A couple weeks ago Chris Hansen and Dateline’s Tricks of the Trade did some undercover work looking at annuities, specifically indexed annuities, and how the salespeople were deceiving people about how expensive those things are if you withdraw too quickly. I didn’t watch the show as carefully as some others but I did get a sense that there was some deception going on there.
Here is an excellent response to the Dateline NBC annuity post and one that I think is worth reading after you watch the expose itself. I’m not a regular reader of the site but I do think that Mr. Paris makes an excellent point about how the salespeople did verbally mention the fees and sliding schedule as well as provide written documentation. The fact that they didn’t push the fees enough is something I think falls on the shoulder of the consumer.
Before you make any purchasing decision, make sure you have all the facts and that you fully understand them. You should never feel pressured to make a decision and you can always seek professional advice to review the documents. If nothing else, get unprofessional amateur advice from someone to see what they think. And lastly, always review things like annuity expenses very carefully because someone is making money out of this deal – it better be you!