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Aug 2021 – 15 min read

An annuity is a way to help turn a portion of your savings into regular income – for a predetermined fixed period or the rest of your life.

Types of annuities

There are 3 main types of annuities. Before you buy an annuity, it’s important to understand the options, benefits and risks of each.

In addition to these 3 types of annuities, they can also be immediate (they start paying right away) or deferred (they start paying at a future date).

Type of annuity
Benefits
Risks
Additional options
Life annuity

Provides guaranteed income for as long as you live

No risk of outliving your money

You may die before receiving all the money you put into it

Adding options may mean a lower regular payment

Joint and survivor option transfers
Term-certain annuity

Provides guaranteed income for a fixed period of time

Your named beneficiary or estate receives any remaining money if you die before the end of the term

You may live longer than the annuity term you chose, and income payments would stop
Variable annuity

Your money is in investments with a variable return

Your payments will include a fixed income plus potential additional income depending on investment return

If investments perform well, you may earn more money than a non-variable annuity

Your income may be less predictable

If investments don’t perform well, you may earn less money than a non-variable annuity

AssurisOpens a new website in a new window, a consumer protection agency, protects annuity policyholders if the annuity provider goes out of business.

  • 100% for monthly payments up to $2,000
  • 85% for monthly payments over $2,000

Because an annuity is a contract between you and the annuity provider, you usually can’t change the terms, switch to another type or get your money back.

Some annuity contracts may allow you to cancel for a fee within a short window of time after you begin receiving payments.

Now that you know more about annuities, you may want to contact your financial advisor to: