- Purchase only through a reputable dealer, with expertise in these products.
- Purchase only from an insurance company with a strong financial balance sheet.
- Understand there is no official federal bailout fund for insurance companies -- only state funds that may "assess" other insurers in case of a company failure.
- Get a written explanation of all fees and charges.
- Use only if you understand "surrender charge period" and are sure you won't need access to your money before that period expires.
- Understand the risk of loss, as well what is, and isn't, covered by guarantees.
- Understand the difference between "withdrawals" and taking an "annuitized" stream of income.
- Understand what happens to the balance of your account if you die before taking out all your money.
Variable Annuities' Warning List Grows
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