For Mark Roberts’ Use: For many people, an annuity is a good choice for generating retirement income. But because there are so many different types of annuities out there, it’s tough to know whether you’re choosing the right product. It’s important to evaluate whether your annuity will really provide for your retirement income needs.

Annuities are investments, and while generally considered safer retirement planning options, might include some risk in some situations. Before you choose an annuity, you should ask yourself whether you want to include a “living benefits” clause.

Worried that a market downturn could cause you to lose money through premiums? A guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit allows you to withdraw a fixed percentage of the premiums paid until 100 percent of the premiums have been withdrawn, even if the contract’s underlying investments lose money. You might look at this as a way to guarantee your premium payments in the event of a market downturn.

A guaranteed minimum accumulation benefit helps to ensure the value of the contract. A minimum value is specified, usually equal to the premiums paid, and this living benefit prevents the contract value from falling below that specified value after a certain term.

Worried about generating dependable income under any market conditions? A guaranteed minimum income benefit helps to ensure that your payouts are based on a certain minimum base. This helps you to ensure a level of retirement income from the annuity regardless of how well your underlying investments perform.

Each of these living benefit options provide protection for your investment, depending upon your specific concerns. But of course, with so many different annuity options on the market, we recommend that you seek expert guidance before deciding upon one of the above living benefits options. Give us a call, and we can help you analyze your retirement planning needs, and make a choice that matches your goals.

Guarantees, including optional benefits, are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuer, and may contain limitations, including surrender charges, which may affect policy values.