Weekend Reading: Annuities Are the Swiss Army Knife of Personal Finance

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
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Weekend Reading

Annuities can be a versatile financial tool in your retirement plan, but it ultimately depends on your unique financial situation and goals.


Protection benefits: As the article states, annuities can be helpful in several situations, such as when you're concerned about outliving your retirement savings or when you want to reduce investment risk. They can be useful if you're looking for a predictable, lifelong income stream that's not subject to market fluctuations.

Annuity variations: There are a variety of annuity types you can choose from, but many are similar in nature. For example, “Savings-oriented deferred annuities are tax-advantaged and guarantee principal (except for variable annuities).” Additionally, “Income annuities are like a private pension. They have no cash value, but instead guarantee retirement income.”

Further, one type of annuity, known as a fixed annuity, offers a guaranteed interest rate that does not fluctuate with market conditions. Another type, known as a variable annuity, invests your money in mutual funds and other securities and offers the potential for higher returns, but also carries more investment risk.

Your ideal retirement strategy will often include a multi-investment tool approach (much like a Swiss Army knife). In order to maximize the tools and their capabilities at your disposal, however, utilizing a personalized framework first and foremost is key.