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Why what seems like the ‘best deal’ isn’t always the best deal

 

by Roger Marsden
Head of Retirement Solutions Products and Services

How many times have you bought something on the internet and ended up having to send it back? Maybe it doesn’t fit, or it’s the wrong colour, or it just doesn’t suit you – whatever the reason, it’s a hassle and a disappointment. But, thankfully, that’s usually as bad as it gets.

However, if you buy an annuity online without double checking it’s the right one, you could end up much worse off. Buying an annuity is a big decision, a one-off purchase that will affect how much income you’ll receive for the rest of your life. It’s not the kind of thing you should buy with a casual click of a mouse. 

Avoid dangerous territory

A lot of people say they’re not well enough equipped to compare annuity quotes and understand the options available to them. So, ticking the box to buy the ‘best deal’ annuity online might feel like the right thing to do, but what if it isn’t? However much it might seem like it these days, the internet isn’t the only place to find a good deal.

My point is, if you rely solely on the internet, you could easily miss a trick. That’s why the internet can be dangerous territory for annuity customers, especially as you can choose annuity options that will cost you in the short term, but may pay off later on – so buying an annuity is about more than finding the highest initial income.

And, as I’ve said before, getting fully personalised annuity quotes can mean you get a higher income in retirement if, for example, you have poor health. But you may not always be offered this option online – another good reason to double check before you buy.

Talk first, buy later

Don’t get me wrong, shopping around for your annuity is absolutely the right thing to do, as well as shopping around for sources of professional guidance or advice. And using the internet to research your options makes great sense. But I wouldn’t recommend you go ahead and buy an annuity without talking to someone who can help make sure it’s right for you.

We’ve made a conscious decision not to sell our annuities on our website, but we do offer lots of information to help you understand your options, and where to go for guidance and advice about buying your annuity. You can also watch my short video to find out more about comparing annuity options and where to go for help.

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