If you want to have guaranteed income throughout your retirement that’s tax-deferred and protected from market virtuality, then an annuity is by far your best option. However, annuities tend to be misunderstood, and at times extremely complex. But, you can increase you annuity intelligence by listening to the following 25 top annuity experts.
Not only will they clearly explain what annuities are and why they should be a part of a successful retirement plan, but they’ll also keep you updated on the latest news, trends, and policies that will influence your annuity planning.
Top Annuity Experts
1. Shawn Plummer
AKA, the Annuity Expert, Shawn Plummer has been educating financial professionals and consumers on annuities, insurance, and retirement planning strategies since 2009. In fact, if you’ve met with your financial advisor or retirement planner — there’s a good chance that they reached out to someone like Plummer on which products would be best for you.
With such a prestigious pedigree, it’s no surprise that he’s been on Bloomberg, MarketWatch, The Today Show, U.S. News & World Report, and Yahoo! News.
We chose Shawn Plummer as our top annuity expert for 2021 because of how much he helps his clients realize their retirement goals. Plummer was recognized online by customers as being the annuity professional that they prefer over others. 4.8 stars online with hundreds of reviews. Not to mention 1000’s of views on his annuity articles and annuity guide over the years.
If you visit www.annuityexpertadvice.com you can request a quote. Or, read guides like The Annuity: The Complete Guide for more information.
2. Eric Judy and Richard Van Dyke
More commonly known as the Annuity Guys, Eric and Dick state they’ve “produced more than two hundred and fifty educational videos pertaining to the use of annuities and other financial instruments for retirements.” Some of their work has been featured on CNBC, MSNBC, and Fox News. The Annuity Guys are annuity experts and best known for their educational contributions promoting accurate annuity advice.
Additionally, if you reach out to them, they’ll recommend using a “Holistic – OutCome Based Planning™ process in order to balance and how to optimize your portfolio. And, because they’re also accredited by the Better Business Bureau, you can rest assured that you won’t be taken for a ride.
3. Robert Williams
Rob Williams CFP®, CRPC®, is the Vice President of Financial Planning, Retirement Income, and Wealth Management for the Schwab Center for Financial Research. As such, he’s the leader of a team responsible for research, insights, and methodology. They also train clients, representatives, and advisors primarily on wealth management during an investor’s life cycle.
He has provided commentary and insights on Kiplinger’s, The Wall Street Journal, and U.S. News & World Report. You can also check out his top annuity content on Schwab’s On Investing Magazine.
4. Salene Hitchcock-Gear
Salene Hitchcock-Gear is president of Prudential Individual Life Insurance and has over 30 years of experience in the industry. She is also a director on the Women Presidents’ Organization Advisory Board and serves on the board of trustees of the American College of Financial Services.
Hitchcock-Gear has also written some top-notch content for Kiplinger’s. “Know What You’re Paying for When You Buy an Annuity,” stands out if you want to demystify annuities. You should also follow her on Twitter; @Salene
5. Steve Jurich
Also known as My Annuity Guy, Steve Jurich is the owner and founder of IQ Wealth Management. He’s also a Kiplinger contributor, radio host, and author of the Amazon Best Selling retirement book “Smart is the New Rich.” Also, he’s a Certified Annuity Specialist® who has counseled retirees since 1994.
Jurich just so happens to considered a leading authority on all types of annuities and has monitored over 1,200 annuities. He’s also offering a free Annuity Buyers Guide if you’re interested in purchasing an annuity.
6. Olivia Mitchell
Olivia S. Mitchell is an economist, as well as executive director of the Pension Research Council. She is also a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Research Associate at the NBER. Professor Mitchell’s research focuses on retirement analysis and policy, pensions, and global private/social insurance.
For those who are new to the world of annuities, I recommend you listen to the [email protected] podcast episode where Mitchell clearly explains what annuities are and how they can help grow your nest egg. You can also follow Professor Mitchell on Twitter @OS_Mitchell.
7. Todd Giesing
Todd Giesing is Director, Annuity Research at LIMA. In this position, he’s responsible for annuity and retirement income-related projects such as LIMRA’s U.S. Individual Annuity Yearbook, LIMRA’s Annuity benchmarking surveys, and running LIMRA’s Top Annuity Research Study Group.
You can connect with him over on LinkedIn.
8. Harry N. Stout
Prior to becoming a published author, Harry Stout was a senior executive for several of the nation’s largest annuity companies. He’s also a certified public accountant and widely considered a top national annuity thought leader.
His most recent book, The FinancialVerse: Today’s Annuities − A Tool to Create Protected Lifetime Income, easily breaks down what annuities are, the different types, and the pros and cons to weigh. Make sure to keep up with him on Twitter @financial_verse.
9. Wade D. Pfau
Wade D. Pfau Ph.D., CFA, RICP® is a Professor of Retirement Income in the Ph.D. in the Financial and Retirement Planning program, Co-Director of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income, and RICP® program director at The American College of Financial Services. He’s also the host of the Retirement Researcher blog.
Moreover, his research has been covered in publications including The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Money Magazine. You can also follow him on Twitter, @WadePfau.
10. Paul Tyler, Ramsey Smith, Mark Fitzgerald, and Will Moorcroft
As the hosts of That Annuity Show, these experts discuss pressing retirement needs — mainly discussing the benefits of fixed annuities. The show aims to assist independent agents and retirement planners get the most out of annuities — fixed annuities in particular.
When you listen to this podcast, you can also expect a featured guest. Previous experts who have joined the show include Wade Pfau, Marguerita Cheng (CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth), and industry legend Joe Jordan.
The men on That Annuity Show stay current with whatever is the most pressing, up-to-date issues surrounding annuities at this time.
11. Wenliang Hou
Wenliang Hou, ASA, CFA, Ph.D. is a Quantitative Analyst at Fidelity Investments, as well as Senior Research Advisor, Research Economist Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. While his work covers a wide swath of retirement, he’s also emphasized annuities in publications like “What Is the Value of Annuities?” “The Value of Annuities,” and “How Best to Annuitize Defined Contribution Assets?”
Following Dr. Hou’s findings and publications will keep you informed at a higher level than you may suppose. Scholarly advice, but written so a layman can access current annuity thought.
12. Stan Haithcock
Stan the Annuity Man has earned the reputation as “America’s Annuity Agent.” And, for good reason. He’s licensed in all 50 states and is the top independent annuity agent. Moreover, he’s written 7 books on the topic of annuities, hosts a weekly podcast, and is a regular contributor to The Street and MarketWatch.
His website is also a plethora of information if you want to improve your annuity literacy. In addition to the blog, there are also resources like annuity calculators, live rate tickers, and educational videos.
13. Scott Stolz
Scott Stolz, CFP, RICP, is the former president of Raymond James Insurance Group, where he served for over 35-years. He’s also the author of “Solving the Annuity Mystery: Practical Advice for Every Advisor.” And, you might have seen his work featured in Financial Advisor Magazine, ThinkAdvisor, Research Magazine, and Investment News.
More recently, Stolz was named as Head of Insurance Solutions at the award-winning fintech company SIMON Annuities and Insurance Services LLC (“SIMON”). You can connect with him on LinkedIn.
14. Jeff Affronti
As president of FSD Financial Services, Jeff Affronti has overseen the placement of over $1 Billion of fixed annuities across the country. It’s not uncommon for carrier representatives to contact him for advice or to get the latest industry trends. You can visit the Fixed Annuity Blog to read the content that Affronti has authored.
15. David Novak
David Novak is the founder and director of First American Advisors. More recently though, he’s the founder, chairman, and CEO of Annuities Genius. This ground-breaking piece of software is expected to change the annuity game in the very near future.
Now, you can pick a top annuity software, “Annuities Genius goes far beyond traditional product analysis software, and can directly increase sales for producers,” Novak said in a press release. “It helps insurance agents, carriers, IMOs and other distributors connect more efficiently to increase their productivity and ROI, helps producers meet their suitability and compliance obligations, and provides greater transparency on the process for a client.”
16. Ken Nuss
Ken Nuss is the founder and CEO of AnnuityAdvantage, which he launched back in 1999. Since then, it’s become a leading online provider of fixed-rate, fixed-indexed, and immediate-income annuities. He’s also recognized as a leading annuity expert and has shared his knowledge in publications like Kiplinger and MSN.
17. Dylan Huang
Dylan Huang is the Senior Vice President, Head of Retail Annuities, Investment Solutions, and Wealth Planning at New York Life. His primary responsibility is regarding retail annuities — this happens to be the company’s second-largest profit center.
Haung is also a member of the board of directors at the Insured Retirement Institute and the advisory board of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income at The American College. And, he’s also a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.
For overall advice on retirement investment issues, Head over to New York Life’s newsroom to read the latest content and insights from Huang.
18. Michael Finke
Michael Finke Ph.D., CFP® is a professor of Wealth Management at the American College of Financial Services. He’s also WMCP® Program Director and Director for the Granum Center for Financial Security. He’s the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Time, and Money Magazine.
His white paper research projects have also appeared for companies like MetLife, Northwestern Mutual, OneAmerica, the Society of Actuaries, and TIAA. Give him a follow on Twitter, @FinkeonFinance.
19. Liz Weston
Liz Weston is a best-selling author of books like Your Credit Score.” She’s also NerdWallet’s personal finance expert and has appeared on CNBC, Fox Business, “NBC Nightly News,” the “Today” show.
If you have any questions regarding personal finance, including annuities, don’t be afraid to Ask Liz Weston.
20. David Lau
David Lau is the founder and CEO of DPL Financial Partners. He’s regarded as a leading innovator and disruptor in the financial industry by offering low-cost, commission-free insurance and annuity products.
Lau’s insights have been featured in Barron’s, CNBC, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. One of his most recent pieces, “Why the Insurance Industry Needs to Evolve and Why Now,” is an eye-opening must-read. You can connect with Lau on Linkedin.
21. Jason Fichtner
Jason J. Fichtner, Ph.D. a Senior Lecturer and Associate Director of the Masters of International Economics and Finance (MIEF) program at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He’s also;
- Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC)
- Senior Fellow, Alliance for Lifetime Income (ALI) & Retirement Income Institute (RII)
- Research Fellow, Center for Financial Security, University of Wisconsin
In addition to his research on Social Security and retirement security, his academic work has also focused on annuities. One example is his white paper “The Peak 65 Generation: Creating A New Retirement Security Framework.” As a part of the Alliance for Lifetime Income, Fichter is helping policymakers and the public become more aware of the potential risk of outliving their retirement savings.
22. David Blanchett
David M. Blanchett, Ph.D., CFA, CFP®, is head of retirement research for Morningstar’s Investment Management group. As such, he’s discussed a wide range of topics including how to trick yourself into saving and protecting yourself from fraud. But, he’s also extremely knowledgeable when it comes to annuities.
For example, he explained why a guaranteed income should be a part of your retirement strategy in the video “Is it the Right Time for Annuities?”
Definitely follow Blanchett on Twitter: @davidmblanchett.
23. Matt Carey
As the co-founder and CEO of Blueprint Income, Matt Carey is shaking up the annuity game. How so? By creating a customer-centric user experience that embraces a “simple annuities only” philosophy.
“Blueprint Income believes in the importance of simple retirement income solutions in a world where lifetime pensions are increasingly unavailable,” said Carey in a press release. “Fixed annuities offer an insurer-backed guaranteed return, while income annuities offer a guaranteed income stream, and both can be great options.”
“Times like these show the importance of not relying solely on investments that can fluctuate significantly in value for your core retirement income,” added Carey.
24. Benjamin H. Harris
Benjamin H. Harris is an economist and former Brookings Expert. He’s also the Executive Director of the Kellogg Public-Private Initiative and a research associate professor at Kellogg and was the chief economist and chief economic advisor to Vice President Joe Biden from 2014 to the end of the administration.
As of this writing, his nomination to be the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy is pending. He’s also discussed annuities in several reports, such as “Can Annuities Become a Bigger Contributor to Retirement Security?” with Martin Neil Baily. You can follow Harris on Twitter @econ_harris
25. Kimberly Lankford
For over 20 years Kimberly Lankford has offered sound financial advice, most notably from her “Ask Kim” column Kiplinger. You may have also come across one of her articles over at the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, and Washington Post. She’s also appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS This Morning, CNN, CNBC, and Fox News. She’s one of the best top annuity experts for smart retirement solutions.
Lankford is also the author of three books; “Rescue Your Financial Life,” “The Insurance Maze” and “Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions.”
Although she hasn’t exclusively covered annuities, I recommend reading her article, “Worried About Outliving Your Savings? Longevity Annuities May Help.” For more of her work, head over to her website https://kimberlylankford.com/.