Most advisors appear to use variable annuities in targeted ways. On average, 22% of client assets are held in variable annuities. The products are most commonly used as a tool for retirement income planning, although advisors also reported using variable annuities, either “often” or “always,” to generate tax-deferred growth and to protect principal. By comparison, only 10% of advisors reported never using variable annuities for retirement income planning, while 11% and 17% said they never use the products for tax-deferred growth or principal protection, respectively.
Those who don’t use the annuities tend to have strong opinions on the matter. “I rarely ever use variable annuities,” explains one RIA advisor with 10 years of experience. “I hate them as a general rule, as you can usually achieve most of the same results growth-wise outside of the annuity structure for half the cost or less.”
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