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Annuities Information

What is an Annuity?

An annuity is a contract or agreement with an insurance company in which, in one way or another, you pay a premium in exchange for receiving a guaranteed payment from an investment. The premiums can take many forms, as can the payouts -- you can find annuities that will pay a certain amount per month after you reach a certain age until death; annuities that include a death benefit along with regular payouts; annuities that pay out fixed amounts based on the initial contract; and annuities that pay variable amounts, depending on the performance of investment accounts. The payments can be made in a lump-sum amount, or in portions over a period of time. Typically, tax free withdrawals cannot be made until the age of 59 1/2. If a withdrawal is made prior to this age, tax penalties and surrender charges will likely be applied. Basically, it is important to remember that an annuity is never just a simple investment account -- the payouts are always, in some way, related to the premiums you pay to secure them.

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