Let’s Play an Annuity Game, Payout Start Date Edition

Tyler Linsten Investing, Personal Finance

Not to be confused with Let’s Needlessly Tinker with and Damage the Global Economy with Random Tariffs game. 

QUICK: You have 20 seconds to read the Payout Start Date description below while assuming you yourself have owned the annuity since the 1990s.

QUESTION: Can you begin payout now?

Good luck, sucker.




Pencils Down.

Stumped, like I was? Now, maybe I’m just a little dense, but this passage seems extremely confusing and hard to understand. I had to read it multiple times to get a handle on what was possible. To be honest, I’m still only about 95% sure what it’s saying. I can’t get over how hilariously sad (sadly hilarious?) the phrase “on or before the later of” is. How are regular people, the owners stuck with this stuff, supposed to know what to do?

This example shows one reason why you won’t hear me speaking very kindly about annuities in these parts. There are certain times and places for these products, but they’re few and far between because of the layers of complexity they tend to add. Not to mention the all-too-common, insane upfront commissions attached to annuities.

I tend to think of annuities and the Seattle Mariners in the same vein: They always tend to disappoint, you wonder how you got tied up with them, and they never get any better.