Saturday, October 31, 2015

Annuity Sleaze

There are some good annuity products.

There are a lot of mediocre annuity products.

There are a lot of really bad annuity products.

There are a lot of salesmen who make big money when they sell you the bad annuity products.

There are a lot of salesmen who prey on senior citizens.

A committee of the U.S. Senate is taking on the top 15 annuity companies. Not surprisingly, many of the companies have not been very cooperative.

Not surprisingly, some of the companies have admitted lavish compensation and gift packages for salesmen who push high-priced, low value products. Some of the companies use third party pass-thru operations to disguise what appear to be payoffs. 

Of course, the financial companies swear the buyers are getting good value.

Annuity sales is one of the sleaziest categories in the financial world.  Be very careful.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Funeral pre-need Contracts

At least monthly we see a news article about a funeral home operator convicted of stealing pre-need funeral money from customers.

As a percentage of funeral homes it is very tiny (at least the ones who are caught is very tiny) but the damage to the impacted seniors is very great.

When you do pre-need payments to a funeral home find out exactly how the money will be managed and exactly who will hold the funds. Get receipts. If the answers are not satisfactory do not give up the money.

On a related note…..

Smith and Jones Funeral Home may be have been in your community for decades, and may have been family owned for decades, but now may be owned by a large corporation you have never heard of, and the service you expect may not be the same. Just so you know.

PS: The State of Ohio is currently in the middle of a mess on this issue, including a battle among the members of the state board regulating funeral directors.