Are you looking to buy a life insurance policy but you are not sure if it is the right plan? Today, many intending policyholders are confused about the difference between a life insurance policy and annuity.
It is not only confusing; it can also make you pick a plan that isn’t the perfect fit. So, in this article, you are going to find out the difference between life insurance and an annuity.
What is the difference between Life Insurance and an Annuity?
First, let us understand what a life insurance policy is all about. It is a type of insurance policy designed to cater to the financial needs of your loved ones when you pass away. Typically, the death benefits are paid out to your beneficiaries who must have been named in the policy. On your death, the beneficiaries will receive a specific sum of money called death benefits.
On the other hand, an annuity is a variant of a life insurance policy. Unlike the former, the “death benefits” are paid to the policyholder. You want to purchase a life insurance policy with an annuity rider if you want to receive the death benefits.
Most of the time, life insurance policyholders opt for annuities to they can receive income for life. On their death, the loved ones may not receive any other financial benefit.
What is an Annuity Life Insurance Policy?
This is a long-term insurance financial plan that provides the policyholder with lifelong income that expires when the person passes away.
You should consider this if you want to leverage tax-deferred income. That way, your income from using an annuity life insurance plan wouldn’t be taxed.
Now, there are different aspects of the policy and this brings up the question, “is an annuity better than life insurance?”
In retrospect, an annuity is better than lifeinsurance in the sense that the policyholder receives tax-free income for life.
Here are some common variants of annuities and how they work:
1. Deferred Annuities
This is a type of annuity that “defers” or extends the length of the policy and its payouts. It is common to use this if you are looking to receive passive income for a long time to come.
This is also the point where you can get an answer to the question “are life insurance policy annuities?” Deferred annuities can fit into that purpose because it pays death benefits to your loved ones when you pass away.
There are two types of payment options for deferred annuities. These are:
- Lifetime: In this case, you will continue to receive passive income as long as the policy is active.
- Lump-Sum: Don’t want to wait for life? Consider using the lump-sum option that pays out the money at once. The payout is activated when you make a withdrawal from the annuity.
The best time to purchase a deferred annuity is between the age of 40 and 65. Within this age range, you will have enough time to receive the income accruable to the policy.
2. Immediate Annuities
This is another variant of annuity for a life insurance policy. As the name suggests, it pays out the annuities immediately.
An immediate annuity policy is ideal for people between the ages of 55 and 80. It is because of the lifelong duration and the fact that it is only tax-deferred in the early years of the policy. You will start paying taxes later and this will be deducted only from the investment income. The capital or initial amount invested in the policy wouldn’t be taxed.
An immediate annuity policy only pays death benefits to your loved ones on the following conditions:
- If the policy has a guaranteed period.
- It is active for death benefits payout only if the guaranteed period is active at the time you passed away.
Life Insurance Policy or Annuity Contract: Which is Best?
Not sure if getting a life insurance policy is better than an annuity and vice-versa? Here are a life insurance annuity’s pros and cons to help make that decision.
1. Mode of Payout
The method of payment is one of the differences between an annuity and life insurance. Annuities are designed to pay the policyholder for life while life insurance policies pay the beneficiaries.
There may be an exception if you are using an annuity with a life insurance rider. In this case, you are purchasing a separate rider permitting the inclusion of your loved ones to receive death benefits when you pass away.
How long are you expected to live? People with the likelihood of a longer lifespan can benefit the most from annuities. It is because of the basis of the life expectancy of the policyholder. For example, a policyholder that is projected to be 90 years can get an annuity to cater for his or her medical bills.
On the other hand, a life insurance policy is great for people with mortality. In this case, the basis is on the mortality rate of the policyholder, including the risk factors, health-wise.
Many life insurance policyholders go for it because of the tax-free model. In most cases, their partial payout or death benefits are not taxed.
However, some annuities can be taxed. For example, an immediate annuity policy is taxed after a few years, especially if the policyholder begins to age.
Can a Life Insurance Policy be an Annuity?
No, an annuity is the polar opposite of a life insurance policy because it protects you from living beyond your means. A life insurance policy provides “financial coverage for your loved ones.”
You may be able to purchase a life insurance policy with annuity rider to reap the benefits of an annuity.
Life Insurance Policy vs 401k
401k is a type of IRA that provides income for you during the retirement years. Assuming you’re employed, getting the plan helps you have some money to spare during your retirement.
A life insurance policy only provides income for your loved ones, who are beneficiaries of the policy.
Which is Better between Life Insurance Policy and Annuity?
Both life insurance policies and annuities are investment vehicles that can provide a steady income for you and your loved ones. The choice of life insurance policy vs annuity depends on several factors. You want to consider the passive income opportunities, tax-free, and the premiums payable. If you are looking to set aside some “retirement funds,” it may be a good idea to go for the 401k. That way, you will have some money to keep you going after your active work life.