“When I was in the wirehouse, I was so anti-annuity, you wouldnt believe,” said Bert Cooper, now a rep at Associated Securities Corp. in Sun City, Ariz.
Not so today. Now, annuities factor into what Cooper calls his “cafeteria style” approach to retirement planning.
“My [wirehouse] training was all stocks and bonds,” he said during a panel on IRA rollovers here at the annual marketing conference of the National Association for Variable Annuities, Reston, Va.
Even today, Cooper said he still does not like traditional annuitization, though he will recommend it on occasion. The clients dont like it, he said, and “the kids and grandkids say, but what about me?
However, he is no longer anti-annuity. Clients, once they reach their 70s, want income, want it now, want guarantees and want to keep up with inflation.
The newer variable annuities have features that help with this, he said. In fact, he now includes VAs in his “cafeteria style planning” with clients, which entails using different products to build a clients retirement plan.
For example, Cooper said he might use a VA with a guaranteed return of premium, or a VA maturing in 15 to 16 years with underlying guarantees, and then annuitize, and a life policy to replace funds used to buy the VA.
People like floors, Cooper explained, stamping the floor of the platform to make the point.
“They like floors, and variable annuities have them–the guaranteed living benefits, guaranteed income benefits, and guaranteed withdrawal benefits.”
Regarding rollover IRAs, Cooper said he likes to do this via “slow conversions,” with the planning done alongside the tax advisor and with consideration of heirs, as well as the client.