How Safe is Your Money in an IRA?

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Understanding IRA Safety

An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) can be subject to market risks, meaning you can lose money in your IRA. The safety of your money in an IRA largely depends on the types of investments held within the account. Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, which can fluctuate with market conditions, often comprise IRAs.

IRA Fixed Indexed Annuities (FIA)

An IRA Fixed Indexed Annuity (FIA) offers a different approach. It protects against market losses while allowing for some growth potential. Here’s how it works:

  • 50% Participation Rate: With a 50% participation rate, if the market index your annuity is linked to goes up by 10%, your annuity would increase by 5% (50% of 10%).
  • Protection in Negative Years: In a year when the market index decreases, your annuity’s value does not decrease.
  • Locking in Gains: Unlike traditional investments, which can fluctuate up and down, an IRA FIA locks in gains. This means once your annuity gains value, it won’t lose that value due to market downturns.
  • Interest in Bear Markets: Even in bear markets, an IRA FIA can earn interest, which is unique compared to traditional market investments.


  • Growth Potential vs. Security: An IRA FIA typically offers less growth potential compared to direct market investments due to its protective features.
  • Fees and Charges: IRAs FIAs can come with fees and charges that may affect the overall return.
  • Suitability: It’s important to assess if an IRA FIA aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance.


An IRA Fixed Indexed Annuity offers a balance between growth potential and protection against market downturns. It can be a suitable option for those seeking stability and are wary of market volatility. However, it’s important to carefully consider the trade-offs, including lower growth potential and possible fees.

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Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Shawn Plummer is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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