively.

Total U.S. sales of fixed annuities were an estimated $71.7 billion in 2010. These results were 31% below 2009, the second-strongest year in the Study’s 8-year history. Estimated fourth quarter sales of $16.7 billion slipped about 14% compared to both the year-ago and prior quarters.

Fixed rate annuity results were negatively affected by 2010’s unfavorable interest rate environment. Annual book value sales dropped 49% from 2009 to an estimated $26.5 billion, while market value-adjusted products slid 61% to $5.8 billion.2 Fourth quarter’s book value sales were $5.6 billion, down 38% and 19% from the year-ago and prior quarters, respectively. MVAs fell 29% relative to both periods, to $1.3 billion.

Allianz led sales for the second consecutive quarter.3 American Equity moved up two notches to come in second, replacing Aviva,4 which came in fourth. New York Life continued in third place. Western National rejoined the top five in fifth place.5 Fourth quarter results for the top five Study participants were as follows:

Total Fixed Annuity Sales (in thousands)

Allianz Life

2,003,961

American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co

1,554,401

New York Life

1,340,157

Aviva USA

1,334,859

Western National Life

1,095,346

Western National once again traded places with New York Life to become the quarter’s top company in book value annuity sales. Allianz continued as the dominant issuer of indexed annuities, and New York Life remained the long-time leader in income annuity sales.

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Three of these companies also were distribution channel leaders. Allianz had top sales through independent agents. New York Life was the dominant company in the career agent and large/regional broker-dealer channels. Western National led in bank channel sales. The remaining channel leaders were: MassMutual, independent broker-dealers; Pacific Life, wirehouses; and USAA, direct/third party.

Of the 500 products tracked by the Study, both Allianz and American Equity had two indexed annuities in the top five. The Allianz MasterDex X was the quarter’s bestseller again, while Endurance Plus came in fifth. American Equity’s Retirement Gold moved up a notch to take second place and its Bonus Gold placed fourth. The New York Life Lifetime Income Annuity advanced one notch to come in third.

Rank

Company Name

Product Name

Product Type

1

Allianz Life

MasterDex X

Indexed

2

American Equity

Retirement Gold

Indexed

3

New York Life

NYL Lifetime Income Annuity

Income

4

American Equity

Bonus Gold

Indexed

5

Allianz Life

Endurance Plus

Indexed

The New York Life Preferred Fixed Annuity was the new bank channel bestseller. In the large/regional B-D channel, The New York Life Secure Term Fixed Annuity replaced another New York Life product. The other channel-leading products were repeat performers.

Channel

Company

Product

Product Type

Banks and S&Ls

New York Life

NYL Preferred Fixed Annuity

Book Value

Captive Agents

New York Life

NYL Lifetime Income Annuity

Income

Direct/Third Party

USAA

Flexible Retirement Annuity

Book Value

Independent Broker-Dealers

MassMutual

RetireEase

Income

Independent Producers

Allianz Life

MasterDex X

Indexed

Large/Regional Broker-Dealers

New York Life

NYL Secure Term Fixed Annuity

Book Value

Wirehouses

Pacific Life

Pacific Frontiers II

MVA

Fourth quarter’s interest rate environment was a difficult one for fixed annuity sales. Although rates increased, the fixed annuity rate advantage diminished, and rising rate expectations were a disincentive to buy. Those who did purchase fixed annuities chose shorter rate terms to avoid locking in fourth quarter’s rates for longer periods.

“Consumer demand for conservative investments with guarantees continues to be very strong,” commented Alexander. “We expect fixed annuity sales growth to resume when the rate environment becomes more favorable.”

About the Beacon Research Fixed Annuity Premium Study

The quarterly Study is the first and only source to track and analyze product-level fixed annuity sales on an ongoing basis. Providing timely market intelligence of the highest quality, it’s designed to report what’s moving in each channel and why.

About Beacon Research

Beacon Research tracks fixed, indexed and variable annuity sales, rates and features, and provides web-based systems at http://www.annuitynexus.com for distributors and insurance companies. Beacon also licenses information and software tools to other platforms, including EbixExchange’s AnnuityNet annuity automation platform. Beacon’s fixed annuity benchmark series — the industry’s first — is available through Ibbotson Associates. Directly and through strategic alliances, Beacon information can be accessed by hundreds of financial institutions and distributors.

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Categories: Economic Update

Economic Update-Funeral Trusts

Funeral Planningfor High Net-Worth Clients using an

NGL Estate Planning Trust

As you are aware, the use of an Irrevocable Funeral Trust is an outstanding tool to protect client assets from creditors and potentially from Medicaid spend-down requirements.  These needs are often associated with Middle America and the Irrevocable Funeral Trust is a great fit for this demographic.  However, the benefits of funeral planning go beyond asset protection alone and this makes funeral planning for High Net-Worth clients a viable option as well.

The number one reason High Net-Worth clients have for pre-planning funeral arrangements is thePeace of Mind in knowing that they have made things as easy as possible for their loved ones during a time of grief and loss. Clients can be assured that their final arrangements have been made as per their wishes, are fully paid for, and that their family is spared an unnecessary and very difficult task.

Funeral planning for High Net-Worth clients should be viewed as a logical extension of estate planning and can be accomplished through the use of an NGLEstate Planning Trust.

The NGL Estate Trust is an Irrevocable Trust for use with High Net- Worth clients.  The life insurance application for the Estate Trust is the same as that of the Irrevocable Funeral Expense Trust but with a few notable exceptions:

  1. The opportunity for the client to invest $50,000 in the Estate Trust vs. $15,000 in the Irrevocable Funeral Trust.
  2. Funds are excluded from Medicaid spend-down after  the five year look back instead of immediately
  3. Funds that exceed the funeral costs will be paid out to a named beneficiary versus being paid to the estate

By using the NGL Estate Planning Trust to assist your High Net-Worth clients in pre-planning their funeral arrangements, you accomplish three very important goals:

  1. Peace of Mind for clients (They want to make things as easy as possible for the family during their time of need)
  2. Excess funds will be paid directly to named beneficiaries, will avoid probate, protected from creditors, and Medicaid Exempt after the five years.
  3. Benefit paid Income Tax-Free (IRC Code Sec. 101a)

Additional benefits of the NGL Estate Planning Trust with Legacy Safeguard include:

  • The Trust pays the funeral home the very next day in many cases and without the need for a death certificate.Any remaining money goes directly to a named beneficiary.
  • Includes “Legacy Safeguard”, a comprehensive legacy planning service that comes free of charge as a value added rider.  Legacy Safeguard includes:
    • Legacy Safeguard Planning Guide – A comprehensive planning guide that helps clients share with their loved ones the historical information about their lives, the lessons they have learned and the family values they want passed down.
    • End of Life Planning, Guidance & Assistance – Provides 24/7 funeral planning assistance for your family by locating funeral homes in the area and aggressively negotiating the price providing significant savings.
    • Support for Survivors – Educates your client’s family on Bereavement Travel options and recommends Grief Counseling Support programs.

Whether you use the NGL Irrevocable Funeral Trust with Legacy Safeguard for Middle America or the NGL Estate Planning Trust with Legacy Safeguard for your High Net-worth clients,you can be assured that you haveprovided your clients and their families with a high quality product designed specifically for their needs and providing outstanding protection and support.

NGL Trusts provide peace of mind for your clients today, peace of mind for your clients loved ones tomorrow, and Guidance and Support for your client’s family in the future.

For more information go to:

http://www.jamesbdriscoll.com

Our Countries current economic position!!!

How to
Explain the Current Economic Situation to Friends & Family

April 25 , 2011, 4:46 pm, by James B. Driscoll

Given its simple elegance in addressing a question frequently asked on this site,
this post has been elevated from the forums section. It has been updated by
site members driscoll and smith since its first appearance (the
original post can be read ).

I’ve been working on a way to get across to friends and family how bad the economic
situation has become. I find one of the biggest problems is that when numbers
are in the billions and trillions they are very hard to imagine, and people get this glazed/deer in the headlights look. So I decided to try to scale the numbers in a way that can bemore easily visualized.

Below is an updated version, with many thanks to members of ChrisMartenson.com community who suggested changes/corrections,and particularly to Travlin for rewording much of the message to make it a better story. Hopefully this version will help convince others of the serious nature of the US fiscal outlook.

My Troubled Relative 

I need your advice. I have a relative who
is in financial trouble. He makes $50,000 a year, but he spent $74,591
last year, and his prospects of making $50,000 this year look kind of
bad. There’s a good chance he will get a pay cut.

Unfortunately,
he’s been overspending for quite a while and has charged $295,632 on credit cards. He’s been lucky
enough to get low teaser rates, and when those have expired, he’s been able to
transfer the balances to other low-rate cards. So he keeps charging $24,591 per year beyond his income. If
he can’t keep rolling over his debt at super low rates, the interest will quickly eat him up.

But, that’s not his worst problem. He
convinced his family he was a great investor. His parents gave him a
portion of their income for many years, and he promised he would make regular
payments to them and cover their medical care when they got too old to
work. The problem is,
he spent all the money. He also has dependents who are poor, and he
promised to help them out, too. To cover those promises, he should have
$2,372,953 sitting in a bank account earning an interest rate that keeps up
with inflation. But
the money is all gone.

So what should he do? Well, his
Republican friends, who say they are responsible with money, have decided he
must really cut spending to get things under control. There are lots of
things he can live without, so they say he should reduce spending by $1,292 per
year. His Democrat friends say that’s too much. They feel it would be a
great hardship for him to cut spending that drastically, so reducing it by $137
should be about right.

So
here’s the picture:

  • $50,000:
    Income
  • $74,591:
    Expenses
  • $24,591:
    Deficit
  • $295,632:
    Short-term revovling debt at artificially low rates
  • $2,372,632:
    Unfunded promises
  • $1,292: Republican friends
    budget cuts
  • $137: Democrat friends
    budget cuts

So,
what does the future look like for my Uncle Sam? Do you think he can keep
going like this much longer? What about his family who are counting on the
promises he made to them? Do you see any possible solution other than
bankruptcy?

Multiply the above numbers by 47,620,000, and
you get the fiscal picture for the United States Government in 2010:

  • $2.381 Trillion: Revenue
  • $3.552 Trillion: Budget
  • $1.171 Trillion: Deficit
  • $14.078 Trillion: Debt
  • $113 Trillion: Unfunded Liabilities (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid)
  • $0.0615 Trillion ($61.5 Billion): Republican proposed budget cuts
  • $0.0065 Trillion ($6.5 Billion): Democrat  proposed budget cuts

Sincerely,

James B. Driscoll

God Bless America

Categories: Economic Update

Economic Update: 4/25/11 = Where is our country going???

How to Explain the Current Economic Situation to Friends & Family

Sunday, March 22, 2011, 4:46 pm,

by James B. Driscoll

Given its simple elegance in addressing a question frequently asked on this site,
this post has been elevated from the forums section. It has been updated by
site members driscoll and smith since its first appearance (the
original post can be read ).

I’ve been working on a way to get across to
friends and family how bad the economic situation has become. I find one of the
biggest problems is that when numbers are in the billions and trillions they
are very hard to imagine, and people get this glazed/deer in the headlights
look. So I decided to try to scale the numbers in a way that can be more easily
visualized.

Below is an updated version, with many thanks
to members of ChrisMartenson.com community who suggested changes/corrections,
and particularly to Travlin for rewording much of the message to make it a
better story. Hopefully this version will help convince others of the serious
nature of the US fiscal outlook.

My Troubled Relative 

I need your advice. I have a relative who
is in financial trouble. He makes $50,000 a year, but he spent $74,591
last year, and his prospects of making $50,000 this year look kind of
bad. There’s a good chance he will get a pay cut.

Unfortunately, he’s been overspending for
quite a while and has charged $295,632 on credit cards. He’s been lucky
enough to get low teaser rates, and when those have expired, he’s been able to
transfer the balances to other low-rate cards. So he keeps charging $24,591 per
year beyond his income. If he can’t keep rolling over his debt at super
low rates, the interest will quickly eat him up.

But, that’s not his worst problem. He
convinced his family he was a great investor. His parents gave him a
portion of their income for many years, and he promised he would make regular
payments to them and cover their medical care when they got too old to
work. The problem is, he spent all the money. He also has dependents
who are poor, and he promised to help them out, too. To cover those promises,
he should have $2,372,953 sitting in a bank account earning an interest rate
that keeps up with inflation. But the money is all gone.

So what should he do? Well, his
Republican friends, who say they are responsible with money, have decided he
must really cut spending to get things under control. There are lots of
things he can live without, so they say he should reduce spending by $1,292 per
year. His Democrat friends say that’s too much. They feel it would be a
great hardship for him to cut spending that drastically, so reducing it by $137
should be about right.

So here’s the picture:

  • $50,000:
    Income
  • $74,591:
    Expenses
  • $24,591:
    Deficit
  • $295,632:
    Short-term revovling debt at artificially low rates
  • $2,372,632:
    Unfunded promises
  • $1,292: Republican friends
    budget cuts
  • $137: Democrat friends
    budget cuts

So, what does the future look like for my
Uncle Sam? Do you think he can keep going like this much longer? What
about his family who are counting on the promises he made to them? Do you
see any possible solution other than bankruptcy?

Multiply the above numbers by 47,620,000, and
you get the fiscal picture for the United States Government in 2010:

  • $2.381 Trillion: Revenue
  • $3.552 Trillion: Budget
  • $1.171 Trillion: Deficit
  • $14.078 Trillion: Debt
  • $113 Trillion: Unfunded Liabilities (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid)
  • $0.0615 Trillion ($61.5 Billion): Republican proposed budget cuts
  • $0.0065 Trillion ($6.5 Billion): Democrat  proposed budget cuts 

Sincerely,

James B. Driscoll

God Bless America

Twitter / Home

Twitter / Home

via Twitter / Home.

How to Explain the Current Economic Situation to Friends & Family

Sunday, March 22, 2011, 4:46 pm, by James B. Driscoll

Given its simple elegance in addressing a question frequently asked on this site, this post has been elevated from the forums section. It has been updated by site members driscoll and smith since its first appearance (the original post can be read ).

I’ve been working on a way to get across to friends and family how bad the economic situation has become. I find one of the biggest problems is that when numbers are in the billions and trillions they are very hard to imagine, and people get this glazed/deer in the headlights look. So I decided to try to scale the numbers in a way that can be more easily visualized. 

Below is an updated version, with many thanks to members of ChrisMartenson.com community who suggested changes/corrections, and particularly to Travlin for rewording much of the message to make it a better story. Hopefully this version will help convince others of the serious nature of the US fiscal outlook. 

My Troubled Relative 

I need your advice. I have a relative who is in financial trouble. He makes $50,000 a year, but he spent $74,591 last year, and his prospects of making $50,000 this year look kind of bad. There’s a good chance he will get a pay cut.

Unfortunately, he’s been overspending for quite a while and has charged $295,632 on credit cards. He’s been lucky enough to get low teaser rates, and when those have expired, he’s been able to transfer the balances to other low-rate cards. So he keeps charging $24,591 per year beyond his income. If he can’t keep rolling over his debt at super low rates, the interest will quickly eat him up.

But, that’s not his worst problem. He convinced his family he was a great investor. His parents gave him a portion of their income for many years, and he promised he would make regular payments to them and cover their medical care when they got too old to work. The problem is, he spent all the money. He also has dependents who are poor, and he promised to help them out, too. To cover those promises, he should have $2,372,953 sitting in a bank account earning an interest rate that keeps up with inflation. But the money is all gone.

So what should he do? Well, his Republican friends, who say they are responsible with money, have decided he must really cut spending to get things under control. There are lots of things he can live without, so they say he should reduce spending by $1,292 per year. His Democrat friends say that’s too much. They feel it would be a great hardship for him to cut spending that drastically, so reducing it by $137 should be about right.

 

 

So here’s the picture:

·         $50,000: Income

·         $74,591: Expenses

·         $24,591: Deficit

·         $295,632: Short-term revovling debt at artificially low rates

·         $2,372,632: Unfunded promises

·         $1,292: Republican friends budget cuts

·         $137: Democrat friends budget cuts

So, what does the future look like for my Uncle Sam? Do you think he can keep going like this much longer? What about his family who are counting on the promises he made to them? Do you see any possible solution other than bankruptcy? 

Multiply the above numbers by 47,620,000, and you get the fiscal picture for the United States Government in 2010:

·         $2.381 Trillion: Revenue

·         $3.552 Trillion: Budget

·         $1.171 Trillion: Deficit

·         $14.078 Trillion: Debt

·         $113 Trillion: Unfunded Liabilities (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid)

·         $0.0615 Trillion ($61.5 Billion): Republican proposed budget cuts

·         $0.0065 Trillion ($6.5 Billion): Democrat  proposed budget cuts

 

 

Sincerely,

 

James B. Driscoll

 

God Bless America

 

Categories: Economic Update

Annuities ~ Great during the Recession

Why annuity sales are booming during the recession!!!

By James B. Driscoll, Author

Sales of traditional fixed and fixed indexed annuities have boomed during the recession, and the reasons have everything to do with how consumers are feeling and the choices they have to make with their money.

Keep in mind that annuities are merely a place where consumers can store their money and hopefully have it grow. Therefore, annuities compete against other places they can store their money, like in products from banks and mutual fund companies.

If you look at products that don’t contractually guarantee your principal, such as mutual funds that invest in the stock market, most consumers have taken a pretty big hit to their value over the past few years. That has caused a lot of consumers to pull their money out of those sorts of places, and those consumers have been looking for a safer place to put their retirement savings. The challenge, however, is interest rates on traditional safe savings products are at historic lows.

What consumers want is a place where they know their money is safe – that is, protected by contractual guarantees – but they also want a place where they can receive a decent rate of interest over time. That’s exactly what they have been finding when they come to fixed and fixed indexed annuities, and so that’s why sales of these annuities have been booming since the recession began.

Annuities are one of the few places where you can find safety plus a decent rate of interest. Perhaps it is time for you to check them out.

Sincerely,

http://www.jamesbdriscoll.com