Advisers should have a firm grasp on the mechanics of variable annuities in order to understand the many additional features the products offer and the role the annuities can play in a portfolio, writes Mike Henkel of Achaean Financial. Henkel points out that the products' guaranteed withdrawal benefit is different than a rate of return because the benefit comes out of the client's own money. For most clients, the product's key attraction may be tax deferral, Henkel writes.

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