Annuities are contracts issued and distributed by financial institutions, which invest funds from individuals. They help individuals address the risk of outliving their savings. The period of time when an annuity is being funded and before payouts begin is referred to as the accumulation phase. Upon annuitization, the holding institution will issue a stream of payments at a later point in time.
Some things to know about annuities:
- These are financial products that offer a guaranteed income stream, used primarily by retirees.
- Annuities are funded with either a lump-sum or periodic payments.
- Once the annuitization phase is reached, the product begins paying out to the annuitant for either a fixed period or for the annuitant's remaining lifetime.
- Annuities can be structured differently—fixed, variable, immediate, and deferred income—which gives you some flexibility.
- There are a variety of riders that can be added to an annuity. These include, but are not limited to Disability Income Rider, Impaired Risk Rider, Long-Term Care Rider, Cost of Living Rider and Return of Premium Rider.