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Book Your Flight Now: Shootin' It Straight With Stan®

Stan Haithcock
December 14, 2022
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Today's topic is about booking your flight to annuity safety. I know you're saying, "That sounds good, Stan. That sounds like a T-shirt that you would wear. Book your flight to annuity safety. What does that mean?"Let me tell you what that means.

Annuities are contracts. Don't believe me, buy one of many types. There's not just one annuity. I hate all annuities. Many types do many different things, but in essence, they're commodity products. You buy them for the highest contractual guarantee. You shop all carriers for the highest contractual guarantee. There's not one that's better than the other. For all of you people that have Delta or American or United or JetBlue, these sky miles and you go into the lounges, so you only buy those tickets, or there's something with your company, you know what I'm talking about.

Buying a Plane Ticket

When buying plane tickets, if you go to Orbitz or Priceline or whatever that site is... Kayak is one as well. And, they're bringing in prices from all airline carriers, and you're putting in how you want to go. You want to fly coach and get there as cheap as possible, or you want to fly first class, business class, or whatever. What I'm telling you, in the vast majority of the time... I hate to say all, but buying annuities, it's like buying a plane ticket. Buying an immediate annuity, Deferred Income Annuity, Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract, income rider, Multi-Year Guarantee Annuity, or Fixed Index Annuity, like the annuity industry version of a CD, is like buying a plane ticket. And a site like mine represents almost every carrier out there and allows you to shop annuities like a plane ticket.

Annuity Carriers

Now, I know what you're saying out there. "Wait a minute, Stan. What about the claim-paying ability, Stan? What about the carrier strength, Stan?" Exactly. We show all carriers. There could be highly-rated and low-rated carriers, just like planes. If you punch in where to go, if you're flying from X to Y, there might be a carrier that goes to the top that you would never get on that plane, okay? Now part of my job as Stan the Annuity Man®, America's Annuity Agent®, is to make sure that we put you with a carrier that I feel can back up the claims, that we have done our homework and due diligence, and analysis that they can back up the claim. You probably heard me say, "it depends on the type of annuity and then carrier strength and ratings, etc." but I'm not going to put anything in front of you that can't back up the claim for the specific goal you have in mind.

An Example

Give you an example. If you're buying lifetime income, that comes down to immediate annuities, deferred income annuities, Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts, and income writers. If you're buying lifetime income, you're ripping off the knob, and as long as you're breathing, even if you're on a ventilator, you’ll get paid by the annuity company. Okay, you’re transferring the risk for that annuity company to pay you? When you make that decision, most of the time, that's an A+ or a better-rated carrier because we're marrying that carrier. M-A-R-R-Y-I-N-G, it's hard for southerners to say that. I don't know why. There might be something behind that. Marrying the carrier. We’ll be there forever, as long as you're breathing. If it's joint life, as long as one of you is breathing.

And remember, we can build into the contract. If something happens to you early in the contract, 100% of the money goes to the beneficiaries and not the evil annuity company, so don't say "I'd never buy an annuity for life because if I die, the money goes poof." You're uninformed. I'm going to get you informed. You can do that. That's one of 40 ways to structure it. But with lifetime income and buying the plane ticket, you're buying the annuities, you're going to see us quote all carriers, but most of the time, we will point you to A+ or better. There are four rating agencies, Moody, Standard, Poor's, Fitch, and AM Best. The majority of the time, we're showing AM Best. Not because we like them or they think they're better, I think it's easier to understand in most cases. But if I feel that the carrier shouldn't be something you own, I will tell you. Like you pull up Orbits and punch in the plane, I'm not going to mention airlines that I wouldn't fly on, but there are some airlines I wouldn't fly on.

There are some annuities I wouldn't allow you to own. There are some annuities I would not own. And I'm going to tell you that. I love it when people say, "well, what's the claims' paying ability? Do you think they're going to back it up?". Let me be very clear with you, okay? I'm not putting my license on the line with my recommendation. If I'm recommending it to you or we are recommending it to you, we have done our due diligence. This leads us to the next... crazy, I was going to say stupid, but I'm trying to mellow out a little bit. Do you know what I'm saying? My wife is a clinical psychologist by trade, so I think I'm a lifelong project to her. And she's always working with me to calm down, let life come to me, etc. I don't know what I was talking about.

Maybe that's part of my problem with the psychology thing. But, getting back to the plane tickets, I was going to say this. People say, "well, what if an A++ company goes out of business?". I'm not going to mention any names. I represent pretty much all of them. "What if an A++, a hundred on the conduct score, goes out of business?" My answer is, if that happens, you and I are in the grocery store fighting for bread. I’m going to punch you right in the knee or the throat or vice versa; you’re going to punch me in the knee of the throat, and whoever does that first gets the bread. My point is if the A++ carries go out of business... And don't come at me and say, "well, nothing's too big to fail, Stan."

Can They Fail?

Those big A++, they're too big to fail. This isn't Lehman or Bear Stearns. Nothing against them, and I wish I'd have kept some of those T-shirts I saw on eBay when they did go out of business because that'd been cool to wear a Lehman Brothers shirt around or a Bear Stearns. But like "what up". Those companies were the mail room of some of these A++ rated carriers, which leads us back to the whole thing, which was "book your flight to annuity safety.”

One Size Doesn't Fit All

What I want you to take away from this is that if anybody comes to you and says, "this is the best annuity" or, "this is the one you need,” or "I've looked at all of them, and this is the one,” that's a tough statement. One size does not fit all. Regardless of the annuity types that you're shopping for, it's like shopping for a plane ticket. And remember, I ask two questions. You should answer two questions every time to see if you need an annuity. The first question is, "what do you want the money to do contractually?" the Second question is, "when do you want those contractual guarantees to start?".

From those two answers, I can tell you even if you need an annuity, and if you do, which type will provide the highest contractual guarantee? Remember the acronym I've used and trademarked: “PILL.” P-I-L-L. "P" stands for principle protection. "I" stands for income for life. "L" stands for legacy, leaving money to people when you die. And the other "L" stands for long-term care, confinement care, and enhanced benefit, that type of thing. P-I-L-L. If you do not need to contractually solve for one or more items than that acronym, "PILL,” you do not need an annuity. If you're looking for market growth, don't buy an annuity. I know that's what everyone's telling you. "Market upside with no downside"... "Buffer annuity.” Come on. You know better than that. Don't be the sucker at the table. Don't be the rue at the table.


So when you buy your next plane ticket and punch in... You want to go here, and here, and here are the times you want to go, and here's where you want to sit, etc. It's the same process when buying the majority of annuities, the majority of the time. I wish I could say all I typically do, but for whatever reason, I feel kind of calm today. And I'm not going to say all, and I'm not going to yell, and I'm not going to pound the table, but what I want to drive home today is that it's a commodity. Annuities are commodities. All types of annuities are commodities. You own them for what they will do, not what they might do®. Always make your decision on the contractual guarantee. Never decide on the hypothetical, theoretical, back-tested, projected, hopeful, agent, and advisor return scenarios.    

Never forget to live in reality, not the dream, with annuities and contractual guarantees! You can use our calculators, get all six of my books for free, and most importantly book a call with me so we can discuss what works best for your specific situation.

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