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Dave Ramsey says: Go with 401(k) over annuity every time

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Dear Dave,

My husband was recently laid off, and he has $229,000 in a 401(k). He has been told that he should roll it into a hybrid annuity.

Is this a good idea?

— Durnae

Dear Durnae,

Absolutely not! It sounds to me like he’s been talking to an insurance agent instead of an investment adviser.

There’s no reason to put a 401(k) into an annuity. Annuities are there to protect money, as it grows, from taxes. Well, guess what? The 401(k) is already protecting it from taxes.

I would roll it into a traditional IRA in a series of growth stock mutual funds. You’ll have half the fees, the advisor won’t make anywhere near the commission he’d make on an annuity, and you’ll get much better results in the end.

Yeah, I definitely wouldn’t go the annuity route. I don’t have a single annuity, and I’ve got a lot of investments.

One of the reasons so many “advisers” push annuities is because they wind up with bigger commissions.

Annuities aren’t evil or anything, but they’re definitely not the proper product for you in this situation.

Get away from the guy who gave you this advice, and find a good financial adviser — not an insurance guy — with the heart of a teacher.

You need to talk to someone who’s interested in helping you two plan for your future, not theirs!

— Dave

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