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Author: phojo416 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 294  
Subject: Need some expertise... am I on the right track? Date: 8/23/2008 3:58 PM
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Hi there,

Really enjoying the site, trying to get to grips with understanding investing better!

I would really appreciate overall help… and with a specific issue with an annuity situation.

I am a 42 year old woman who lives with my significant other in his house and pays half the expenses. After being injured in the work place about 2 years ago, II am receiving LT disability which amounts to nearly $3000 per month after tax.

I’d appreciate a second opinion on my situation from all of you financial wizards out there!

At my bank, I have a CD worth about $30,300 that’s just about to mature, plus savings (from a backdated disability payment) of about $43,000. I also have a small 401(k) with my ex-employer worth about $5800 that I want to move to Fidelity.

At Fidelity, I have an Individual Brokerage Account comprised of 4 mutual funds currently worth $28,228.96. I have a small Roth IRA at Fidelity, currently worth $4,567.26.

With $250,000 that was left to me recently, I went into Fidelity and talked with my advisor. I put $175,000 in CDs (3-Month CD for $57,000 at 2.65%; another 3-Month CD for $43,000 at 2.6% ; a 6-Month CD for $50,000 at 3.0%; and a 12-Month CD for $25,000 at 3.60%).

I also put $25,000 Fidelity Select Money Market Fund.

Because I have no “earned income” since I stopped working due to disability, I am not eligible for The Motley Fool’s more highly regarded tax-deferred products like IRA’s and 401(k)’s, so the advisor recommended a deferred variable annuity for the remaining $50,000 of the $250,000. He said it’s because I don’t have enough risk and am not growing anything for retirement. I need to just put something away and leave it. I don’t disagree with this, but I have a feeling annuities aren’t for me.

I got into this a few weeks ago and am still in the “free look” period, with a couple of days to go before it’s final. I think, having read a lot on TMF about annuities AFTER I got into it, that I have changed my mind, in spite of Fidelity’s being one of the better annuity products out there. I’ve learned a lot about the penalties of early withdrawal, plus the income tax one pays compared to capital gains taxes on other investments in the long term. I don’t like how you can lose the whole thing if you die when the money has been annuitized and your heirs get nothing. Also, the state of Maine takes 2% out of the gate as soon as you invest in a variable annuity! On the upside, Fidelity has no surrender fees and very low annual fees of 0.25%. They also do not work on commission.

Being a little more in the know now, I’m wondering whether placing that $50,000 elsewhere would generate that same growth, even with the ups and downs of the market, left long enough I think the growth could be the same. Stocks? Mutual funds? Index funds? There’s a lot of that type of comment on TMF. I can also develop liquidity while I decide what I want to do. I may take some time to travel after a stressful time with lawyers recently due to the injury… not sure I will even retire in the US as I’m a dual citizen with family in the UK.

One more point: In addition, I will shortly be receiving a settlement for my injuries of around $105,000. I want to probably put that in laddered CD’s (1 to 5 years maybe) until I know where life will be taking me.

The annuity issue is the big one for me right now but I’d really welcome comments on my overall financial situation. I am a beginner in all of this. Thanks for reading!
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