Posted on September 10th, 2013 | Categories - Annuities
But there’s one time when being open will benefit you for the rest of your life.
When? Retirement, specifically when buy an Annuity.
Tell us everything!
Telling your Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) everything about your health, lifestyle and future plans could mean you get a higher income, each and every year, for the rest of your life.
One of our IFAs recently took a call from a gentleman who was retiring and wanted to buy an Annuity. Our adviser spoke to him at length, discussed his other options, including Income Drawdown and decided that due to his circumstances an Annuity was indeed the right option.
Our adviser then explained they might be able to get him a higher Annuity rate if we knew more about his personal circumstances, particularly his health and lifestyle. At this point the gentleman decided he didn’t want to give any personal information whatsoever, which meant we couldn’t help him. If he’d been more open there is a very good chance he would have qualified for an Enhanced Annuity.
So, how does being open and answering all the questions your IFA asks, get you a better Annuity rate?
Health If you suffer from a medical condition you may well qualify for an Enhanced Annuity , which could give you a higher income after taking into account your health. It isn’t just major or life threatening conditions which will qualify you for an Enhanced Annuity, minor illnesses, which you cope with on a day to day basis, might also get you a higher income.
Tell your adviser everything, from the last time you visited the doctor, to your latest blood pressure and cholesterol readings, as well as any medication you take.
A few minutes spent discussing your health won’t be wasted, and could make you far better off in your retirement.
Height & weight Many Annuity providers want to know your height and weight. Most of us when faced with this question will use a figure from a few years ago, shave a few pounds off our weight or add an inch or two to our height.
But don’t! Be truthful.
Don’t be shy, tell your IFA the correct figures, perhaps even weigh yourself before you speak to an adviser, it might help you get a higher income.
Lifestyle There’s no two ways about it, smoking and drinking excessively are bad for your health; but they could get you a higher income in retirement.
Again, this is no time to be shy. Tell your IFA exactly how much you smoke and drink. Obviously you shouldn’t exaggerate, but avoid the temptation to admit to smoking fewer cigarettes or drinking less each week.
Jobs Believe it or not your previous job could improve your Annuity rate. It’s therefore important you tell us what you jobs you have held and anything about them which might help to improve your Annuity rate.
Postcode The majority of Annuity providers now use postcodes to help set your Annuity rate. Simply put, someone living on the south coast of England will get a better rate than a retiree living in inner city Glasgow.
Tell us where you live and it might help to improve your retirement income.
Don’t forget your spouse Most married people choose to include a pension for their spouse when they buy an Annuity. This means your spouse will be underwritten too, therefore the more information you can give about their health, height, weight, smoking status, the better.
It’s not always easy to ask your spouse some pretty personal questions, but it really is worth any potential embarrassment if you get a higher retirement income.
Future plans The more you tell your IFA about your future plans the better. For example, when we ask about your plans for your tax-free lump sum, this isn’t so we can sell you an investment, but to work out whether a Purchase Life Annuity might be more appropriate for you.
Another example, if you plan to continue to work part-time you might prefer a solution which allows for you to change the amount of income you take from your pension; an Annuity won’t allow you to do this.
The more you can tell your adviser about your future plans the better their advice will be.
Don’t be shy, we’re here to help
Giving such personal information to a stranger would make most people nervous and rightly so. The only reason we need it is to be able to do our job; getting you a better Annuity rate and therefore a higher income in retirement.
As a rule of thumb, the more information you give, the easier it will be for us to get you a better income in retirement. Remember too, you only get one chance to buy an Annuity and it can never be changed.
So don’t be shy, tell us everything and let our advisers work hard on your behalf to get you the best possible retirement income.