Annuity Transfer – What Are The Risks

Many people who know in the back of their minds that they got the possibility to transform a monthly payment or annuity long term payments into a big lump sum and by that to relieve some temporarily financial problems, or need to buy a new car or a house or help their children and so forth are tempted to exercise this process into action.

Although it is a very natural feeling and sometimes even a real life need or deep inner quest for power and control, it is not in their best financial interest to say the least.

It is no wonder that the U.S federal laws encourage long term payments in both cases like Structured settlements and lottery winnings. There are many good reasons for that and I’m going to spell them out as clear as I can.

– In some countries around the world it is legal to pay for lottery winning in one lump sum. Experience shows many of these people lose most or all of their money in a few years time, due to the following reasons:

– Ordinary people who get into their possession a very large sum of money don’t really know how to manage their treasure or how to invest it wisely, they are not prepared for it and they are overwhelmed with a delusion of over abundance of wealth, they become totally careless on how and on what they spend their money.

– Even if they invest their money, they go for high risk speculative investments as they try to get high yields. Instead of going for a much solid and safer, “widows & orphans” type of investment portfolio. Neither do they go for the golden middle way in between of a mixed portfolio. They don’t use investments advisers or financial consultants.

– They become over generous with their family and friends, they buy their children homes, cars or any other materialistic requests, they ” lend ” money to a friend in need…

– They listen to shrewd business people who talk them into investing into all kinds of business adventures that seems to them very profitable but in a short while turn into total failures and the money is gone.

– All kind of addictive behaviors like betting horse races or going to play the roulette in the casino are now intensified with the feeling of power and wealth, it might drive the person to gamble high sums of money as if there is no tomorrow.

– Believe it or not but criminal elements might engage in putting pressure to extort monies from the overnight rich poor guy. They might threaten to harm his family etc’

– Charity institutions start to call all day and night asking for donations to a very noble causes, they even send some slick reps to convince him to donate money.

– His own children, some times his spouse becomes very greedy and exert emotional pressure to give them more and more money. In some cases the sudden riches literally ruined the families.

As I have shown you above, getting a large lump sum of money might be a risky thing, this is In addition to the fact that you are loosing a lot of money which was Tax free, that alone might be a difference of anywhere between 35% – 65% , add to it the profits of the fund who bought the annuity from you and you are loosing big time. It is not recommended for an injured or a disabled person, to transform the whole Structured Settlement long term payments into one big lump sum or you might find yourself one day without the money and facing high medical expenses and other bills you cannot afford.

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Annuity Lead Generation

Copyright 2006 Brian Maroevich

If you want to generate more annuity leads from your marketing efforts, here are five annuity lead generation tips you should consider:

Your Audience: Whether you are marketing on the Internet, using direct-mail, or creating display ads, marketing to the right audience is crucial. Even the best marketing piece or sales presentation is worthless if it’s presented to people who are not interested!

Do your research. Who is your target audience? What do they read? What are their fears? What are their desires? These are just some of the questions you should ask, and once you have the answer you are on your way to uncovering a hungry market.

Benefits: Although it’s important to know your products thoroughly, it’s equally as important to know the benefits of each feature. Agents are so focused on how an annuity works that they often lose sight of the benefits. It’s what drives your prospect to respond to your offer or sign the application.

A good exercise is to squeeze out as many benefits you can for each feature of your annuity, and write them down. This will not only help you in your annuity lead generation efforts, but it will help you sell more annuities as well.

Do you really want to market a product?: One thing is for certain, if you’re marketing a financial product like an annuity, you can expect small response rates. The reason for this is that your potential prospects have been hit with advertisement after advertisement on the advantages of owning products like annuities. As a result, your prospect is more likely to throw your marketing in the trash, or simply click delete.

An alternative to marketing annuities on the front end is to create what is called a “lead generator”. A lead generator comes in many forms, but the most common is an information product. In this case it would be a booklet, report, or something similar. Do not mistake this for a brochure. A lead generator, written properly, works more like a sophisticated sales letter.

Instead of advertising an annuity, you would advertise your lead generator. The key is to use the lead generator as a tool to capture your prospects contact information, and as a result, you build an extremely valuable list that most agents and financial advisors would crawl over broken glass to own.

Systemize: Whether you decide to market an annuity on the front end or use a lead generator, it’s important to systematize your marketing system. Studies show that it can take up to 17 contacts to make a sale. In other words, for every lead you generate, you should have a sequence of follow-ups ready to go.

Test: Another important area you should consider is testing small. Once you decide upon your market and how you want to generate leads, test a small ad or test a small number of names on a well selected list. If your response rates do not provide you with a decent return on investment, you haven’t wasted a lot of money.

Secondly, you can find out where you went wrong in your marketing system and fix it. Once you have a profitable annuity lead generation system put together, you can roll it out on a bigger scale.

A successful annuity lead generation program has the best chance of success when you target the right audience, uncover the benefits of your product, choose the right approach, follow-up regularly, and test small (to get the kinks out).

Annuities for Retirees: What to Consider Before You Invest

Annuities can be purchased directly from an insurance company or from other financial institutions (including banks) that act on behalf of the insurance company. In exchange for your investment, the insurer agrees to make periodic payments for a set time period. It’s important to remember that some annuities may lose value. These products are not insured by the FDIC or the FDIC-insured bank or savings institution that may offer them.

There are different types of annuities. A “fixed annuity” provides a fixed payment, often monthly, until the investor dies. It typically guarantees no loss of principal (the amount invested). A “variable annuity” also guarantees payment for a set period, but the payment amounts will fluctuate based on the market performance of the investment option you choose. With a variable annuity, you also risk losing principal as well as earnings, although some variable annuities guarantee the return of your initial investment for an additional fee.

If the income payments are deferred to some later date, the annuity is typically described as a “deferred annuity.” If the payments begin immediately and continue for life, the annuity may be referred to as an “immediate life annuity.”

On the plus side, annuities provide another investment option if you’ve reached your contribution limit on your other retirement accounts, such as 401(k) plans. And, at retirement, the guaranteed payments can provide extra income. But, as with any investment, be aware of the potential pitfalls and make an informed decision.

Know the key features and costs of the product and make sure they fit your needs. Read the literature to understand the most important facts and risks, including the potential for loss, if any.

“A sales representative who talks to you about purchasing an annuity is required by federal law to ask you questions about your investment goals, current finances and future retirement plans,” said Kara Ritchie, an FDIC Policy Analyst who specializes in consumer issues. “If the representative doesn’t discuss whether the product is suitable for your needs and goals, take your business elsewhere.”

Experts generally say that annuities with guaranteed principal and income are more suitable for older investors than annuities that may, through market performance, lose value. The latter include variable-rate, deferred-payment annuities and equity-indexed annuities (those tied to the stock market), which might not make sense for many investors close to or in retirement.

Anatomy of a Mortgage

Mortgages were the original home loan agreement. In many ways, the mortgage changed the real estate market completely and turned it on its head in a very good way. Before the advent of the mortgage, the only way for people to go out and get what they wanted in terms of property was to pay for it outright. Since very few people possessed the means back then to pay for property outright, the ownership rights were only there for pretty much the upper middle class and the upper class people; the middle class downwards were excluded from this very important thing. Mortgages changed all of that and to understand how profound a mortgage is, it is important to take a close look at exactly what a mortgage entails.

Agreement

The agreement for a mortgage is one that is the main point of everything else that follows. Under the agreement of a typical mortgage, the person has the ability to borrow money from the bank in order to pay for a house or a property. The amount of money they can borrow varies, but for the majority of banks it usually resolves itself towards being around 95% of the actual quoted value of the house. In exchange for getting this very large loan, the person then agrees to put the house up as collateral against that loan, so that the bank has some way to save itself in the event that the person is unable to pay that loan back.

Interest Rates

Now, whenever people think about loans, very likely the first thing that they think about is interest rates. There are a number of different interest rates involved in different loans, but when you compare the vast majority of them to what is available under a mortgage, what you find is that the vast majority of those interest rates don’t really match up. The average mortgage has an interest rate attached to it between 5% and 7% and the vast majority of loans that are available on the marketplace today, even if they happen to be secured loans, really can’t match up.

Repayment Terms

Just like with the interest rates, the repayment terms for a number of different mortgages are very impressive when put up against a number of other conventional loans. When you’re talking about unsecured loans (i.e. credit cards), then obviously there’s going to be no contest, but for the most part you will find that mortgage repayment terms are significantly easier to deal with than with most other loans. This is because (a) the collateral being used is extremely strong and (b) the term lengths are longer, so naturally that makes the monthly payments smaller.

Fees

There are some fees for mortgage payments relating to things like late payments and underpayments, but you will find for the most part that fees are not really that important in the grand scheme of the agreement itself. It is important to be aware of what fees are there, but most of the time you will see that they aren’t that big.

American Express Blue Cards: Which Blue Is For You?

Times certainly have changed for American Express. Gone are the days where the American Express card was simply a charge card that had to be paid off in full every month. Yes, the old workhorse – the green card – is still available and popular too. However, American Express decided to take MasterCard and VISA on directly by offering its own line of credit cards. These “blue” cards have been such a hit with consumers that the admired financial giant is now offering four different blue cards from which consumers can choose. Each American Express blue card is different, so let’s take a look at just what makes each one so special.

American Express Sky Blue, The Ultimate Travel Rewards Card

Sky Blue – If you are tired of all those rewards cards that promise you a weekend in Las Vegas, but can only deliver you an overnight stay in Providence, then the Sky Blue card should appeal to you. Touted by American Express as putting an end to travel reward card restrictions, Sky Blue goes where no other American Express blue card has gone before it. With absolutely no black out dates and no travel restrictions, the Sky Blue card allows for card holders to travel where they want, when they want. But, it even gets better: 0% introductory APR and no annual fee; discounts on airline tickets, hotel stays, and car rentals. You even get free coverage on rental car insurance and travel accident insurance with Sky Blue.

Blue Cash For Cold, Hard Cash

Blue Cash – If it is cold, hard cash that you want, then there isn’t a card that matches the American Express Blue Cash card. This is no 1% or 2% cash back card; the Blue Cash card is one that really works for card holders as it gives back 5% cash on just about everything you buy. Save 5% on gas. Save 5% on drugstore visits, on the bills you pay, and on so much more. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about redeeming your points as every year American Express will give you your earnings back to you in the form of a big fat credit to your account!

The Original Blue: The American Express Blue Card

Blue – The American Express Blue card was the card that got the whole blue movement rolling. Although it isn’t as power packed with the features found in Sky Blue or Blue Cash, the Blue card is still a worthy choice. If you select “Blue” you get 0% APR for up to 15 months, 4.99% APR on balance transfers for the life of the loan, and you will earn points toward the American Express free rewards program. Yes, there is no annual fee with the Blue card either!

Jet Blue: The Airline And The Card

Jet Blue – Named for the airline it represents, the American Express Jet Blue card allows card holders to accumulate points toward free Jet Blue Airways flights. Using the card the very first time nets users a cool 5,000 points right off the bat. You can also get double points at many places where you like to shop or eat.

As you have read, the competition for credit card carrying customers is heating up. With an American Express Blue Card you can receive benefits not available to customers of competing card companies. What are you waiting for? Put an American Express Blue Card in your wallet today and reap all of the rewards!

Travel Health Insurance: Don’t Leave The Homeland Without It

Insurance is designed to give us peace of mind. It is there to help us when things go wrong. Whether it is insurance of our health, possessions, or income, we willingly pay our premiums in order to rest easily in knowing that we are protected from loss. Yet it is truly ironic that when we are farthest from home and on foreign lands, our health insurance is often at its most useless. For peace of mind when traveling or living internationally the smart traveler is sure to purchase travel health insurance.

Many of us spend thousands of dollars each year in purchasing comprehensive and complete health insurance coverage. Yet many people are surprised to learn that what is comprehensive coverage within our own borders is often useless when we travel abroad. And it is not just those who purchase extensive private health insurance coverage who are surprised, student health insurance and U.S. Medicare both fail to cover the insured when they are beyond the border.

If you are planning international travel and you wish to avoid the shocking expenses that an unexpected injury or illness can cause, then you should consider the purchase of travel health insurance.

While the format and benefits of various travel health insurance plans can vary, the basic premise remains the same; if something goes wrong you are covered. Depending on the cost of the plan you can purchase coverage that will have various maximum limits, from as little as $25,000 to as much as $1,000,000. Further, it is not uncommon for travel health insurance plans to cover more than just medical bills.

Other common features are the cost of medical evacuation in case you need to be moved back to your native country for care or treatment. Accidental death and dismemberment coverage provides insurance benefits in the event of a loss of life, limb, eyesight, speech, or hearing. Some plans will cover the expense of returning your remains to your country of origin in the unfortunate event of death, or cover the expenses of children or family members who need to be returned home due to your condition.

Still others can include coverage for less catastrophic occasions, such as trip cancellation or lost baggage. These features, and others not listed, are not available on all plans so smart consumers will be sure to investigate further in order to determine the plan that best covers their particular needs.

Travel health insurance is a product that should appeal to anyone who is engaged in international travel. Whether coming to or leaving from the United States, travelers can rest comfortably when they know their basic needs will be covered without incurring massive expenses. If you are planning to travel across international lines then you would be wise to investigate your travel health insurance options right away, and a great place to start is by getting a quote from a reputable broker. This can be done with a few clicks of the mouse on the Internet.

If you are traveling through a university function, or with a group tour or cruise line, you may be able to purchase insurance directly from the trip organizers. But do not wait until it is too late; only a few dollars spent before you depart can save you thousands of dollars, or more, as long as you remember to make travel health insurance a staple item in your pre-travel planning.

Travel Arrangements and Insurance

There are many different types of traveller. There are business men and women who are flying from one city to another for brief meetings, then there are families taking a two week holiday to the sun with young children, then there are students or gap year travellers who will be backpacking around exotic locations on extremely low budgets. There are really about as many different types of traveller as there are different types of person.

There are many different approaches you can take to booking your travel arrangements. Your main priority may be convenience, for example if you have a meeting near the airport you will need airport accommodation and little else, however, if you are travelling for pleasure, you are likely to have far less restrictions and will be willing to consider all types of arrangements. You can have these arranged for you by a travel agent or you could do it for yourself online. Or alternatively, you may wish to simply travel to a city or country with absolutely no plans and just see what happens when you get there.

On of the things you should always travel with is proper health and travel insurance. Obviously your requirements will again vary depending on what kind of travel you are undertaking. If you are travelling for business, full travel insurance that will provide you with alternative flights if yours is cancelled or delayed will be important. For most holiday travellers, this may not be quite as important. If you are travelling with children you may wish to consider it, but otherwise you may be quite flexible and tolerant if delays do occur. But you may be more worried about your luggage and belongings and wish to have good coverage for loss or damage to your property. All these options are available today with the various travel insurance companies that are operating in the market.

Generally speaking, you will always need health insurance when you travel. You cannot afford to take the risk that an accident or serious injury occurs and you do not have proper coverage. There are many parts of the word where free national health insurance is not provided and if you do require medical treatment, it will only be provided if you can pay for it. Particularly if you are travelling with children, you should always arrange adequate travel insurance with medical coverage. This is simply a risk that you do not want to be bearing yourself especially when the cost of travel insurance is so affordable.