With insurance companies pulling back from guaranteed income products, many are saying the time to buy them, or any annuity-based offerings, is now.

Wait, and it could be too late.

Certainly, if you have clients nearing retirement, the hot tip may be to strike before it’s too late. Advisors working with younger clients, by contrast, may have a once in a lifetime opportunity to bide their time and allow some of the nouveau Volkerism that economists are predicting for coming years to take full effect before pulling the annuity trigger.

Either way, though, it’s important to understand the role annuities play in portfolio construction, tax and estate matters, income planning, business and succession planning, and charitable gifting.

Insurance in 2012 – and beyond

Persistent low interest rates means prices for some guaranteed products will rise and others will simply disappear.

Shift your focus to retirement liabilities

Take a page out of the pension industry’s playbook and pay more attention to risks and less to portfolio value.

Opportunities in the fine print

Paying attention to the settlement details in an insurance contract lets you give your clients options. A closer read can make you a hero.

Preparing for the worst

Stress testing client portfolios helps ensure key risks are covered off.

Buying insurance early is better

As clients age, rates tend to increase. So help them beat the clock.

Back-to-back annuities make a comeback

The age old stalwart of retirement planning returns to the investment radar

Key person insurance

Annuities are one way to protect a business when one of its owners dies.

Maximize retirement income

An insured annuity creates cash flow while cutting tax. A winning combination.

Gifting insurance to charities

Tell your clients how they can give annuities to their favourite causes.

Lifelong retirement – the zone strategy

While you’re at it, read this piece by Jim Otar and then claim some Continuing Education credits.