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In its most general sense, an annuity is an agreement for one person or organization to pay another a stream or series of payments. Usually the term “annuity” relates to a contract between you and a life insurance company, but a charity or a trust can take the place of the insurance company.
There are many categories of annuities. They can be classified by:
An annuity can be classified in several of these categories at once. For example, you might buy a nonqualified single premium deferred variable annuity.
In general, annuities have the following attractive features:
Benefits to your heirsThere is a common misconception about annuities that goes like this: if you start an immediate lifetime annuity and die soon after that, the insurance company keeps all of your investment in the annuity. That can happen, but it doesn’t have to. To prevent it, buy a “guaranteed period” with the immediate annuity. A guaranteed period commits the insurance company to continue payments after you die to one or more beneficiaries you designate; the payments continue to the end of the stated guaranteed period—usually 10 or 20 years (measured from when you started receiving the annuity payments). Moreover, annuity benefits that pass to beneficiaries don’t go through probate and aren’t governed by your will.tim fussell, fox news, ira, iras, sep, sep plans, 401k, 401k plans, tax-free, tax-free income, tax free, tax free income, asset, wealth, protection, retirement, patrick kelly, sage college fund, sage college plan, management, annuity, annuities.