Do you understand variable annuity benefits? You need to. Understand your variable annuity benefits is the most important part about owning a variable annuity. You bought, or are buying, a variable annuity for a specific reason. Whether it was for living benefits or death benefits, you need to make sure your annuity contract will do everything you need it to do.
It makes no sense to invest a large sum of money into a product you do not understand. Different actions, such as withdrawals and additions, can impact your annuity benefits.
The better you understand your variable annuity; the better off you will be in the future. Making an informed decision will, literally, save you thousands of dollars in the future.
You need to know what contracts are the cheapest and that offer you the best guarantees.
Beware though you may get what you pay for. Just looking at cost alone makes no sense. You must examine how the actual benefit works. Some benefits will go away if you take out more than a specific amount of money. That is not a good thing; after all, you bought the annuity for the guarantee.
You need to identify what your ultimate goal for your annuity is. If your goal is to generate income from your annuity then forget about death benefits. All but a few death benefits are hurt by withdrawals from your annuity. If you are looking for death benefits then for get about living benefits, why pay the extra cost.
If you are looking for both, then you will need to find out which contracts are the best to accomplish this goal. Like I said, there are only a few contracts that offer good living benefits that will not impact your death benefit when you make withdrawals. Although these contracts are not the cheapest out there, they will help you meet those goals.
What about Medicaid friendly contracts, do they exist? No they don't. In a few areas some annuities are not classified as assets under the Medicaid rules. These are mostly immediate annuities and even there you have to be careful. The language in the contract has to be specific. If the language is too generic it will do you no good. In any event do not fall for that sales pitch, it is generally not accurate.
Like I always say there are many "ok" annuities being sold, but don't you want a great annuity, right? Of course you do. That is why you need to do your own homework when shopping for a variable annuity. Finding the annuity to achieve your goals will make you a happy, prosperous investor in the future. The problem is finding a good place to find out more information on variable annuities. A good place to research annuities is http://www.annuityiq.com