An annuity is a contract that promises to pay you an income on a regular basis for a period of time you choose, or you may decide to leave your premiums and accumulated values in the contract until a future date, your death, or the contract maturity date (usually age 100). Benefits from an annuity may be distributed in the form of periodic payments, withdrawals, a lump sum, or a death benefit, depending on the contract provisions.
Annuities must be sold by a licensed insurance agent. The agent is your best source for explanation of any contract terms or provisions you do not understand. If you are uncertain of the recommendations made by an insurance agent, or are not sure an annuity is right for you, do not be pressured into signing an application. You may wish to get a second opinion from another licensed agent who does not have a vested interest in your investment decision. If your financial decision will affect other family members, you may also want to include them in your decision process.
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