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  1. ninabi says:

    The pox of annuities struck my mother in law. Too bad she lives halfway across the country from us or we could have prevented her from cashing out all her investments (23K in taxes as an extra kick in the ass) and leaving her little access to money.

    I can’t say this loudly enough- strong willed parents, bright people, DO get old and decision making can be affected. Encourage them to put you on their checking/savings accounts or have them always use the “I must ask my son/daughter first” before they sign ANYTHING.

  2. Beerad says:

    Psst. Annuities generally aren’t great for most people. It’s not just seniors.

    Anyway, aren’t “fear, anger, and greed buttons” pretty much the way that the US government drums up public support for anything? I guess maybe there’s a “patriotism” button too.

  3. laserjobs says:

    I am an investor as well as an registered investment advisor representative and let me tell you the only reason someone sells an investment is THE FEES PRODUCED!!!. The only way to be honest in the investment business is charge by the hour and don’t take backend fees.

  4. @ninabi: I told my son that when the time comes, not to be bashful about taking control. Old age happens to everybody, and it can turn an otherwise bright individual into exactly the 12 year old child the guy in the video is talking about.

    Prison is too good for people like this.

  5. Snarkysnake says:

    I have ,to date, steered about half a dozen of my (mostly older) friends and acquaintances away from these things. When I find an article in The Wall Street journal,Kiplingers, Money or whatever that outlines the abusive nature of these things, I laminate it and put it in a binder. I have had that binder for many years now and haul it out whenever somebody asks me about their “free dinner” seminar and what I think of annuities.

    Fuck you,you greedy insurance bastards. I have made it my mission to screw as many of you out of a sale as I can before I die.

  6. @Snarkysnake:
    Thank god for people like you who are always on guard and vigilant when it comes to our older citizens. I’m no saint myself, but to take advantage of an elderly person is so…..evil that it actually makes my stomach churn thinking about it.

  7. BTW, I currently work in collections for a major credit card company and I cannot count how many times I’ve had to speak with an elderly woman or man who’s granddaughter/grandson/niece/nephew/etc. opened the CC in their names only to not pay it back. The bank is helpless if the person is not willing to press criminal charges (sometimes the family member swears and swears they’ll pay it back) and the victim is the only one with a listed phone number. I spoke with one victim who had over 15 GRAND in charges on her credit card that was opened w/o her knowlege. I asked for her daughters and son in laws number. “oh, they live in a trailer and move around…they don’t have a phone or a cell”. The worst part is the people that commit these crimes think it’s no big deal. They justify it by saying the old folks are going to be dead soon anyways…do they really need a 52 inch plasma TV? ?

  8. Blinker says:

    Why do old people always fall for this crap. Old people are supposed to be wise old owls who lived a full life and should have more life experience than they ever need to spot a scam but yet 90% of people who fall for scams are over 65. I gotta laugh at most of the things they fall for like the Nigerian money scam

  9. Blinker says:

    Why is it that its always old people that fall for these scams. They have been on this earth longer than the rest of us and should have more than enough life experience to spot a scam from a mile away. Most of them are so obvious like the Nigerian money scams but the stupid old people still fall for it. Young people rarely if ever fall for this crap

  10. ManPurse says:

    @Blinker: Oh my… someday you will turn into a “stupid” old person. Have you ever heard the word compassion? Or how about the one empathy?

    I noticed in another post from earlier today you also said the same thing – how stupid people are for falling for these things. It does seem impossible to us younger people who have grown up in a culture that is used to lying, scamming and cheating.

    Aside from the loss of some mental capacity old people can experience, many old people today grew up in a much more trusting time. They don’t automatically think everyone is a lying scumbag.

  11. ironchef says:

    Annunites are great…for the scumbags who peddle them.

    I put annunities among other great scams: multilevel marketing, timeshares, and payday loans.

  12. cmdrsass says:

    @Blinker: The answer is simple – If you were peddling annuities, who would you target – young people who have no money or old people have all the money?

  13. azntg says:

    @ManPurse: Well said.

    Arsehats that take advantage of our elderly do have a special place in hell. They might be able to leave this world with a “clear” conscience, but I’m sure a twist will befall them and even them out.

  14. huadpe says:

    Annuities can have advantages, but not the annuities these guys are selling. Putting SOME of your assets in an annuity can provide a cushion against market swings during retirement, but it does come at a cost.

    What you want to look at when considering an annuity is the interest rate (if you have leeway, buy when rates are high), having a minimum number of payments, and most importantly, the FEES.

    Issuers of annuities make money on arbitrage of your money before they give it back to you, so you should be getting back approximately as much as you put in, plus a bit of interest. If based on demographic averages, the number of dollars in will be less than dollars back, IT IS A SCAM.

  15. “He settled with the state of Massachusetts”

    There is no such entity. He would have settled with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. [I don’t know why, but that one always bothers me.]

  16. scoosdad says:

    @Bay State Darren: Well as a fellow resident of that state, I want some of that common weath we always are talking about.

  17. VeeKaChu says:

    Scumbags using un-ethical tactics to jack money from the trusting and un-suspecting isn’t about “the times”, access to particular technologies or advanced strategies.

    It is, and has forever been, about human nature. It’s about persona, persuasion, charisma and gullibility. Can I make you believe a lie? Am I willing to profit from the fear/euphoria/compassion I instill in you with my deception?

    It’s a well-known fact, in the scholarly places where human nature is observed, that sociopaths make the best salesmen, because they just don’t care that they are lieing. It’s what they do!

    Look at the guy in the video at the “Annunities University” shilling the vanity press books that he will make you the co-author of. His product serves one purpose only, to assist in predatory deception. And he’s smiling while he’s lining his pockets with lucre from customers who’s own intent is to achieve a higher level of deception. It may be technically legal, but it’s un-ethical in the extreme; and yet they’re all OK with it, because to themselves, they’re doing what they need to to ‘get by’.

    It’s a big disgusting criminal cirlce-jerk, and they should all be ashamed, and in jail.

    Sadly, shame ain’t in it anymore…

  18. Traveler18 says:

    All the anti-annuity sentiment and responses are–rightfully so–targeting the type of annuity called the “deferred” annuity. I have found very little media coverage or comments on another type of annuity called a SPIA–single payment immediate annuity. There are very few good reasons to ever purchase the former, but the latter seems reasonable–at least to me–as part of a retirement income.

    Basically, you’re purchasing a pension to start immediately. No worrying about whether or not you will live long enough to receive payments. It boils down to: I give x amount of money to the insurance company right now, and they pay me x amount of money monthly starting next month for either a) the rest of my life or b) a stated number of years (say 20 for example). Insurance company quotes are the bottom line; they include commissions and/or fees. The value, or internal rate of return, of this product can be calculated very easily.

    I have been evaluating such a product for an elderly relative for a while now because his basic monthly expenses have gone up. The internal rate of return on one quote for a lifetime income, paid monthly, based on expected lifespan derived from mortality tables, is 5 percent. If he lives beyond his calculated lifespan–not unlikely given his current excellent health and long-lived relatives, the return on this product will be significantly higher. Yes, if he steps in front of a truck tomorrow the insurance company “wins.” However, there are other ways of structuring the payouts so that he can have beneficiaries who will receive payments for a designated period.

    As stated, I am still evaluating this product (getting additional quotes) and no decisions have been made. However, I have not yet encountered any deal breakers. Oh yes, this relative has other investments–mutual funds, some bonds, some CDs. He has other income including a company pension. If he does not purchase this type of product, he will be drawing down directly on savings to meet basic expenses.

    I’d welcome any comments.

  19. RandomZero says:

    “The session is recorded and the salesman gets CDs to pass out, so they can pass themselves off as legitimate financial advisers.” I don’t know about the States, but up here that’s flat-out illegal. “Financial adviser” is a very strictly-regulated title, with licensing requirements. Check your local regs on this – I’ve seen similar holding-out tricks pulled by insurance reps here, and they shrivel up the moment I ask to see their CFA license.