What is a Fixed-Indexed Annuity
A Fixed-Indexed Annuity is a fixed annuity with the interest earned linked to an external equity or bond index. The most commonly used indexes are the S&P 500 Index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index and the 10 Year US Treasury Bond. The values of an index can vary daily and certainly are not predictable. When purchasing a fixed-indexed annuity, you own an annuity contract backed by American Equity. You are not purchasing shares of stock, bonds or any indexes.
The benefits and features of American Equity's fixed indexed annuities include:
- Tax-Deferred Growth.
- Choices of how interest is calculated and which index is used.
- Single or Flexible Premiums.
- Systematic Withdrawals of interest or amounts to satisfy IRS minimum distributions available immediately.**
- 10% penalty-free withdrawals starting in year 2.
- Lifetime Income Benefit. +
- Additional liquidity if you are confined to a nursing home or diagnosed with a terminal illness (available by state approval).
- Surrender Charges may apply for early withdrawal.
- Full Contract Value at first-to-die of Owner or Annuitant.
- No up front sales charges or fees.*
* One hundred percent of your premiums earn interest directly related to your fixed-indexed annuities. Once interest is credited, it compounds annually and can never be lost due to interest rate adjustments or negative fluctuations in the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, or the 10 Year US Treasury Bond.
** Benefit not guaranteed and subject to change.
+ Not Available on all products.
Here we are in June already. I have a number of exciting things to tell you about. The first is I have started working on a data base that will give each of you the ability to log into your accounts with me via my website, using a user ID and Password, (Does not include medicare). This project will take most of the year and I will probably need a couple volunteers to help with the testing. Please let me know if your interested.
Second project I have decided was a necessity with ObamaCare kicking in full force this October. Once again I will have a link from my website giving you the ability to look at all plans that are in the Ohio Exchange and also give you the ability to get a rate quote and sign up with the one that works best for you. Once again this does not include anyone having a medicare supplement a/o advantage plan.
We are also considering adding a mortgage lending division to the company. I will keep you informed as to how that is developing.
Last, put not least, I have added Melissa Crowder to the company. She is in the process of getting all of her necessary licenses and will gradually become more involved with the day to day operations. I will have her with me on some of the appointments I have with each of you so that you will have a chance to get to know her.
In closing I leave you with this thought:
Remember, amateurs built the ark.
Professionals built the Titanic.
Key Estate Planning Documents You Need
There are five estate planning documents you may need, regardless of your age, health, or wealth:
- Durable power of attorney
- Advanced medical directives
- Letter of instruction
- Living trust
The last document, a living trust, isn't always necessary, but it's included here because it's a vital component of many estate plans.
Durable power of attorney
A durable power of attorney (DPOA) can help protect your property in the event you become physically unable or mentally incompetent to handle financial matters. If no one is ready to look after your financial affairs when you can't, your property may be wasted, abused, or lost.
A DPOA allows you to authorize someone else to act on your behalf, so he or she can do things like pay everyday expenses, collect benefits, watch over your investments, and file taxes.
There are two types of DPOAs: (1) a standby DPOA, which is effective immediately (this is appropriate if you face a serious operation or illness), and (2) a springing DPOA, which is not effective unless you have become incapacitated.
Caution: A springing DPOA is not permitted in some states, so you'll want to check with an attorney.
Advanced medical directives
Advanced medical directives let others know what medical treatment you would want, or allows someone to make medical decisions for you, in the event you can't express your wishes yourself. If you don't have an advanced medical directive, medical care providers must prolong your life using artificial means, if necessary. With today's technology, physicians can sustain you for days and weeks (if not months or even years).
There are three types of advanced medical directives. Each state allows only a certain type (or types). You may find that one, two, or all three types are necessary to carry out all of your wishes for medical treatment. (Just make sure all documents are consistent.)
First, a living will allows you to approve or decline certain types of medical care, even if you will die as a result of that choice. In most states, living wills take effect only under certain circumstances, such as terminal injury or illness. Generally, one can be used only to decline medical treatment that "serves only to postpone the moment of death." In those states that do not allow living wills, you may still want to have one to serve as evidence of your wishes.
Second, a durable power of attorney for health care (known as a health-care proxy in some states) allows you to appoint a representative to make medical decisions for you. You decide how much power your representative will or won't have.
Finally, a Do Not Resuscitate order (DNR) is a doctor's order that tells medical personnel not to perform CPR if you go into cardiac arrest. There are two types of DNRs. One is effective only while you are hospitalized. The other is used while you are outside the hospital.
A will is often said to be the cornerstone of any estate plan. The main purpose of a will is to disburse property to heirs after your death. If you don't leave a will, disbursements will be made according to state law, which might not be what you would want.
There are two other equally important aspects of a will:
- You can name the person (executor) who will manage and settle your estate. If you do not name someone, the court will appoint an administrator, who might not be someone you would choose.
- You can name a legal guardian for minor children or dependents with special needs. If you don't appoint a guardian, the state will appoint one for you.
Keep in mind that a will is a legal document, and the courts are very reluctant to overturn any provisions within it. Therefore, it's crucial that your will be well written and articulated, and properly executed under your state's laws. It's also important to keep your will up-to-date.
Letter of instruction
A letter of instruction (also called a testamentary letter or side letter) is an informal, non-legal document that generally accompanies your will and is used to express your personal thoughts and directions regarding what is in the will (or about other things, such as your burial wishes or where to locate other documents). This can be the most helpful document you leave for your family members and your executor.
Unlike your will, a letter of instruction remains private. Therefore, it is an opportunity to say the things you would rather not make public.
A letter of instruction is not a substitute for a will. Any directions you include in the letter are only suggestions and are not binding. The people to whom you address the letter may follow or disregard any instructions.
A living trust (also known as a revocable or inter vivos trust) is a separate legal entity you create to own property, such as your home or investments. The trust is called a living trust because it's meant to function while you're alive. You control the property in the trust, and, whenever you wish, you can change the trust terms, transfer property in and out of the trust, or end the trust altogether.
Not everyone needs a living trust, but it can be used to accomplish various purposes. The primary function is typically to avoid probate. This is possible because property in a living trust is not included in the probate estate.
Depending on your situation and your state's laws, the probate process can be simple, easy, and inexpensive, or it can be relatively complex, resulting in delay and expense. This may be the case, for instance, if you own property in more than one state or in a foreign country, or have heirs that live overseas.
Further, probate takes time, and your property generally won't be distributed until the process is completed. A small family allowance is sometimes paid, but it may be insufficient to provide for a family's ongoing needs. Transferring property through a living trust provides for a quicker, almost immediate transfer of property to those who need it.
Probate can also interfere with the management of property like a closely held business or stock portfolio. Although your executor is responsible for managing the property until probate is completed, he or she may not have the expertise or authority to make significant management decisions, and the property may lose value. Transferring the property with a living trust can result in a smoother transition in management.
Finally, avoiding probate may be desirable if you're concerned about privacy. Probated documents (e.g., will, inventory) become a matter of public record. Generally, a trust document does not.
Caution: Although a living trust transfers property like a will, you should still also have a will because the trust will be unable to accomplish certain things that only a will can, such as naming an executor or a guardian for minor children.
Tip: There are other ways to avoid the probate process besides creating a living trust, such as titling property jointly.
Caution: Living trusts do not generally minimize estate taxes or protect property from future creditors or ex-spouses.
Question: Are You Prepared If a National Disaster Strikes
It seems as though there's always a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood, fire, blizzard, or mudslide happening somewhere in the United States. A storm or other natural disaster could destroy your home, business, or workplace and put you in financial straits, but there are things you can do both before and after the event to help you recover quickly.
1. Create a financial emergency kit.
Put together a kit that contains some cash and checks, a list of important contacts (e.g., your insurance agent), and copies of important documents, including identification cards, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies and inventories, wills, trusts, and deeds. Make sure your kit is stored in a safe and secure place in your home.
2. Protect your assets.
Take some commonsense precautions to safeguard your home, business, car, boat, and similar assets against damage from wind, water, fire, or other risks.
3. Take inventory.
Create and maintain an inventory of your valuables, including appliances, electronics, furniture, clothing, jewelry, and artwork. Record models and serial numbers, and take pictures or a video of the items. This will help when it comes time to file insurance claims and purchase replacements.
4. Check your insurance coverage.
Make sure your insurance policies (e.g., homeowners, auto) include all the coverage you need, and understand that damage caused by natural disasters may not be covered under general types of policies. You may need to consider buying separate coverage for hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, or other disasters
In the immediate aftermath, proceed with caution. While the disaster may have passed, health and safety hazards still may exist. Be aware that any building you're in, including your home, may not be structurally sound, so carefully look for any apparent damage. Also, report contamination from spills of oil, gas, chemicals, or any hazardous substance.
Assess your property for damage. Take pictures of damaged areas both inside and outside your home, including trees, landscaping, and yard structures such as sheds.
File insurance claims immediately. Contact your insurance agent and file claims as soon as possible. The quicker you do so, the sooner you can get back on your feet.
1. In the immediate aftermath, proceed with caution.
While the disaster may have passed, health and safety hazards still may exist. Be aware that any building you're in, including your home, may not be structurally sound, so carefully look for any apparent damage. Also, report contamination from spills of oil, gas, chemicals, or any hazardous substance.
2. Assess your property for damage.
Take pictures of damaged areas both inside and outside your home, including trees, landscaping, and yard structures such as sheds.
3. File insurance claims immediately.
Contact your insurance agent and file claims as soon as possible. The quicker you do so, the sooner you can get back on your feet.
|Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.|