TXINS March 2018 E-News: Annuities: What Are They and How Do They Work?, Agency Happenings, Texas Trivia, Recipe of the Month & More!


Annuities: What Are They and How Do They Work?

An annuity is a contract with an insurance company. The insurer promises to provide a certain stream of income – which could start immediately or at some point in the future – in return for your contributions, or premium.

If the stream of income begins immediately, the product is called an immediate annuity. If the income stream is to commence at some point in the future, the contract is called a deferred annuity.

Annuities vs. Mutual Funds

Because annuities are contracts, they are very different products from mutual funds, which are simply baskets of securities run by a professional money manager. Mutual funds are investments, rather than contracts.

Mutual funds make no promises or commitments, other than paying you net asset value when you decide to sell your shares. Only annuities must pay out according to a written contract, even if the insurance company loses money. 

For this reason, annuities are often thought of as risk management tools, rather than investments.

Immediate Annuities
The simplest and most basic form of annuity is the lifetime income annuity. You pay a lump sum premium to the annuity company, and the issuer promises to pay a specific income to the annuity owner, or annuitant, for as long as he or she lives. You can also elect to have a joint annuity, which will continue to pay a somewhat lower set income each month or each year for as long as the annuitant and their spouse or other designated individual lives.

These popular annuities are very useful for retirees, who can be assured that no matter how long they may live, they will never outlive their incomes.

Deferred Annuities

Deferred annuities – those designed to provide an income at a later date – can be fixed or variable.

With a fixed annuity, the face amount of the annuity increases at a set rate, from the time the premium is credited until the time the owner annuitizes the contract – that is, elects to start the stream of income.

With a variable annuity, the face amount of the annuity is tied to the performance of sub-accounts, which the annuity owner can select. There may be a sub-account that tracks U.S. stock performance, another sub-account that tracks the bond market, and another that provides a guaranteed return.

Fixed annuities are considered very safe, while variable annuities involve the risk of loss as well as the potential for gain.

Money in deferred annuities accumulates tax-deferred. However, when you eventually take the income stream, any growth is taxed as ordinary income as it is paid out to you.

You may face a 10% penalty for any income you take out prior to age 59½.


You can customize your annuity with additional promises and guarantees, called riders, though these may reduce your initial payouts. For example, you can elect an inflation or cost-of-living rider, a guaranteed minimum income benefit or guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit -each of which may help reduce economic uncertainty in retirement.


While annuities come with more promises and guarantees than mutual funds, they tend to come with higher fees and expenses, as well. Ask your agent to go over each of these fees and expenses with you before buying an annuity.

Who Are Annuities For?
Annuities may be suitable for anyone who wants to guarantee a specific amount of income, to provide for income for a surviving family member, or to defer taxes on growth.

Lifetime income annuities may be a good fit for anyone concerned about running out of income as they grow old.

We Are Here for You!

Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. is your trusted advocate. As an independent insurance agency, TXINS represents a wide network of A-rated insurance companies, which allows us to find the best insurance policy to fit your needs and budget. We don’t believe in cookie cutter policies and will customize a plan specifically for you. Your overall satisfaction is our top priority.

TXINS offers complimentary insurance reviews to ensure you are getting the right coverage for yourself, your family, or your business. To schedule your review, contact us today at 800-541-9849 or via email. Together, we will ensure you are protecting what matters most.


  • The Needville office has moved! Please note our new physical address: 13644 FM 442, Ste. A, Needville, TX 77461.
  • Happy March birthday to Leticia Vasquez! We hope you enjoy your special day!
  • Happy March work anniversary to the following TXINS staffers: Kristen Johnson-2 years and Amy Sebastian-1 year. We are so proud to have you as members of the TXINS team!
  • Congratulations to our February Texas Trivia winners: Antonia Cisneros of Wharton, Michael Kelling of Brenham, and Rey Legett of Austin. We hope you enjoy your Whataburger gift card! Don’t miss out on your chance to win….check out our new Texas Trivia question below!


In February, Elyse Hlavinka celebrated 1 year with TXINS! Founder and president of TXINS, Mr. Gordon Sorrel presented Elyse with this certificate on her anniversary.

In lieu of an office Christmas party, Mr. and Mrs. Sorrel hosted a family-friendly bowling party for all TXINS staffers and their families at the El Campo bowling alley on February 25. Prizes were given to the top 3 adults and top 3 children with the highest scores and things got pretty competitive! Everyone had a great time spending time together outside of the office.



Recipe of the Month:
Shamrock Bark

Author: Passion for Savings


  • 1 bag of Wilton green candy melts
  • 2 4 oz. bars of Baker’s Premium White Chocolate
  • 1 cup of green M&Ms
  • Green sprinkles (optional)


  1. Melt the green candy melts and white chocolate according to the package directions in separate bowls.
  2. On a piece of wax paper, pour out the melted green candy and spread it out until it’s about 1/8″ thick.
  3. Add the white chocolate on top and use a toothpick or the tip of a knife to swirl the white and green chocolate together.
  4. Top with green sprinkles and M&Ms.
  5. Allow the candy to cool. Once cooled, break it apart into smaller pieces and store in an airtight container.


Texas Trivia

The Old West comes to life during the Fort Worth Herd’s twice-daily cattle drive. Real cowhands drive a herd of Texas longhorns down Exchange Avenue in the Stockyards National Historic District every day at 11:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (excluding Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day). Every detail of the cattle drive is authentic and historically true.

Although Civil War devastated the country’s economy, Texas had a valuable resource with millions of longhorn cattle roaming wild across the Texas plains. In the two decades following the Civil War, herds of longhorn cattle were rounded up and driven north. Worth only about $1 a head in Texas, a single longhorn could command a price of about $40 in the northeastern markets. Described as the greatest migration of livestock in the history of the world, more than six million longhorns made the three-month journey north, and the profit from the cattle revitalized the Texas economy after the war.

Each longhorn that participates in the Fort Worth Herd cattle drive represents a decade that Fort Worth has been a city. How many longhorns make up the Fort Worth Herd? Email us your answer. If you are one of the first three people to answer correctly, you’ll win a $5 Whataburger gift card! 

Show Your Spirit, Texas!

Congratulations to Melissa McClure of Needville, TX for being our February Referral Program winner. Thank you for your referrals, Melissa!



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From our customers…

“My agent always gets me a quick response to my questions. It’s very important for me to get answers the very same day I call.”
JJL Greenhouse, Inc., Houston, TX

Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. is proud to be an independent Trusted Choice Agent. We provide our clients with a choice of companies, offer complete customization of policies, and advocate on our clients’ behalf to ensure each receives quality service and quality product. We are committed to providing competitive pricing and unparalleled customer service. You have our word on it.


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