Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Understanding Annuities Part I

We've all seen or heard the guy on TV and radio say, "I hate annuities and you should too," or something to that effect.  Of course his goal is to sell you something.  That's why he's advertising, right?  He's not paying thousands of dollars for these ads simply to educate.

Nearly everyone reading this sentence has an annuity whether they know it or not.  If you've paid into Social Security or are receiving payments from Social Security, congratulations, that's an annuity.  Lottery winners, when they take payments over 20 or so years, purchase or receive an annuity.  Professional athletes are often paid through and with annuities.

An annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company where a lump sum of money is guaranteed to be paid to you and/or your beneficiaries for a period of time, often for life.  These payments can be annual, monthly, etc.

Think of annuities as the other side of the coin to life insurance.

With a life insurance contract the insurance company looks at your lifestyle, health, family history and then makes a decision as to whether you are worth the risk or not.  They take on the risk of you dying too soon and them having to pay out the claim.  The higher the risk you are, the higher the premium.  If the risk is too high, they will either get help spreading the risk among other insurers or they will simply walk away from that risk.

With annuities the insurance company doesn't take risk into consideration for the most part, you do.  You take on the risk of dying too soon and thus your invested money staying with the company or at least most of it doing so.  They have a general idea of how long you may live and how long they may have to make annuity payments.  There is some risk on them and it's the risk of you living too long and them having to pay out more than what they intended.  For instance, if you are 65 and give them $100,000 they may promise to pay you $583.33 per month for the rest of your life.  They are figuring that on average you will live to 80 and at that point they will have paid out $105,000 all the while profiting $10,000 from the investments made.  However, if you live to be 95, then they'll be paying out nearly $210,000!!

Simply put, with life insurance, the insurance company wants you to live a long and happy life.  They want you to pay premiums as long as possible so they can invest that money, have enough to pay the death claim when you pass, and some left over to keep the lights on.  But with annuities, the company wants you to live a happy life, if not a long one.  Depending on the contract, the longer you live, the greater risk the company has of losing money.  They want to take the money you invest in the annuity, have enough to invest and make money for the company and enough to pay your monthly payments.  It's a balancing act.

Should you "hate" annuities?  I guess that depends on the individual contract but for the most part I'd say no.  To use a blanket statement, I hate blanket statements.  All or nothing statements are usually trouble.  Whether it's hating annuities, buying term and investing the rest, avoiding permanent policies, blanket statements are most often sales pitches and don't account for individual needs and situations.  Annuities, term life insurance, permanent life insurance, CD's, stocks, etc., all have their place.  The important thing is to know when, where, and for what purpose each can be used.  In the next post we'll take a look at how an annuity should or should not be used.  We'll examine who should have one and who shouldn't.  I hope you'll join me.

Have questions?  Let's start a conversation!  Contact me at 740-324-0702 or or follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Transferring Wealth the Smart Way

"We have $50,000 in a CD at the bank just for the kids.  You know, so that when we're gone, the 5 of them will get $10,000 each."

"Since my wife died, I've decided to name my kids as the beneficiaries of my IRA's and 401k.  I'm also leaving my life insurance death benefit to my Church."

These are just two examples of conversations I've had this summer with different clients.  Both ideas, both statements, seem like worthy and noble efforts.  However, they show me one of two things.  Either these clients don't, or at least didn't, understand the power of life insurance or they've been scared away from life insurance by the talking heads of financial genius on the radio or internet.

My goal as a life insurance agent is first and foremost education.  So let's take a look at each scenario and see what we could do better...

In example number 1, the couple with $50,000 in a CD, there are a number of issues.
    a) The CD is probably not paying them very much in interest.
    b) What they are gaining is taxable each year unless it's in an IRA CD.
    c) If the money is needed for an emergency, there will be penalties for removing it from the CD.

So, how can life insurance help with example number 1?
   a) If used to purchase a single-premium policy on the life of husband or wife (age 65) it would provide somewhere between $97,000, if on the husband, and $106,000, if on the wife, of income tax free money for the kids.  So instead of $10k they may get nearly $20k.  By moving it from a CD to life insurance they were able to nearly double what they wanted to leave to their children.  In addition, that death benefit may grow each year.  In the case of the wife, in year 20 the benefit has grown to roughly $134,000
    b) The life insurance cash value grows at a guaranteed rate and the money is accessible, in the form of a loan, without penalty.

Leaving money to your kids and your favorite charity are great ideas.  Why not pay forward the gifts you have received in this life?  However, the example listed above is simply backwards.

Leaving your IRA or 401k to a non-spouse like a child seems like you are leaving them a fortune, and you may be, but you may also be leaving them a massive headache where one false move can cost them much of what you meant to leave behind.

A better option is to leave the complicated items like the IRA or 401k to the charity and it's experts to process.  You may also qualify for a tax deduction.  Leaving life insurance to those you love is fairly clean and straight forward where in most cases they simply get a check free and clear.  You may also consider the various ways to transfer that taxable money into a life insurance product thus leaving both the charity and your family income tax free, and headache free, money!

If you're IRA or 401k is larger than your life insurance policy or vise versa, talk to your tax advisor and insurance agent about how to make sure your wishes are fulfilled for both your charity and your family and how to adjust those tools to fit your desires.

If you have questions about these examples or your own situation and would like some free, friendly advice from a Catholic perspective, reach out to me. Call or text 740-324-0702 or email

Follow me on social media - JHAHNCOF

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

We Have A Winner!!!

I'd like to thank all of the parishes and photographers who participated in our Most Beautiful Parish in the Diocese of Columbus contest.  I'm just thankful that we didn't have to decide, but you did.

This year's winner is St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Westerville, OH.  St. Paul is the largest parish in the diocese and most certainly an absolutely beautiful parish.  St. Paul will receive $100 and the photographer a COF shirt and book & rosary from Real Life Rosary.

Below I will list all of the entrees and links to more parish information.  Take time this summer to pilgrimage to these beautiful parishes, you'll be glad you did!

WINNER - St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Westerville, OH

St. John the Evangelist, Logan, OH

Holy Trinity Parish, Somerset, OH

Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Wellston, OH

St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Lancaster, OH

St. Peter in Chains Parish, Chillicothe, OH

St. John Nuemann Parish, Sunbury, OH

St. Rose Parish, New Lexington, OH

Friday, June 1, 2018

Most Beautiful Catholic Church in the Diocese of Columbus: Contest

Our Lady of Lourdes - Park Hills, KY
The Diocese of Columbus is overflowing with truly beautiful parishes.  The architecture, design, and history of these many churches makes choosing one as the most beautiful a daunting task.  As a way of bringing to light the beauty of these parishes and encouraging the faithful to visit them throughout the summer months, I'm hosting a "Most Beautiful Parish 2018" contest.

Here's how the contest will work.  From June 1st to June 15th parishioners are encouraged to email me pictures of your parish.  The pictures could be of the sanctuary, the grounds, the building from the ground or even an aerial photo from a drone!  Start taking pictures and send me your best.  Be sure to include the parish name and address as well as your own.  Please only send your best picture.

On June 15th (after 10 PM) I will post all of the parish photos received onto my Facebook Page and voting will begin.  The parish photo with the most "likes' will be declared the winner and receive $100. You are encouraged to get your parish involved in the voting.  Let them know about the contest and how to vote. Voting will continue until 10PM EST June 23rd.  At this time the winner will be announced and photographer given credit (if permitted).   The photographer will receive recognition and a COF t-shirt, a copy of A Visit to Church: A Picture Journey, and a handcrafted rosary.

Rules and Fine-print:
1) Parish must be part of the Diocese of Columbus.
2) Only one submitted photo per person will be eligible for the contest.
3) Photos may be submitted from June 1st, 2018 to June 15th, 2018 at 10PM EST.  No photos will be accepted after this time.
4) Voting will be open from June 15th (after the photos are posted) until June 23rd, 2018 at 10PM EST.
5) Photo submissions must include the parish name and address, photographer name and address.
6) By submitting photos to me via email you are giving me the right to post the photo on my Facebook page for the contest and to use it in any promotional materials.

If you have questions, please let me know - 740-324-0702 or

Sponsored by: James M. Hahn, FIC and Real Life Rosary

Use 7 of 7 for Life Insurance - Estate Taxes

In this video we take a look at using Life Insurance to reduce estate or death taxes.  Although most do not need to be concerned about this at this time, you may in the future due to either your successes or changes in tax law. As always, please contact your agent and/or tax advisor for details.  

Have questions?  Let's start a conversation!  Contact me at 740-324-0702 or or follow me on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Get all of the videos here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Use 6 of 7 for Life Insurance - Business Protection

In this video we take a look at using Life Insurance to either protect your business, replace a key employee, or add to your employee benefit plans.  A well designed buy-sell agreement can mean the difference between the life and death of a business.  A key-employee policy will insure that should a key employee be lost, his or her skills may be replaced by another quickly and efficiently.  It may also be used as a supplement to an employee benefit plan that ensures that the family of one partner is taken care of regardless of what may happen to that partner.  As always, please contact your agent and/or tax advisor for details.  

Have questions?  Let's start a conversation!  Contact me at 740-324-0702 or or follow me on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Get all of the videos here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Use 5 of 7 for Life Insurance - Charitable Gifting

In this video we take a look at using Life Insurance to leave a legacy by a Charitable Gift.  This is a great way to make sure that your weekly contribution to the collection plate continues forever or your parish or school gets help to keep their doors open.  As always, please contact your agent and/or tax advisor for details.  

Many parishes in the Columbus diocese have endowment funds created for various needs.  Contact my good friends at The Catholic Foundation to leave your life insurance benefits to an existing endowment or to create your own.

Have questions?  Let's start a conversation!  Contact me at 740-324-0702 or or follow me on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Get all of the videos here.