Indiana, PA - Indiana County

SMART MONEY: Expert advice on structuring annuity is worth the cost

by on June 08, 2014 1:50 AM

DEAR BRUCE: I am 70 years old and I have an annuity that has matured. If I redeem it, the capital gains would be a little over $40,000. The guaranteed value (excluding death benefit) is $72,000, which is the original investment amount. If I withdraw from it, I reduce the value of the guaranteed amount.

I would like to roll this over into another annuity so I can guarantee the full amount and not have to pay capital gains taxes. At present, I don’t need the money, but would like to have it available should I need to withdraw monthly amounts.

I have talked to several advisers who seem to be more self-serving than helpful. — Edward

DEAR EDWARD: You are very fortunate that you have an annuity that has matured and is ready to be redeemed. The problem is, I cannot tell you which way to go without a lot more specific information, nor could anyone else. It depends not only on this circumstance in your life, but also on other factors.

There are many good and successful advisers whom you can approach and depend on to help you with this. It’s going to cost you, as well it should. If you go cheap, chances are you are going to get lousy advice, and in the end it will cost you more money and certainly a lot of aggravation.

DEAR BRUCE: Please share the names of safe mutual funds I can invest in without the services of a broker. — Jimmie

DEAR JIMMIE: It is not my policy to provide specific names of companies, but there are dozens and dozens of no-load mutual funds that would serve your purpose adequately. You will have to do a little bit of looking up, and that doesn’t require a great deal of intellect or experience.

It certainly is worth the effort to do this research because there are many no-load companies that are better than the load companies. Accept this as a challenge. The information is out there.

DEAR BRUCE: What are your thoughts about the world currency being changed from the U.S. dollar to a new world currency? If you believe this will happen, when do you think this may take place? Not having much income, I try to buy silver whenever possible. — B.M.

DEAR B.M.: Let’s take your questions one at a time. Do I think it would be a tragedy if the world adopted a different currency? Absolutely!

And we should do everything we can to protect the integrity of the dollar, so the dollar remains the currency of the world.

As to you investing in silver, that’s another matter. You mentioned you don’t have much income, but I don’t think silver is the place to be. It may or may not go up in value, but silver never produces a dividend. You have to sell it to make a profit.

I would think more seriously about the stock market, and I know this turns some people gray when they hear the word, but money properly invested in the marketplace, in my opinion, is still the place to be.

Send questions to Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided. The Bruce Williams Radio Show can now be heard 24/7 via iTunes and at It is also available at
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