In 1984 my father opened an IRA account, an annuity and a taxable account with Merrill Lynch maximum contributions were made to the IRA and good amounts to the taxable account until 2007.
In 1997 ML stopped carrying annuities and the policy was transferred to Transamerica it sat for years in the taxable account and was well past its redemption date.
In February of 2009 I lost a good job, was unemployed for more than one year, work after that was for close to half my previous salary and not continuous, I am now employed but only for the duration of a project. Supporting ourselves depleted the taxable accounts in addition to the financial crisis reducing their value.
In 2011 I transferred all accounts from the original ML office to one that is local, I asked the advisor to transfer the accounts and unfortunately was sold a new annuity instead.
Since I never purchased the original annuity I had no understanding what the product is. I thought that this was part of transferring the Transamerica annuity.
In March of this year all accounts were transferred to Vanguard and the annuity to a new custodian.
I can expect to work on a per project basis in the future with abut two to four months between projects, my income is close to one half of what it was before 2009.
The new annuity locks access to funds for seven years, I no longer have access to money during the time I was unemployed.
In frantically researching what happened I discovered this site and Vanguard.
I've got to get out of this annuity, It allows a yearly no penalty withdrawal, do not like how expensive it is, talked to a lawyer and I am considering a FINRA claim.