What is a Secondary Market Annuity?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

The world of investments can be a labyrinth, particularly for those new to financial markets. Yet, even for seasoned investors, the annuity secondary market may represent an underexplored realm filled with potential opportunities and risks. In this guide, we will dive deep into this intriguing world of secondary market annuities, breaking down complex concepts into digestible information and guiding you toward informed investment decisions.

Introduction: The Secondary Market Annuity Landscape

An annuity is an investment that provides regular payments over a specific period. Traditionally, these are purchased from insurance companies, where the payments are often guaranteed, irrespective of market conditions. However, a less commonly understood aspect of annuities is the secondary or secondary market for annuities.

The secondary annuity market is where existing annuity contracts are bought and sold. It is a bustling marketplace, enabling annuity holders to sell their contracts, typically due to changing financial needs. For buyers, this secondary market for structured settlements represents a potential source of high-paying fixed annuities.

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Are Secondary Market Annuities Safe?

The question on most investors’ minds is, “Are secondary market annuities safe?” While they can indeed provide attractive rates of return, they also come with a unique set of risk factors.

These contracts are generally considered safe due to the reputation of the insurance companies backing them. However, safety can be subjective and largely depends on the specific annuity for sale, the financial standing of the insurance company, and the individual’s investment goals and risk tolerance.

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Risk Factors in Selling an Annuity to the Secondary Market

Several risk factors, including the potential impact of the stock market, must be considered when selling an annuity to the secondary market. One of the main concerns is the potential loss of future income. While selling the annuity provides an immediate cash infusion, it also means giving up the guaranteed future payments.

Transaction costs are another factor to consider. Selling an annuity can involve various fees and commissions, which can eat into the lump sum received. Lastly, sellers should also consider potential tax implications, as any gains realized from the sale may be subject to taxation.

Example: James has a 20-year annuity paying him $1,000 monthly. James will receive an immediate lump sum if he sells his annuity on the secondary market. However, he will lose the regular monthly income he would have received over the remaining annuity term. Moreover, he may receive less than the total value of his remaining payments once the transaction costs and potential taxes are considered.

What Is A Secondary Market Annuity

The Secondary Market for Structured Settlements: A Closer Look

The secondary market for structured settlements is integral to the more prominent secondary annuities market. Structured settlements are annuities that result from legal settlements, where the defendant agrees to make payments over a specific period.

For individuals who hold structured settlements but require immediate access to cash, the secondary market offers a way to sell these future payment rights. However, like other secondary market annuities, selling a structured settlement carries risks and potential costs, including the loss of future income and transaction fees.

For instance, Emily received a structured settlement after a car accident that paid her $500 monthly for the next 25 years. Several years later, Emily returns to school for an advanced degree and needs a lump sum of cash for her tuition. She decides to sell her structured settlement in the secondary market. Although she gets the immediate cash she needs, she loses her monthly payments, which could have provided financial security for years to come.

Secondary Market Annuities

Next Steps

Remember, while secondary market annuities can offer higher returns than those in the primary market, they also come with unique challenges. It’s essential to carefully consider these aspects before buying structured settlements in the secondary market or selling your annuity. Consulting with a financial advisor can provide personalized guidance tailored to your circumstances, helping you navigate this complex yet potentially rewarding financial landscape.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do SMAs differ from traditional annuities?

SMA is bought in a secondary market, while traditional annuities are bought directly from an insurer.

Answer the following in the least amount of words: How are SMAs bought and sold?

SMAs are bought and sold in the secondary market through licensed brokers.

What is the secondary market for structured settlements?

The secondary market for structured settlements refers to a marketplace where individuals can sell their future structured settlement payments to receive a lump sum of cash from investors or financial institutions.

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed insurance agent and annuity broker with over a decade of first-hand experience. 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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