With that in mind, let's take a look how a structured settlement annuity compares with one of the most popular investment vehicles, the equity income mutual fund.
First, let's look at who issues the annuity and the mutual fund.
A structured settlement annuity is issued by a life insurance company. An equity mutual fund is issued by and investment company that pools the assets of multiple investors in equity securities.
Next, let's look at the long term capabilities of each to provide a lifetime income.
An annuity payment plan is created up front and is a predictable and dependable source of income that can not be outlived. A mutual fund can be a high paying investment. However it can also be highly volatile and unpredictable based on market conditions and can actually lose money and stop your earnings if the fund performs poorly.
What about guaranteeing the payouts?
An annuity is guaranteed by the issuer of the annuity based on the terms of the structured settlement . A mutual fund is solely dependent on market activity and thus can not be guaranteed.
What about costs?
The annuity has no cost associated with it. A mutual fund can be subject to a number of fees, like a sales load, yearly management fee, and marketing expenses. Even the lowest cost index funds have some costs associated with them.
What about keeping up with inflation?
A structured settlement annuity can have a cost of living adjustment incorporated into the annuity at the time it is designed. An equity mutual fund can outperform inflation based on how the underlying securities perform. However it is difficult to predict what the return will be and remember "past performance is not and indicator of future results."
But what about the dreaded T-word....Taxes??
A structured settlement annuity is tax free as long as the money received is the result of personal physical injury or physical illness. As income is earned from an equity mutual fund taxes, capital gains, income etc, must be paid.
What about flexibility?
A structured settlement annuity payment amount and schedule may not be altered at any time. Conversely, money can be moved in and out of mutual funds. However, taxes, sales loads etc may be applicable with each transaction.
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Jordan is an expert in the finance market. Throughout the years he has gotten a lot of experience in the finance world and loves to share his findings with the world. He also writes on other subjects such as Antique Engagement Rings and the Best Deodorant For Men.