Secondary Market Annuities

Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons of Secondary Market Annuities

If you’re looking for retirement income options, you may have come across secondary market annuities. But before investing your hard-earned money, it is essential to understand the pros and cons of this market. This article provides an overview of the benefits and drawbacks of secondary market annuities and helps you make informed decisions about your retirement planning.

Key Takeways

  • Secondary Market Annuities offer regular income streams for retirement
  • One potential drawback is lack of liquidity and potential surrender charges
  • Consulting a financial advisor is crucial in assessing the feasibility of secondary market annuities for you
  • Understanding tax implications is key in making a sound investment decision
  • Secondary market annuities offer unique benefits compared to other retirement options

Understanding Secondary Market Annuities

Secondary market annuities (SMAs) are insurance contracts that were issued to someone else and are now sold to investors. SMAs offer the same benefits as new annuities but can be purchased at a discounted price on the secondary market. The seller may be an individual who needs to sell their annuity due to a change in financial circumstances or an investor looking to liquidate part of their portfolio.

SMAs can be either fixed or indexed annuities and provide a guaranteed stream of income for a set duration. Unlike traditional annuities, SMAs are purchased through a broker-dealer and are subject to regulatory oversight.

Investors should understand the potential risks associated with secondary market annuities, including the possibility of default by the issuing insurance company. However, many investors are attracted to SMAs for their potential to provide higher yields than other fixed-income investments

Unique Characteristics of Secondary Market Annuities

Characteristics Explanation
Discounted Price SMAs are sold at prices below their face value, potentially offering investors a higher yield.
Regulatory Oversight The broker-dealer of an SMA is subject to regulatory oversight, which can provide investors with additional protection.
Guaranteed Stream of Income SMAs provide investors with a guaranteed stream of income for a set duration, much like traditional annuities.

Investors seeking a higher yield and a secure stream of income may find SMAs to be a viable investment option. However, it is always recommended to consult a financial advisor before investing in an SMA to fully understand the risks and potential benefits.

The Pros of Secondary Market Annuities

When planning for retirement, a reliable stream of income is crucial. Secondary market annuities offer the benefit of guaranteed income, providing a sense of security to retirees and those planning for retirement. Unlike other investments, secondary market annuities can offer a predictable and consistent stream of income payments for the remainder of the beneficiary’s life, ensuring a stable retirement income.

Secondary market annuities can provide an excellent source of retirement income for those who prioritize security and stability. These annuities offer fixed, predictable payments that are guaranteed, alleviating concerns about investment volatility. Beneficiaries can also opt for payment guarantees, should anything happen to the annuity owner. Compared to other investment options, secondary market annuities offer a more reliable and secure retirement income stream.

Another advantage of secondary market annuities is flexibility. Beneficiaries can choose from different payout options to suit their unique needs. They can opt for immediate annuities, offering instant income payments, or deferred annuities, which allow for payments to be made at a future date. Furthermore, the length and frequency of payments are customizable, providing retirees with more control over their retirement income.

Ultimately, secondary market annuities provide a unique set of benefits that make them a valuable retirement investment option. By offering a secure and predictable income stream, they can help retirees rest assured that they have a steady income source throughout their retirement years.

The Cons of Secondary Market Annuities

While secondary market annuities offer benefits, potential drawbacks must also be considered before making a decision. Some of the cons of secondary market annuities include:

Cons of Annuities Explanation
Annuity Fees Investors may face multiple fees, such as administrative, maintenance, or transactional fees, that can reduce returns.
Lack of Liquidity Unlike publicly traded securities, secondary market annuities cannot be quickly sold if cash is needed.
Potential Surrender Charge If an investor cashes out of the annuity early, a surrender charge may apply, reducing the amount of money taken out.
Annuity Doesn’t Keep Pace with Inflation Over time, the payments investors receive from the annuity may lose purchasing power due to the effects of inflation.
Higher Taxes Annuity income may receive higher tax rates compared to other retirement income sources, reducing net income.

It is crucial to weigh the pros and cons of secondary market annuities before investing.

The Different Types of Annuities

When it comes to annuities, there are several different types on the market, each with its own features and benefits. Here’s a breakdown of the most common types:

Variable Annuities Fixed Annuities Indexed Annuities
Variable annuities offer investment options that can grow your money over time, but with the potential for higher risk. Fixed annuities provide a guaranteed income stream for life at a fixed rate, offering security and peace of mind. Indexed annuities tie their return to the stock market index to ensure a minimum interest rate while protecting against market loss.
These variable annuities require investors to make an upfront investment, usually with a higher minimum than fixed or indexed annuities. However, they do provide the potential for higher returns in exchange. Fixed annuities are risk-free investments that offer a guaranteed interest rate for the life of the contract, ensuring long-term stability and security. Indexed annuities come with a cap rate and participation rate, and also allow for tax-deferred growth.
Variable annuities may also offer a death benefit and a rider to protect against loss of income. Fixed annuities are a great option for those who prefer a low-risk investment that provides a guaranteed income stream. Indexed annuities are ideal for those wanting to participate in market growth while minimizing potential risks.

When deciding which type of annuity to go for, it’s important to consult a reputable financial advisor who can guide you based on your unique financial needs and goals.

Seeking Professional Advice

When considering secondary market annuities, it is essential to seek guidance from a qualified financial advisor. An experienced advisor can help you evaluate your financial situation and determine whether an annuity contract aligns with your long-term retirement plan.

There are several key factors that a financial advisor can help evaluate, including the potential risks involved with secondary market annuities, fees, and surrender charges. Additionally, an advisor can help ensure that your annuity contract meets your unique financial needs and goals.

It is crucial to find a reputable financial advisor who has expertise in annuities and retirement planning. Look for advisors who have professional credentials, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. You can also consult friends and family members for recommendations, or search for advisors online using reputable resources.

Tax Implications of Secondary Market Annuities

One of the significant advantages of secondary market annuities is their potentially favorable tax treatment. As annuity companies use the premiums from investors to purchase assets, such as bonds, they can leverage tax deferral, which defers income taxes until the money is withdrawn or distributed to the investors. This postponement means that the earnings in the annuity grow without taxation, which can result in higher returns down the line.

Tax-deferred status is especially beneficial for assets held in Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) since withdrawals from these accounts are taxed at the investor’s income tax rate. Annuity income received from an IRA is taxed as ordinary income, creating an effective way to defer income and reduce taxable income when the investor retires and is in a lower tax bracket. This approach can help retirees make the most of their retirement savings by providing them with higher after-tax returns.

It is essential to work with a financial advisor to review the tax implications of secondary market annuities before investing in one. The advisor can help the investor determine the most appropriate type of annuity contract for their needs and explain the potential tax benefits and drawbacks.

Secondary Market Annuities vs. Other Retirement Options

When planning for retirement, there are several options to consider, including investing in the stock market, receiving a lump sum, or opting for a secondary market annuity. While each option has its unique benefits, secondary market annuities offer a series of payments that can serve as supplemental income.

A lump-sum cash payment may provide more flexibility in the short term, but it may not offer the long-term security of a guaranteed income stream. The stock market index could offer higher returns, but it is also subject to volatility, which can lead to significant losses.

On the other hand, secondary market annuities provide a steady stream of income payments. They can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the investor, offering flexibility in terms of payout structure and schedule. They also offer the potential for lump-sum payments, providing added liquidity in emergencies.

Secondary Market Annuities Lump-Sum Payment Stock Market Index
Guaranteed Income X X
Supplemental Income X
Series of Payments X X
Lump-Sum Payment Option X

Ultimately, the choice between secondary market annuities and other retirement options depends on personal financial goals and individual needs. Consulting a financial advisor can help determine which option works best for each investor, taking into account factors such as liquidity, future income payments, and risk management.

Evaluating Your Retirement Needs

Before investing in a secondary market annuity, it is essential to evaluate your retirement needs thoroughly. This process involves assessing your retirement savings, retirement account, and future income payments, including social security benefits and income from other sources.

Consulting with a financial advisor is crucial to help you evaluate your options and determine if a secondary market annuity aligns with your financial goals. Diversifying your retirement portfolio is also crucial in managing risks and ensuring a steady income stream throughout your retirement years.

Retirement Savings Retirement Account Future Income Payments Income from Other Sources
401k IRA Social Security Rental Properties
Individual Stocks 401k Rollover Pensions Dividend Income
Real Estate Investments 403b Part-time Job Business Ownership

Keep in mind that a secondary market annuity may not be the best fit for everyone. It is crucial to consider your financial situation, risk tolerance, and long-term retirement goals before investing in any annuity.

By assessing your needs and working with a qualified professional, you can make an informed decision regarding a secondary market annuity and ensure a secure income stream during your retirement years.


In conclusion, while secondary market annuities offer a variety of benefits, it is important to carefully evaluate all aspects before entering the annuity market. Seeking the guidance of a reputable financial advisor can help investors make informed decisions and ensure that they select the right annuity contract for their needs.

One factor to consider is the potential for a death benefit, which can provide additional security for loved ones. While annuity fees and charges may vary, paying a death benefit to beneficiaries is a standard feature of most annuity contracts.

As with any retirement planning option, it is essential to consider all income sources and assess future income needs. While secondary market annuities can provide a steady stream of supplemental income, they may not be the best fit for everyone.

Ultimately, careful evaluation and consultation with a financial advisor can help investors make the best decisions for their individual needs and goals in the annuity market.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are secondary market annuities?

Secondary market annuities are previously owned annuity contracts that are sold by the original annuity owner in the secondary market. By purchasing a secondary market annuity, investors can potentially benefit from guaranteed income and regular payments for retirement.

What are the pros of secondary market annuities?

Secondary market annuities offer the potential for a secure income stream and regular payments for retirement. They provide a way to supplement your retirement income and can be a good option for those seeking guaranteed income.

What are the cons of secondary market annuities?

Some potential drawbacks of secondary market annuities include fees associated with the annuity contract, lack of liquidity, and potential surrender charges. It’s important to carefully consider these factors before investing in a secondary market annuity.

What are the different types of annuities?

The various types of annuities include variable annuities, fixed annuities, and indexed annuities. Variable annuities offer the potential for higher returns but come with market risks. Fixed annuities provide a guaranteed interest rate, while indexed annuities offer returns based on the performance of a stock market index.

What are the tax implications of secondary market annuities?

Secondary market annuities can have tax advantages, as the income from the annuity is typically tax-deferred until you start receiving payments. However, it’s important to consult with a tax professional or the annuity company to fully understand the tax implications of your specific annuity income.

Free Consult

Set Up a Free Consultation Today!

We’ll develop a retirement income financial plan that maximizes assets, minimizes taxes, and guarantees the most inflation-adjusted income possible utilizing the fewest amount of assets.

Get In Touch

73 College Street
Suite C
Monteagle, TN 37356
(800) 595-1130

The information and materials on our website are provided for general informational purposes only and do not constitute professional advice or recommendation. We make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability of the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on our website. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

Curt Gibbs