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Investing Specialists

Is an Annuity Right for You?

Here's a crash course of the key annuity varieties and their pros and cons.

I frequently speak to people who own annuities. But when I ask them about what they own, I'm often greeted with blank stares. Is it a basic fixed annuity? Variable? Deferred or immediate? They're not quite sure.

The confusion is understandable. All annuities are contracts with an insurance company, whereby you pay in with the understanding that the company will send you a stream of income. But that's where the similarities end and an often-bewildering parade of features and benefits begins.