How Much Variable Annuities Really Cost

by Galia Gichon on November 13, 2007

It is so hard to find the fees in most investment products. Variable annuities are even more difficult to figure out. They are broken out into four different kinds of fees:

1) Insurance charges. Also called morality and expense fee. This is the big sales commission and marketing costs.

2) Investment fees. These are the actual fees for the underlying investments in the variable annuity.

3) Optional riders. These are all the other bells and whistles such as future income or death benefit.

4) Surrender charges. The fee they charge when you take your money out before a specified date (at least 7 years from purchase date).

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