Lifetime Fixed Annuities

Michael Sheehan

Physician's Money Digest, October31 2003, Volume 10, Issue 20

Downside:

Some income-hungry retirees areturning to immediate fixed annuities togenerate money to live on. With moneymarket funds and CDs paying tiny interestrates, fixed annuities can boost theyield on your assets into the 7% to 8%range, if you're age 65. Fixed annuitiescan also guarantee a lifetime of steadyincome, which removes some of theworry about outliving your nest egg.Since you're basically betting with theinsurance company on your life span,the payout on a fixed annuity has moreto do with your age than with interestrates. The lower your life expectancy, thehigher your monthly check. A 75-year-old,for example, can currently get morethan 10% on a fixed-annuity investment;an 85-year-old can get a 14.5%return. The buying power ofyour monthly check will shrink as inflationtakes its toll.