Many people today are looking for annuity help. The biggest challenge seems to be that most of the help is biased. What exactly do I mean? I mean that there is always a vested interest in the person who is helping you with your annuities. They are out to sell you something, so you don’t know if they are doing it for your best interest or for theirs.

For instance, let’s say you were looking for a fixed annuity. If you work with an agent who has a bias towards variable annuities or gets paid more for selling variable annuities, you may end up with something that doesn’t fit your needs. Also, if you end up with a banker or financial advisor who does not do a good job at addressing your financial needs and concerns, you may end up with the investment of the day instead of the investment that’s right for you. And by the time you realize it, it may be too late.

So how do you get help with your annuity? First and foremost you must help yourself. What is really good is to take inventory of where you are currently and where you want to be. Look at your current investments and your goals. Take a snapshot of your financial situation. This may sound elementary but most people don’t do it. But the key is to do it before you seek help from an outside source.

Look, the reason is simple. The more you know going in, the better the chance that you will get what you want. Doing your financial homework is a critical piece of getting the right help. A good financial advisor will ask you to help him understand you, so you can help him to help you. This is crucial to your financial future. Getting help with your annuity or your investments means helping yourself first.

The most important aspect of this comes at the time you need to make a financial decision about your annuities or your investments. If you know what you want, you will be able to figure out what you don’t want. For example, if you want the safety of the principal and the advisor offers you a variable annuity, you can easily say no because you know that won’t fit your goals. Also, the opposite is true. If you don’t know what you want, you may know what you don’t want and that may be a good place to start.

The bottom line is annuity and investment help begin with yourself. Understand your financial situation, your time frames, your needs for liquidity, and your goals. The specific investments and annuities you will use to accomplish your goals will come second. The more you help yourself, the more likely it is you will end up with the right annuity. Good luck and remember…

Ignorance is not bliss…

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