What is an annuity?

Important Basics

Annuities Defined

An annuity is a contract with a licensed, regulated life insurance company. Unlike stock market investments with "hoped for" outcomes, annuities guarantee several outcomes, including the payment of interest and lifetime income payments that you can never outlive. 

That's what differentiates annuities from common investments like mutual funds. Annuities can provide true diversification for your retirement. At this stage of your life, you are shifting away from a sole focus on aggressive growth.  Your tolerance for risk is likely declining (that's smart.) From this point forward you want to preserve and protect your money and provide yourself with reliable income.

What is an annuity?  It is an income and preservation vehicle for retirement that can be used for your 401(k), 403(b), or IRA rollover with no tax penalty of any kind.  An annuity is part investment, part insurance.

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What are the Four Kinds of Annuities?

  • Immediate
  • Variable
  • Fixed
  • Fixed Index

Most people get confused about annuities because journalists and many investment advisors who do not specialize in annuities are, well, confused themselves.

In fact, when people hear the word “annuity,” many people, including journalists — are not even clear on what is being discussed.

Annuities are not “investments” in the truest sense of the word. Annuities are contracts with legal reserve life insurance companies, many of them more than 100 years old, to guarantee you a certain amount of income over your lifetime and even your spouse’s lifetime.

Young people in their 20s, 30s and early 40s are typically not candidates for annuities.
It’s only when you are thinking about securing a lifetime income that you should be thinking about an annuity. You can start an annuity at 40 or 45, but most people start annuities at 50 and older, all the way up to age 85.


Get answers to the 25 top Annuity Questions. Visit ANNUITY UNIVERSITY here.


Annuity Fallacies

Many people have heard that “annuities keep your money when you die.” This is false for 90 percent of all annuities!

Get your facts from credible resources who actually are well versed in the subject. The only type of annuity where you could disinherit your heirs would be an IMMEDIATE ANNUITY.

The other three types of annuities — variable, fixed and fixed index — are all DEFERRED annuities. You can arrange to maintain a death benefit for as long as you own a deferred annuity. We can help you with the design of your annuity portfolio.

Our team can show you how to:

  • Avoid disinheriting your heirs
  • Increase the amount your heirs receive, if that is your desire
  • Enjoy an income that can increase to battle inflation
  • Provide for long-term care supplemental cash flow, in some cases doubling your annuity income for a period of time.


Annuities are created for the retirement phase of your life. Annuities are not designed to MAKE you money, like a stock or mutual fund. They are designed to give you lifelong financial security — either right now or down the road. You choose.

  • Immediate annuities are like a pure pension. You get a strong income, but there is no control over your lump sum
  • Variable annuities are part investment, part annuity. If you are looking for simplicity, safety and low fees, you do not want a variable annuity. Your principal is not protected and the fees can be very high — typically 3% to 4% per year (not kidding!)
  • Fixed annuities are similar to bonds or CDs. You place your lump sum with a legal reserve insurance company. They pay you an interest rate. You cash in after a certain number of years.
  • Fixed INDEX annuities with enhanced income insurance known as “income riders” are the new wave in annuities. You maintain access and control of your lump sum. Your principal is protected against loss (your money is never invested directly in the markets), and you can flip a switch to a lifetime income when you decide the time is right. The growth of your accumulation value is determined by an indexed formula that you choose.

At MyAnnuityGuy.com, and IQ Wealth Management, annuities are not a sideline. We take being the best very seriously.

With many years of experience, an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and a local presence, we can help you sort out the annuity questions you have, while helping you arrive at a well-balanced and cost-effective annuity decision.

YOU are the most important part of our business.

Nothing matters more to us than the safety and security of your money. Our goal is to help you manage your resources and build security for you and your family.



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