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Annuities are products, usually offered by insurance companies, that provide payments to you for a guaranteed period in return for a premium that you pay the annuity provider.

The payments to you can be for a fixed amount (in the case of a fixed annuity) or for an amount that varies according to an underlying investment (in the case of a variable annuity).

Additional Comments:

The guaranteed payment period can be for a specified number of years (annuity certain) or for the rest of your life (life annuity). Those payments can begin immediately after you purchase the annuity (immediate annuity), or the first payment can be deferred for a specified period of time (deferred annuity).

There are many other varieties of annuities.

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