Everybody is interested in avoiding taxation legally because no one likes to pay taxes. There is generally no tax liability in case of annuities and this is what makes it so popular. After all, ‘a penny saved is a penny earned’ therefore why not invest in these since they do not require you to pay tax? The tax-deferred growth that one can enjoy from an annuity is probably one of the most attractive features about it. The government isn’t going to tax you on any of the earnings as long as the money stays inside the annuity. Thus, if you were filing for 2009 taxes then your annuity wouldn’t come under it.
However, it cannot remain like this forever since all good things should come to an end. Therefore your deferred annuity will get taxed in its later stages. To understand this, it is necessary to take a look at the two stages of a deferred annuity. The accumulation phase is the first phase and during this phase the annuity is allowed to grow and there is no tax liability on it.
In the second phase, i.e. the distribution phase, the annuity is paid out and the payment can be made in a single lump sum or it can be segregated into a series of payouts at fixed intervals over a lifetime or a pre-determined period of time. It does not matter which mode of payment is opted because the income tax will be due on each of the annuity payment which the recipient receives.
Need advice on tax credit, retirement savings? Here are six tips to help.
Your age and your income may make you eligible for tax credits if you make the right kind of payments to a retirement plan, either through your employer or a private scheme.
Six things you need to know about savers credit:
1. The Savers Credit, also called the Retirement Savings Contribution Credit, is for people with the following 2011 income:
Single people, married couples claiming separately, or widows and widowers, up to $28,250
Breadwinner up to $42,375
Married couples claiming together $56,500
2. To be able to claim you must be 18 or over, not have been a student full time in the last year, and not been named as a dependent on another return.
3. If you contribute to an eligible IRA or a 401k or another plan, you may be able to get up to $1000 credit ($2000 for a joint claim). This is calculated as a percentage of the eligible contribution. The high rates are for those with the lowest income.
4. In your calculations, you need to take off any payouts from your plan due to the contributions you’ve made. This is in the case of payouts received over the two years prior to claiming credit plus the claim year and any time remaining at the end of the claim year before the date due, including extended periods.
5. Most claimants can deduct at least some money contributed to an IRA.
Lifetime annuity has been helping people in different ways. Investment products are deigned strategically so as to provide consumers with greater income in the future. Lifetime annuities are smart investment plans where the annuitant is entitled to receive a certain amount till he outlives. With rates of life expectancy reaching peaks, needs for lifetime annuities have been increasing. While term annuities mean that you will receive a specific amount for a specified time, lifetime annuities make sure you remain financially stable till the time you live.
Of all financial investments lifetime annuity that is fixed in nature, are considered a fruitful investment vehicle. Moreover, they are safe options for retired individuals who crave for a stable economic flow. Fixed lifetime annuities safeguard you from the risk prone fluctuating market. These investment plans promise the holder of benefits, where he is entitled to receive a steady flow of income regardless of any turmoil prevailing in the market.
While most of these investment products offer income for your life, others draw a line when it comes to offering you money. Lifetime annuities entitle you of receiving a certain sum of money either on a monthly, basis or on yearly basis depending upon your needs. Such kinds of income last for around 20 years or more. The annuitant has the right to receive the amount in lump sum. In that case he will have to inform the annuity company from beforehand.
Lifetime annuity helps avert market risks and in majority of instances the annuity provider has to bear market risks. Even if the economic conditions are poor the annuitant won’t be affected. This is why most people opt for lifetime annuity over other investment plans.
It is time you compare lifetime annuities
If you are unable to settle for the perfect investment plan you need to converse with an annuity expert. You need to seek help from a financial planner who has been in business for quite long. The expert having profound knowledge would readily offer you guidance on the same. The expert after comparing different financial products would even go on to the extent of highlighting the merits and demerits of each product. Whether or not you will like to invest on a particular lifetime annuity investment would largely depend on his word of mouth. He is likely to show you the differences in return by using the annuity calculator and make it easier for you to select a plan.
If you are nearing retirement you might start worrying about the different pension policies and the annuities. Whatever may be the pension policies, most importantly one should focus on the lifestyle that one will carry on after one stops working. An annuity converts a huge amount of sum generally the lump sum amount of the pension into a guaranteed income after retirement that will exist for entire life you live. Retirement annuities which give the best annuity quotes include increasing annuities, guaranteed annuities, joint-life annuities and investment-linked annuities.
Annuity quotes keep on changing from one holder to the next. The main reason why rates would constantly change is due to the insurance company where the annuity is purchased. There can be up or down in the rating of the quotes because of the clauses in the contract which the insurance company applies. The companies also control the rate of quotes which is responsible for the lifestyle and health condition of the contract holder and whenever there will be a change in the lifestyle the insurance companies will have the privilege to discontinue.
The type of annuity too has an effect on the annuity quotes. As for example life annuity would have a notable effect on the quotes since such a type of payment will be based on the entire span of one’s life. This means that the holder of the contract will stop with the payment upon death. Some annuity plans also consider the dates in the contract. This involves the cancellation of the contract well before the death of the contract holder. But this is not beneficial for the plan holder since he won’t be able to claim any more money in the near future. This is why each option of the annuity must first be reviewed before taking up of any claims. Again it is the discretion of the holder of the contract if he would stick to the laws set by the insurance company or whether he would be applying for another option after the expiry of the contract.
Apart from the contract and the type of annuity, annuity quotescan always be controlled through claiming. If a contract holder would not claim his earnings in a couple of months, the insurance company will have to increase the rate of interest from about 1 to 2%. Some insurance companies increase it to about 6%. The increase in the rate of interest depends upon the bylaws of the state as well as the boundaries in the contract. Any breach of contract is entitled to immense penalty.
Many people get nervous when it comes to thinking about retirement investing. It can be a very confusing process with complicated terms and options available. However, it is vitally important to save for your future. The earlier you start the better when it comes to saving for retirement. The successful investors are the ones who consistently put money away no matter what the markets are doing. To reach your financial retirement goals there are a couple of options available to most people.
If you work for an employer who offers a 401(k), or similar plan, it is quite easy to save for retirement. Whether or not you use the 401(k) at your job depends on a couple of factors. Many of these accounts are set up by commissioned salespeople who talk employers into using their plans. These plans often have much higher costs than if you invested on your own. Also, many 401(k) plans are very limited in the choice of funds you can invest in. You must compare your 401(k) with other investment options in order to determine whether or not is the right choice for you. However, if your company offers a match to the dollars you invest then it is wise to at least invest up to the percentage that your company matches no matter what the choices are in the 401(k). The reason is because the match that the company provides creates an automatic return on your investment.
If your company does not offer a 401(k) or you do not qualify for it than there is always a traditional IRA. Much like a 401(k), an IRA allows you to deduct the money invested in the taxes you pay. This allows you to put more money to work in your retirement account and you pay taxes later on when you take the money out in retirement. You could easily set up an IRA online with many different companies. You can set up automatic deductions from a checking account or savings which helps make investing for retirement quick and painless.
Another form of the IRA is the Roth. It is identical to a traditional IRA with one big exception. You do not receive a tax credit for the money invested in the Roth. In return, since you are to pay taxes on your investment money, you never have to pay taxes on the money you withdraw in retirement. The best IRA plans are the ones who feature low-cost investing such as Vanguard.
There are many different financial calculators online which can help determine whether a traditional or a Roth IRA is the best choice for you. There are even calculators which allow you to compare a 401(k) with investing in an IRA.
While many financial experts claim you should avoid borrowing from your 401k as much as possible, it may be your only financial life line in certain situations. Because so many people often don’t have enough or anything at all saved toward retirement, financial experts claim you could be setting yourself up for financial disaster when you are ready to retire. On the other hand, depending on your situation, it may make sense to borrow.
If you have considered other financial options such as borrowing from friends, family or home equity line of credit, a loan against your 401k may be your last option. An emergency that may be okay to borrow includes the need of living essentials such as food, grocery items and keeping utilities from being disconnected. If you have other obligations or are being harassed by debt collectors for items such as medical bills or credit card bills, negotiate a payment plan that will give you time to make payments before considering using 401k funds to pay them off.
It you have a secure job it may be safe to borrow because it helps in repaying the loan amount. You may have to consider payment amounts that would be applied to what you borrowed if they are automatically deducted from your paycheck. Also keep in mind; you may be required to pay it back during a set time period. If you leave your job before the loan is repaid, you’ll have 60 days to pay what is due. At this point, the money taken out may be subject to a 10 percent tax penalty.
You plan to use what you borrow for a smart investment. This includes using the money to purchase a home, start a business or further your education. For homebuyers, the repayment period is extended. Make sure business decisions are thoroughly researched and educational credentials will have additional value for the workplace.
If you are unable to obtain a loan at an affordable rate, borrowing from your 401k may be a low-cost loan option. People who have filed bankruptcy in the past, for example, may not qualify for a loan at a lower rate. Remember, you may still have to pay penalties for touching your 401k before your retirement age. You may save interest in choosing to borrow against your 401k but it may not make up for taking the funds out in the beginning.
Andrew writes frequently about personal finance as well as issues effecting both consumers and small businesses, covering everything from credit cards to mortgages to tax reduction.