Cazenovia In an effort to continue to educate local and area residents of financial prudence and planning, the Cazenovia-based business 5 Ledyard Avenue Corp. recently launched CertainRate.com. The website is dedicated to listing annuity rates, calculating required minimum distributions and offering a number of learning modules.
“A fixed annuity can be bought just like a commodity … I thought that there would be a mass ‘move to safety’ [for insurance products amid wavering economic times] and I wanted to occupy that space. So we purchased that space, launched a website and named it ‘CertainRate’,” said 5 Ledyard CEO Jim Griffin. “We want to educate seniors that there is a guaranteed short-term position for them, even when the market is doing poorly.”
Through CertainRate.com, online visitors are able to search annuity rates, fixed index annuities, multi-year guaranteed annuities, fixed index accounts and fixed annuities. As current tax law specifies that all over the age of 70-and-a-half must begin making taxable withdrawals from their traditional individual retirement accounts, the new website includes a calculator which instantly determines the minimum required distributions using customers’ ages, martial status, spouses’ age and account balances. Borrowing a few modules regarding finance and economics from the Khan Academy, CertainRate.com includes a number of 50-minute educational videos regarding IRAs and taxation.
“We’ve created the first system allowing people to buy term life insurance without having to see a broker,” Griffin said. “We’re close to purchasing an insurance company that will focus on these consumer-oriented products that customers will be able to buy directly.”
Griffin said much of the inspiration for CertainRate.com came from the West Palm Beach-based site BankRate.com, which, over the last 10 years, has become the primary resource for people to get certificate of deposit and mortgage rates. The company first experienced a boom after the mass rush to safety at the beginning of the new millennium, and again during the 2003-04 increase in mortgage availability.