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Author: momfsa One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76421  
Subject: Re: Annuities Date: 10/30/2000 10:25 AM
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I assume that you're talking about a deferred annuity and not one in payout status. You're policy might have a couple of features that might help you out, but in general you'll have to accept that you made a mistake. Annuities are for people that plan on holding them for at least the surrender charge period.

1) I assume that this is a non-tax qualified annuity. If not, the rules change slightly.

2) You're over 59 1/2 so you avoid a penalty for withdrawing early, that's a good thing.

3) You are going to have to pay surrender charges. Read your policy and see what they're based on and how any free partial withdrawal provisions interact with them. You might be able to withdraw some of your money without being subject to the charges, and then withdraw the rest later.

4) Read your policy to see if it contains a "return of premium" (or similarly worded) provision. This might work like a floor, reducing how much the insurance company can take. However, pay attention to how it is applied, before or after surrender charges are withdrawn.

5) Check your policy for a market value adjustment if it credits a fixed interest rate (you didn't say whether the annuity was fixed or variable). An MVA may increase or reduce the surrender charges applied.

6) Consider what you call "a little more profitable". Remember that your annuity is accumulating on a tax deferred basis. If you are planning on these funds being passed to heirs, the return might be acceptable. If you're looking for a payout eventually, keep in mind that only a % of the proceeds that you'll be receiving are taxable, and at often a lower tax bracket.

I hope this helps. If you have any trouble understanding your policy you should contact your agent. If you want a second opinion, feel free to post questions here or email me directly. I've been an actuary in the annuity business for 15 years now.
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