Marc Cuniberti: Swiss annuities offer offshore option
An annuity is a contract between an insurance company and investor that stipulates a payment of some sort to the investor in return for the investors initial or time payment to the insurance company. You give them money and they pay you back over time or on a specific date in the future. Annuities sold by U. S. companies may have fancy names, are structured in a variety of ways and are usually not guaranteed by the U. S Government.
I can’t recall an investor I’ve met who was glad they bought one after the fact and in my opinion are one of the worst investments you can make. I view them as overpriced life insurance policies concocted by the insurance companies to boost their profits.
There is an annuity product I do recommend however and that is a Swiss Annuity.
Unlike their American counter parts, Swiss Annuities have many advantages.
Annuities sold here may restrict your access to your funds, entice you with a bloated death benefit then may charge you a yearly percentage fee to make up for it. There usually is a healthy cancellation fee should you want your annuity cancelled and your “guarantee” is only as good as the companies balance sheet. They are also located here in the U.S. meaning they are subject to U.S. jurisdiction by the IRS and the court system and your money is held in U. S. dollars and usually invested in the stock market.
Swiss Annuities on the other hand have no tie up period; there is no yearly fee, only a small cancellation fee in the first 12 months, they may not be subject to U.S. jurisdiction (although now you do have to report them to the IRS), there is no bloated death benefit, you can denominate them in another currency or even gold (hence protecting you against a falling U.S. dollar), you can get your money anytime you want or even borrow against it. Should you move to another country, you can have your money sent to anywhere in the world. There is also no social security number required to open a Swiss Annuity, a testament to one of their obvious advantages. Your money does not have to be in any stock market but instead is backed by what you choose to back it with. There is never a cancellation fee so you can get to your money anytime in case of emergencies.
You can designate a beneficiary in case of your demise and you may elect any payment schedule you like, from a lump sum on a certain year or structured over many years or even a guaranteed for life payout. In a word, they are flexible.
I view Swiss Annuities as a great way to easily park money offshore versus other types of foreign accounts. Swiss Annuities require just a few forms and your funds are either wired or paid by your personal check.
They can pay an interest and a dividend and these payments may accrue interest free until you withdraw the funds. They are regarded as a type of retirement account so withdrawals under a certain age can have IRS penalties but for the most part you can send them as much as you want and that amount may accrue dividends and interest free of yearly tax assessments.
Although your annuity will not be guaranteed by any government entity (they aren’t here either), consider that here in U. S. we estimate there has been over 75,000 bank and insurance company failures in the last 100 years. Compare that to the last 150 years in Switzerland where there have been ZERO failures of either. Swiss bank and insurance laws are strict and Switzerland is the banking center of the world. They maintain a sound monetary policy and the Swiss Franc is regarded as a “Flight to Safety” currency. By keeping your annuity denominated in Swiss Francs, you may help protect against the insane money printing ramifications and possible default of the U. S. monetary system. Unthinkable but a possibility none the less.
As always, check with your CPA on the laws surrounding Swiss Annuities. You may have to look hard for an accountant that is familiar with these types of foreign vehicles.
In conclusion, I have always said, there’s a reason why no one ever evades Switzerland. It’s where everybody keeps their money. Maybe you should keep some there too.
You can find out more about Swiss Annuities at:
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