An annuity is an agreement for one person or organization to pay another a stream or series of payments. Usually the term “annuity” relates to a contract between you and a life insurance company, but a charity or a trust can take the place of the insurance company.
Both annuities and life insurance should be considered in your long-term financial plan. While both include death benefits, you buy life insurance in the event you die too soon and an annuity in case you live too long. In other words, life insurance provides economic protection to your loved ones if you die before your financial obligations to them are met, while annuities guard against outliving your assets.
There are 4 types of insurance policies/contracts that offer fixed or indexed returns with no downside exposure. They are:
Deferred Annuities can give an investor a fixed guaranteed deferred rate or indexed deferred rate during the accumulation period. Contract guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the insurer.
Immediate Annuities will pay a guaranteed payment for a specific period or for life.
Variable Annuity rates are based on the actual returns of the accounts the money is invested in.
Take this quiz to see if Annuities are right for you. See what you know, or don't know, about this investment option.
The Challenge: Making your money last for life by Jane Bryant Quinn
Here's the single most important question for people who are planning for — or already into — their retirement years: How are you going to make your money last for life? With good health and good cheer, you're likely to be among the half of your age group that dances past your official life-expectancy age.
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