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<<...I called the insurance agent today to cancel...We're meeting later this week....>>

I wouldn't bother with the meeting. Like you, I'm not impressed with annuities--and what is he going to be able to sell you in terms of an income stream with the "found" money from the cancelled disability? Keep in mind that he is an insurance agent, however honest and well-intentioned he may be. He has very little to sell you in the way of viable investments, having only insurance products to peddle. And both he and the insurance company do need to make a living, too.

There are those who will say that you're running a large risk by dropping the disability. However, I stand by my position--the insurance company is betting heavily that you won't need the payout until your premiums have accumulated, in the company's investment program, to the point of covering the value of that payout. I'd take them up on that bet--only let the premiums accumulate in your pocket, instead. It is a somewhat one-sided bet though--if the insurance company loses, it can make it up from all the other winning bets it has on the table. You, the individual, have no such reserve. Having thought it through a priori, and having been through one example, though, my wife and I remain uninsured beyond the free stuff that's part of our respective employment compensations. (Incidentally, when I declined any health coverage at my job(I would have had to pay some of the premium), the company paid me most of the premium they no longer had to commit to cover me.)

<<Plan to keep the real estate a while longer and see how that goes....>>

Good luck with that. I did not like being a landlord the two times I was, even though in both cases, the properties were in good shape, the lessees were good people, and so the two experiences were otherwise painless. Guess I'm just too lazy for that. Hard to argue with an income stream, though.

Eric Hines
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