Annuities allow you to accumulate tax-deferred funds for retirement and then, if you desire, receive a guaranteed income payable for life or for a specified period of time.
It is now common for people who reach retirement age to live 20 years or more in retirement, most of those years in good health. It’s good to live a long and full life, but you want to be sure that your income lasts as long as you do, and its purchasing power is as strong as you are.
An important decision in purchasing an annuity is deciding how you want to be paid. You can select annuity payouts for a set period of time or continue for your lifetime. With some options, a beneficiary can be designated to receive payments upon your death.
Annuity will protect you against outliving your assets in a need-income stage of life. Social security pays retirement income for as long as you live, as do defined-benefit pension plans. But the only other source of income available that continues indefinitely is an immediate annuity.
Annuity will protect your assets from creditors. Generally the most that creditors can access is the payments from an immediate annuity as they’re made, since the money you gave the insurance company now belongs to the company. Some state statutes and court decisions also protect some or all of the payments from those annuities.