Tim Clairmont explains the potential benefits of investing in annuities in his financial guide What Should I Do with My 401K?: Should I Buy an Annuity?
Clairmont, who has earned the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) designation and a MSFS (Master of Science in Financial Services), owns Clear Financial Partners, Inc. in Oregon. In this book, he applies his knowledge and experience in the field to one of the most common questions soon-to-be and recent retirees ask: how to handle the often-substantial amounts they’ve accumulated inside their employer’s retirement plan, recommending readers consider annuities.
Clairmont educates well, explaining what annuities are—investment contracts with insurance companies—and how they can be used to guarantee an investor’s income for life, eliminating the possibility of “outliving one’s money.” He also shares the history and reasons behind the annuity’s less-than-stellar reputation with refreshing candor, and in a clear, straightforward style.
However, although he makes excellent points about the usefulness of annuities, Clairmont relies on very basic real-life examples, with broad warnings about fees and other potential problems. While it’s impossible to explain the pros and cons of all the different annuities available on the market, additional and more detailed real-life examples would have shown, rather than told, why annuities might make sense.
As might be expected, Clairmont is firmly in the pro-financial-advisor camp, but the information he provides is useful for do-it-yourselfers, too. The main part of the book runs only until page 75, leaving space for a lengthy, nearly 50-page Appendix, titled “Common Investment Questions with Easy-to-Understand Answers.” This section discusses other aspects of investing and retirement, like investment strategies, mutual funds, indexes, social security, long term care, and estate planning.
While its message is a simple one—explore annuities in retirement— What Should I Do with My 401K? makes a convincing case for further investigation. Although not a one-stop answer to its title query, the book is a useful starting point for the retirement decision-making process.
Also available as an ebook.