Annuities may be a useful tool for those who want a steady stream of income throughout their lives. While most annuities include a death benefit, an annuity is almost the opposite of a life insurance policy – annuities offer financial protection against outliving your income.
Buying an annuity can be a complicated decision. Following are a few key considerations for buyers before deciding whether to purchase annuity policies:
* Review all of your other savings plans, pensions or retirement funds to determine whether you need an annuity and whether the annuity you are considering is the right one for you based on your age, financial status, investment objective and risk tolerance. Is there a possibility that you could outlive your assets? Will you keep the annuity long enough so that the charges do not eat up your investment?
* Determine whether you want your investment to be steady and fixed or variable. While variable products offer an opportunity to capitalize on market highs, they also carry additional risk in a downturn.
* Be careful about exchanging one variable product for another. For instance, exchanging a variable annuity for a fixed...