Annuities Pitched With a Free Dinner? Be Wary

When a financial adviser invites you to a free meal, complicated, high-cost flavors of annuities are often on the menu.

After years of declining sales, annuities are hot again. Annuity sales in 2018 were projected to top $230 billion—a 13% increase over 2017—reports the Limra Secure Retirement Institute, an industry research group.

Part of the reason for the resurgence is that rising interest rates are increasing payouts, making these insurance products more attractive to investors. But much of the credit for the rebound goes to the demise last year of the fiduciary rule—the U.S. Department of Labor rule that would have required brokers and others to put clients’ financial interests ahead of their own when giving retirement-account advice.

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Eileen Ambrose
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Ambrose joined Kiplinger in June 2017 from AARP, where she was a writer and senior money editor for more than three years. Before that, she was a personal finance columnist and reporter at The Baltimore Sun, and a reporter and assistant business editor at The Indianapolis Star. Ambrose has a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and a bachelor's degree in art history from Indiana University.