Frequently Asked Questions


What is an annuity?

An annuity is a contract between you and your life insurance company.

How exactly does an annuity work?

You contribute money into an annuity and, in exchange, the company agrees to make a future income stream available to you. Please note annuity contracts may contain charges and investment penalties that could impact your principal.

What are the key benefits of annuities?

The key benefits of annuities are access to an income that depending on the settlement option you select, you potentially cannot outlive and potential relief for your family from probate after you are gone. In addition, contributing to an annuity can provide safety for your principal as well as tax-deferred growth of funds.

Why do I need an annuity?

Annuities are great for:

  • CD rollovers
  • 401(K)rollovers
  • People approaching retirement who need income
  • Retirees who need to increase their income over CDs


Traditional IRA or Roth IRA?

A traditional IRA can give you an up-front tax deduction and is always tax deferred.


  • Eligibility includes anyone with an earned income.


  • Any earnings on the money you contribute grow tax-deferred.


  • The current contribution limit is $5,000 a year ($6,000 over age 50).


  • Contributions may be tax deductible if your employer does not offer a retirement savings plan or if you meet other eligibility requirements.


  • Withdrawals prior to age 59½ may trigger a 10% penalty tax. At age 70½, you'll be required to withdraw a minimum amount each year from your IRA, based on an IRS formula. If you miss a withdrawal, you could be subject to a substantial penalty.


  • A direct rollover of assets from an employer-sponsored plan is allowed.

A Roth IRA offers a different approach to tax savings: You can't deduct your contributions, but you can look forward to a lifetime of tax-exempt growth and tax-exempt withdrawals if you meet the Roth requirements.


  • Historically limited to individuals with an adjusted gross income of $100,000 or less (no longer applies in 2010).


  • After-tax contributions offer tax-exempt growth and tax-exempt withdrawals.


  • Contributions may continue to be made, even after owner reaches age 70½.


  • Withdrawals prior to age 59½ may trigger a 10% penalty tax.


  • A direct rollover of assets from an employer-sponsored plan is not allowed.



2010 changes to Roth rules could cause you to consider converting your traditional IRA assets to a Roth IRA.

What is long-term care?

Long-term care is the type of assistance people need to perform normal daily activities such as eating, bathing, dressing, and transferring. Long-term care needs typically arise as part of the normal aging process, but can also be due to an injury or illness, such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, or due to a cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Who needs long-term care?

Long-term care is not just for the elderly.

Did you know that:

  • At least 70% of people over age 65 will require some long-term care services at some point in their lives.1
  • Of those who have long-term care needs, 41% are under age 65.2

Where is long-term care provided?

The need for long-term care does not mean being confined to a nursing home. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 80% of long-term care is provided at home.3 You can receive long-term care in a variety of settings, including:

  • Adult day care centers
  • Assisted living facilities4
  • Nursing homes
  • Hospice facilities
  • Your home

The cost of care

The cost of long-term care can be expensive depending on:

  • the type of care you need
  • how long you need it
  • where care is received

The national average costs listed below are only for one year of care. A study by the Center for Retirement Research found that in most cases, care is needed for three years5 — while some individuals need care for a considerably longer period. When planning ahead, you’ll also want to take into account the rising cost of care, which on average has risen approximately 3.3%6 per year over the past six years.

Are you already covered?

Many people mistakenly believe their long-term care needs are already covered. However, long-term care assistance isn’t typically paid for by health or disability insurance. In addition, government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid aren’t designed to cover long-term costs over long periods of time. How would you pay for care if the need arises?

Medicare is the federal program providing hospital and medical insurance to people ages 65 or older, as well as to certain ill or disabled persons. In only certain conditions are benefits available for home health care.

Generally, Medicare may pay for up to 100 days of care in a skilled nursing facility per benefit period – 100% for the first 20 days (after a three-day hospital stay, if skilled care is needed). From days 21-100, Medicare requires a co-payment.

Medicaid coverage is primarily based on income and assets, and in most states usually only covers care received in approved nursing homes. In states where Medicaid does cover home-based long-term care expenses, it is done so on a limited basis.8

Personal income and assets, including your home, are often used to cover the cost of long-term care, which can have quite an effect on savings.

Family members often assume the burden of care, which over time can have a significant impact on their lifestyle, personal and work commitments, and their physical and emotional well-being.

Long-term care insurance allows you to feel confident about your future by providing you with the means today to maintain choice, control, and independence in your later years. It is a cost-effective way for you to take responsibility for your health and long-term care decisions. And, it will help you secure your family’s future and your own quality of life by helping to protect your retirement savings.

Term life insurance or cash value Insurance?

Term is Simple and affordable

Term insurance can be purchased in large amounts at a relatively low cost with the option to renew at the end of your selected term – a great choice if you need life insurance coverage for paying off loans, extra protection during the child-rearing years, supplement business planning needs, and more.

  • Affordably priced 10, 20 and 302 year terms
  • Conversion option to change your policy to a universal life policy
  • Annual renewal option at the end of your chosen term

Flexible payout options

In addition, most term coverage offers optional terminal illness and waiver of premium riders3. If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness that results in a life expectancy of 12 months or less, you may be able to take an early payout of your policy’s death benefit.

Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance

More than just financial protection in case something happens

When it comes to life insurance you have many choices. But an insurance policy that simply pays when you die may fall short of your increasingly complex financial needs. A fixed index universal life insurance policy can meet the more immediate concerns that you may have, such as:

  • What if I have an accident or a serious injury that keeps me from working?
  • How will I pay the bills during my recovery?
  • If I have a heart attack or get cancer, how will I cover the costs of treatment and still take care of my family?

Fixed index universal life products address these concerns by offering:

  • Powerful accumulation potential using fixed-index crediting methods that could increase the value of your policy, which you can use as a retirement income stream.
  • Choose-a-Guarantee, for exceptional control over your death benefit coverage.
  • Premium payments are not required after age 100.
  • Flexible premium and optional riders for a personalized plan of insurance. Optional riders may be available at an additional cost.

Universal Life Insurance

Designed for individuals who are seeking long-term life insurance with flexible features that can be used for many different financial planning purposes.  In addition, Universal life Insurance has the potential to accumulate tax-deferred cash value over time that can be accessed through policy loans and withdrawals.