As annuity contracts are written in legalese, consumers need to be certain they can understand what's written in there, so they can manipulate the contract to their benefit. Melody Juge, a Retirement Planner and contributor to Marketwatch.com, says that while it's important for your financial advisor to understand the contract, if you're turning over a substantial amount of money to that person, one really needs to be able to read the contract themselves.
As explained in her Marketwatch.com column, "Take the Challenge: Read Your Annuity Contract," Juge says that most people are selling annuities and she's opposed to that. Juge believes annuities should be placed in a portfolio for a specific purpose and that most people don't understand they can get a copy of the contract prior to selling it. It's usual and customary for an insurance agent to give you all the benefits, have you sign on the dotted line, transfer the money and then the contract gets issued, after which you have 15-30 days to turn it back in, but "you don't have to do that, as I give my clients the contract first," Juge says.
Juge believes the most commonly misunderstood element of annuity contracts is how they get their money out and how that could affect the other features of the contract. "Not only is it important to understand the contract but not put more than $100,000 in any one contract," she notes.
Melody Juge spoke with Retirement News Today during this interview, a retirement news channel featuring online, on-demand retirement news video content. Retirement News Today is a featured network of Sequence Media Group. Melody Juge is a Retirement Planner and writes for Marketwatch.com and to read her article on annuity contracts, click here.