Annuities can be sound investment options, but they can also lead to bad outcomes for investors. Unethical marketing, annuity scams, and unsuitable annuity sales can destroy an investor’s lifetime of hard work. If you have been harmed by annuity fraud, we can help.
At the Investment Loss Recovery Group, we have 40 years of experience helping investors recover losses. As former licensed securities brokers, we understand the legal and ethical duties that annuity sellers are required to meet. We can help you understand the terms of your annuity and help you to recover any unnecessary losses.
Annuity problems and annuity fraud affect many investors. We represent investors who have been harmed by their investments in annuities due to fraud or negligence. Call our office so that we can help you understand your recovery options.
Contact us today for a free consultation, including an analysis of your situation and advice about your best legal options.
What Are Annuities?
Annuities are a type of investment vehicle that should pay an investor out over the course of years. Investors put an initial investment into the annuity, either as a lump sum or a premium they pay over time. This money is invested and grown according to the annuity’s plan or contract. Later on, when the annuity is activated, it should pay out over the course of years to the investor.
Annuities are typically used in contexts such as retirement where investors may want to pay up front for a guaranteed payout over time. They can help investors avoid problems with irregular and unpredictable income when a steady income can help. For example, an investor could pay a large amount into an annuity when they are younger to receive the promise of a steady payout when they are older.
Annuities are legal and useful forms of investment sold by agents with life insurance and securities licenses. When they are sold properly, they can provide investors stability and predictability. However, they can also be the types of products used by unethical sellers to harm and defraud investor clients.
How Annuities Can Be a Problem
Unethical marketing, ignoring tax issues, ignoring lack of liquidity, and often hidden or opaque commissions and fees can all take their toll on investors. If you have invested in an annuity, or you are considering such an investment, be aware of the following potential problems with annuities:
- Unethical marketing and unsuitability. Many sellers use unethical marketing practices to lure investors into annuities. Promises of stability and long-term payouts are tempting to investors who are looking for stability. Senior citizens, in particular, may not understand what they are getting into. They may pay into an annuity but get less out than they thought they would. For some seniors, an annuity investment may be unsuitable for their situation.
- Funds in an annuity are not liquid. Funds can be locked into an annuity for a long time. Liquidity refers to the ease with which an investment can be turned into a readily usable asset such as cash. With annuities, once funds flow in, it can be hard to get them out fast. This is a particular problem for senior citizens or other investors who may need access to cash quickly in an emergency. Annuities may lock away needed funds or charge stiff penalties for withdrawals.
- Tax benefits of annuities may be minimal. Often, there is little or no tax benefit to having an annuity over other investments. Unethical marketers may try to sell annuities as an investment option with better tax outcomes than other investment vehicles. Often, that’s simply not accurate. Withdrawals from annuities are taxed as income and annuities may not be any more beneficial than other tax-advantaged accounts such as individual retirement accounts. Tax outcomes from investments are complex. It’s important to talk with an impartial tax professional before investing in an annuity.
- Fees and commissions can drain an annuity. Annuities may have hidden or opaque fees and expenses. Annuities also can pay significant commissions that go well above what agents or brokers might make on selling other investments or products.
Any time you are considering investment, it’s important to understand and evaluate the information and who you are receiving it from. Don’t assume that if an annuity sounds good, that it is good. Review all the documentation related to the annuity. Understand what fees and commissions may apply. If you can, speak with a neutral investment professional or tax professional who can give you further information and analysis.
How Are Seniors Affected by Annuities?
Older investors are one of the groups hit hardest by annuity fees and scams when sold by unethical sellers. These sellers are looking out for their interests and commissions, not for the well-being of their clients.
- When seniors invest in an annuity, they may find their money stuck in an account they can’t touch for years. When an emergency or change in health alters their expenses, they may not have access to the resources they need.
- Some annuity sellers offer annuities where the seller keeps the remainder of an annuity after the investor dies. This can lead to tremendous losses that disrupt the investor’s financial or estate plans for the family and loved ones.
- Seniors with deteriorating physical and mental conditions may sign away their money and their well-being to an annuity that can’t live up to the seller’s promises.
If you or someone you love has bought an annuity under circumstances that appear fraudulent or negligent, our attorneys can help. Our attorneys understand the ethical and legal rules and regulations surrounding annuities and can help you understand what steps you can take toward recovery.
Annuity Investments May Lead To Losses. The Investment Loss Recovery Group Can Help.
Annuities are complex and confusing investments that may not be right for an investor’s situation. Unethical and illegal marketing can lead to investments that drain an investor’s resources and leave them with little recourse in an emergency. If you suspect you, or someone you love, has been harmed by an investment in an annuity, we can help you investigate and recover.
The attorneys at the Investment Loss Recovery Group have years of experience working with annuity investors and helping them recover losses. We know how to handle annuity problems of all types. We can help you resolve your annuity claims and recover your investment. Contact us today for a free consultation.