• Phone: 888-BUCKALEW (888-282-5253)
  • larry@buckalewfinancialservices.com

What is a Annuity?

Annuities

Annuities are financial contracts that provide a steady stream of income in exchange for an initial lump sum or series of payments. They are often used by individuals as a way to save for retirement or to create a steady source of income in retirement. But what exactly is an annuity and how does it work?

An annuity is a contract between an individual and an insurance company. The individual, also known as the annuitant, agrees to pay a lump sum or make regular payments to the insurance company. In return, the insurance company agrees to make regular payments to the annuitant for a certain period of time, or for the rest of the annuitant’s life.

There are two main types of annuities: immediate annuities and deferred annuities. Immediate annuities begin making payments to the annuitant right away, while deferred annuities allow the annuitant to accumulate money over time before payments begin.

Immediate Annuities

Immediate annuities are typically used by individuals who are nearing retirement or have already retired. They provide a steady stream of income that can be used to supplement Social Security and other retirement income. With an immediate annuity, the annuitant pays a lump sum to the insurance company and in return, the insurance company makes regular payments to the annuitant. The amount of the payments is determined by the amount of the lump sum, the annuitant’s age and life expectancy, and the interest rate at the time the contract is purchased.

Deferred Annuities

Deferred annuities, on the other hand, are typically used by individuals who are still saving for retirement. They allow the annuitant to accumulate money over time before payments begin. With a deferred annuity, the annuitant makes regular payments to the insurance company over a period of time, and the insurance company agrees to make payments to the annuitant at a later date. The payments can be made for a set period of time, such as 20 or 30 years, or for the rest of the annuitant’s life.

There are also two types of deferred annuities: fixed annuities and variable annuities. Fixed annuities offer a guaranteed rate of return, while variable annuities offer the potential for higher returns, but also come with more risk.

Fixed Annuities

Fixed annuities are similar to a certificate of deposit (CD) offered by a bank. They provide a guaranteed rate of return that is usually a little higher than the rate on a CD. In exchange for this guarantee, the annuitant usually has to give up some flexibility in terms of when and how the money can be withdrawn.

Variable Annuities

Variable annuities, on the other hand, allow the annuitant to invest the money in a variety of sub-accounts, similar to mutual funds. The returns on these sub-accounts can vary, and as a result, so do the payments made to the annuitant. The annuitant bears the risk of the investments, but also has the potential for higher returns.

When it comes to annuities, it is important to understand the terms and conditions of the contract and to read the fine print before signing. It is also important to understand the fees associated with the contract, as they can have a significant impact on the overall return.

Conclusion

In conclusion, annuities are financial contracts that provide a steady stream of income in exchange for an initial lump sum or series of payments. They come in various types and can be tailored to fit individual needs and circumstances. Annuities can be an effective way to save for retirement and provide a steady source of income during retirement, but it’s important to understand the terms and conditions of the contract, the fees associated with the contract, and the potential risks and returns before making a decision. It’s also important to consult with a financial advisor or professional to determine if an annuity is the right choice for your unique financial situation. By carefully evaluating all your options, you can make an informed decision and ensure that your hard-earned money is working for you in the best way possible.

What is a Annuity?

Over 20 years of experience we’ll ensure you get the best guidance.