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gpstern, yoiu asked:

<< I am debating whether to purchase an annuity with immediate (rather than deferred) income--or whether I should just invest in the Foolish Four and hope for the bigger returns of the market to continue. I am not quite at retirement age yet, but plan to quit my job to start my own business this year. Any advice from someone with annuity experience or knowledge? >>

They money you want to generate current income, especially if you're depending at all on that income, should not be in any position to "hope for bigger returns of the market". When one is looking for income, one usually wants some certainty as to just what kind of income can be expected. Investing in the Foolish Four WILL NOT give any certainty for income purposes.

Since you are planning on quitting your job to start your own business it seems to me you shouldn't want to put assets that are not going to the development of your business at much risk. I assume that's also why you're considering an immediate annuity. The fact than an annuity provides some creditor protection that other investments don't, this feature might be a important one for someone starting their own business.

Whether or not an annuity really would be a good choice to use as part of your planning can't be determined without a lot of details about your financial situation and your plans for starting your business. It would probably be wise of you to hire a professional to do a detailed analysis who can help you work out your business plan and the details of just what kind of things are in YOUR best interest or not - like this immediate annuity thought.

Just remember, free "advice" is most likely worth just what you've paid for it. ;-)
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