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Informed way to select annuities

Zachary J. Sochacki is a graduate of the University of Illinois and has been involved in the Financial Services industry since 1980, initially as a "Series 3" securities licensed Commodities Futures Broker first at the Chicago Board of Trade and then at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He then attended Northwestern University's School of Professional Studies having enrolled in and completing their "Financial Planning Process & Insurance" course of studies. He is also a graduate of Fenwick College Prep in Oak Park, Illinois. A member of MENSA (an international high I.Q. society), his comments have been published in several regional and national magazines, including Bank Marketing, Prime Times, American Times, Life Today, Vital Times and the prestigious Journal of Financial Planning, the publication of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners. Additionally, he was the Long Term Care Insurance consultant for attorney and former Ohio State Speaker of the House Armond Budish's landmark book, "Avoiding the Medicaid Trap". His television appearances include Winnetka Live; Wisconsin PBS; CNN Cable Business News's personal finance program, Your Money; and CNN Headline News. His clients stretch from Hawaii to London, England. A father of two, step-father of three, grandfather of two, step-grandfather of nine and a U.S. Army (R.A.) combat veteran of the Vietnam War, he and his wife, Sherry, reside in Northwest Suburban Chicago.

— Zachary J Sochacki, Annuity Expert

New York Life
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What is an annuity?

How annuities help you retire

Annuities can help ensure a retirement strategy and income that lasts as long as you do, which is likely to be a very long time.

  • Tax-Deferred Growth

    In general, during the accumulation phase of an annuity contract, your earnings grow tax-deferred. You pay taxes only when you start taking withdrawals from the annuity.

  • Predictable Income For Life

    Income riders may be an effective vehicle for lasting financial security. When paired with the right annuity, an income rider can provide a steady income stream for the rest of your life.

  • Death Benefits For Heirs

    The owner can designate a beneficiary to inherit the remaining annuity payments after death. After an annuitant dies, insurance companies distribute any remaining payments to beneficiaries.

  • Certain level of guarantee

    You know what your rate of return will be for a certain period of time with the fixed annuities. For seniors looking for a predictable income stream, that may be a better alternative than putting money into equities.

What type of annuity is right for you?

Your personal goals, objectives and risk tolerance will determine the type of annuity that is right for you.

Fixed Index Annuities

A form of fixed annuity that earns interest due to changes in a market index, where the growth is bench-marked to a stock market index rather than an interest rate.

  • Full protection of principal

    FIAs are protected from the volatility of the markets. Your money is never in the stock market. Your crediting strategy tracks the stock market, but you don’t own securities that can fall in value.

  • Can potentially provide better rates than CDs

    From the 1999 to 2010 many fixed index annuities have actually outperformed the indexes they were correlated with. However, they really aren't designed to outperform the stock markets even though they do at times.

  • Efficient way to plan for future income needs

    Once you annuitize it with lifetime payout option or turn on the income rider payouts, you cannot outlive that income stream.

Top rates for S&P 500® annual point-to-point accounts with cap
Equitable Life
Great American
American National
American Life
Top guaranteed monthly lifetime payouts from an income rider
Atlantic Coast Life
American National
Assuming male, $100,000 premium, issue age 55 and commencing at age 65.

Traditional Fixed Annuities

Fixed annuities are insurance contracts that pay a guaranteed rate of interest on the account owner's contributions.

  • Predictable investment returns

    The rates on fixed annuities are derived from the yield that the life insurance company generates from its investment portfolio, which is invested primarily in high-quality corporate and government bonds.

  • Guaranteed minimum rates

    Once the initial guarantee period in the contract expires, the insurer can adjust the rate based on a stated formula or on the yield it is earning on its investment portfolio. As a measure of protection against declining interest rates, fixed annuity contracts typically include a minimum rate guarantee.

Current yield to surrender is shown for corresponding surrender period
7 yrs
10 yrs
9 yrs
American National
10 yrs
Symetra Life Insurance Company
7 yrs
7 yrs
Symetra New York
7 yrs
7 yrs

Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuities

A multi-year guaranteed annuity, or MYGA, offers a predetermined and contractually guaranteed interest rate for a fixed period of time.

  • Less risk

    Since a MYGA offers a guaranteed interest rate for the entire contracted term, it’s considered a less risky investment than a variable or indexed annuity.

  • Flexibility and liquidity

    The ability to take partial withdrawals yearly without a penalty affords flexibility. For example, if you need money to cover a large medical bill you could pull it out of your MYGA, which might be a preferable option to taking money from an IRA or getting a 401(k) loan.

Guaranteed yield to surrender is shown for corresponding surrender period
Atlantic Coast Life
20 yrs
10 yrs
9 yrs
Equitable Life
5 yrs
9 yrs
Capitol Life
9 yrs
Americo Financial Life and Annuity
5 yrs
American Life
5 yrs

Zachary J Sochacki

Independent insurance agent
License 231395
Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming


POB 819

Palatine, IL, 60078

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Annuity products are offered through independent licensed insurance agents. Product availability, features and rates may vary by state. This information does not represent a recommendation or advice specific to your situation. The annuity information provided comes from sources deemed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed. Check with the annuity company for current product information, and review all annuity rates, terms, conditions and costs before making a purchasing decision. Annuity guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing company.

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