How To Invest In The S&P 500 For Retirement Without Losing Money

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Understanding Fixed Indexed Annuities (FIAs) with S&P 500 Index

Fixed-indexed annuities (FIAs) are financial instruments designed for retirement planning, offering a unique blend of growth potential and protection from market losses. When linked to a stock market index like the S&P 500, FIAs allow investors to benefit from market upswings while shielding them from downturns.

Growth Based on S&P 500 Index Movements

  1. Upward Movement Benefits: When the S&P 500 index rises, the FIA credits the account with gains. The growth of your investment is directly tied to the positive performance of the index.
  2. Protection in Downturns: During bear markets, when the S&P 500 declines, the FIA provides a safety net. Your principal amount is protected, and you won’t suffer any losses from market downturns.

Trade-Off: Limited Upside for Downside Protection

Investors in FIAs forgo some upside potential in exchange for downside protection. While you benefit from market gains, you won’t capture 100% of the S&P 500’s growth due to features like participation rates and caps.

Invest In The S&Amp;P 500 With Fia

Example: FIA with S&P 500 Annual Point-to-Point

  • Participation Rate: At a 62% participation rate, if the S&P 500 gains 10% in a year, your account would be credited with a 6.2% return (62% of 10%).
  • No Cap Feature: With no cap, there’s no upper limit to the gains credited as long as they are within the participation rate.

Comparison of FIA Returns in Different Market Scenarios

Market ScenarioS&P 500 ReturnFIA Credited Return (62% Participation, No Cap)
Strong Bull Market (20% Gain)+20%+12.4%
Moderate Growth (5% Gain)+5%+3.1%
Bear Market (10% Loss)-10%0% (No Loss)


Investing in an FIA tied to the S&P 500 for retirement can be a strategic move for those seeking growth opportunities while wanting to avoid the risk of market losses. It’s a balance between enjoying the fruits of a bull market and having a safety net during bear markets. Remember, while the upside potential is limited, peace of mind during downturns can be invaluable for long-term retirement planning.

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Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, 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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