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Retirement planning can be overwhelming.
First, there's anxiety over figuring out how to pay your bills once you stop working. Next, there is an endless list of possible financial instruments. One popular retirement product is an annuity.
What Annuities Are
Annuities may appear complicated, but they are actually straightforward, a series of payments made at regular intervals. Retirement annuities are insurance products that provide guaranteed retirement income—the contract is between you and your insurer. The understanding is that you give your insurer money now in the form of a premium. Then they pay you a continuous income during retirement.
What Annuities Aren't
Annuities are not pensions, but they are popular because of their similarities to pensions. They provide regular retirement income, but the big difference is that an employer usually provides pensions. On the other hand, annuities may be purchased directly from a life insurance company.