Understanding Annuity Calculators

How much are your annuities costing you?

Unlike many others, our annuity calculators aren’t designed to give you return projections you can plan your life around. Instead, they show you something many investors tend to overlook: how much annuities’ high fees eat at their returns.

Simply enter your starting principal (what you initially invested in the annuity), its estimated annualized growth rate, how long it has to grow and how long you’ll need to live off the savings. Our annuity calculators can show you about how much you’re gaining in an annuity versus what it’s really costing you. Many annuity buyers end up stuck in expensive, illiquid, inflexible products. Our annuity calculators will help you estimate the difference between what you get and what you pay for.

Of course, Fisher Investments' calculators can’t promise perfect precision: Annuities are complicated vehicles—no two are alike, and we can’t account for the variances in our estimates. Moreover, most investors don’t know the exact costs, payouts or other annuity details off the top of their heads. They can often repeat what they were quoted at the time of sale, but rarely do those figures account for annuities’ many expenses. Variable annuity owners might well pay for features they never even use, if they purchase benefit riders but never annuitize. The only place to find every detail is the prospectus—a dense, legalese document the average investor likely struggles to understand.

Our calculators also can’t account for some of the other restrictions limiting annuities’ long-term returns, like caps and participation rates on indexed annuities. These can change annually, making it difficult to gauge an indexed annuity’s true long-term value. Our calculators also can’t account for the impact of inflation and rising or falling interest rates on fixed annuities. And in all cases, the straight-line return estimates just don’t reflect reality. The results are simply illustrative—a snapshot to help you gauge whether an annuity is better for you or your broker.

Fisher Investments Annuity Services

For additional information on how Fisher Investments can help you get out of annuities fees and penalties, visit our annuity services page today!

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