1. Money

Annuities

An annuity is an investment and an insurance product wrapped in to one complex package. Annuities often pay high commissions to the people who sell them. They can be a useful tool in the right situation, but buyers need to fully understand the product before they tie up their money. On this page you'll learn all about annuities so you can determine if that is the right place for your money.
  1. Immediate Annuities (9)
  2. Variable Annuities (12)

What Does An Annuity Do Really Well? One Thing
An annuity does one thing really well. Find out what it is, and decide if you need it.

Should You Buy An Annuity?
Thinking about buying an annuity? There are five questions you need to ask to make sure it is right for you.

Annuity Alternatives
There are numerous ways to accomplish your investing goals. Make sure you have considered alternatives before you make a decision. An annuity might be the right place for some of your money, but how do you know unless you have considered alternatives? Below you'll find alternatives to variable, immediate and fixed annuities.

Annuity Information
All annuities are a form of an agreement with an insurance company. You give the insurance company your money to manage, and in return they provide you with a policy, which spells out the benefits they are providing to you. There are two main types of annuities; either immediate or deferred.

All About Deferred Annuities
Deferred annuities can be fixed, variable, equity-indexed, or come in the form of something called a longevity annuity. Each type of deferred variable annuity has its own pros and cons.

Annuity Payment Terms
When you choose payments from a pension plan or annuity you must elect the term of payments; typically life-only, joint life or term certain. Which term is best for you?

What is the Difference Between a Broker Sold Annuity and a No Load Annuity?
What is the difference between a broker sold annuity and a no load annuity?

What Is A Fixed Annuity?
Fixed annuities can be in the form of an immediate fixed annuity or a deferred fixed annuity. They provide a guaranteed return, but as with any investment, before investing you should compare them with other alternatives.

What Are Equity Indexed Annuities?
Equity indexed annuities are a form of a fixed annuity that protects you from investment losses, while tying your return to a major stock market index. You are usually locked in to this type of investment for many years, so study them carefully before you invest.

Surrender Charges
What is a surrender charge?

Fixed Annuity Fees
Most fixed annuities don’t have fees that you see other than perhaps an annual policy fee (perhaps $25 - $50 per year), which is often waived if you invest a minimum specified amount (such as $25,000). If there are no fixed annuity fees, than how does the insurance company make money?

Annuity Fees
Each type of annuity has a different way of charging fees; with variable annuity fees, all fees are disclosed in the prospectus. With fixed and immediate annuities, the insurance company gives you a quote that is net of all fees. Find details below.

Are Annuities a Good Investment?
Are annuities a good investment? They can be in the right situation. Here's what makes an annuity a good investment as well as a few things to watch out for that may mean its not the best choice for you.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.