Annuities Annuities are a part of a solid retirement plan to provide lifetime income that not only accounts for traditional life expectancy, but beyond. Lifetime income components are necessary in order to ensure a retiree's assets stand the test of longevity. There are three types of annuities: fixed, indexed and variable. All three variations provide tax deferral, guaranteed lifetime income, and a return of premium death benefit guarantee.Fixed Annuities: The investor makes a lump sum payment or a series of payments to the contract and receives a guaranteed return of premium, a minimum interest rate and additional interest, as declared by the insurance company. The investor can also convert the fixed annuity into a stream of income immediately or at some time in the future.Indexed Annuities: This is a type of fixed annuity that’s linked to a specific equity or other index. Like a fixed annuity, a fixed index annuity provides a guaranteed minimum interest rate. However, this type of annuity also provides an enhanced upside potential if the linked index outperforms the minimum guarantee. Although the annuity is linked to a specific index, the investor does not directly own shares in that index, and, even if the index performs well, the interest may be capped.Variable Annuities: These are annuities funded with sub-accounts, which are similar to mutual funds that fluctuate with market volatility. Because they may be invested in the market and, thereby, provide the owner with the corresponding risk or reward , variable annuities are typically used by investors who have a higher tolerance for risk, are looking for higher rates of return and have longer investment time horizons. That said, many insurance companies now offer additional riders that protect or grow the income generated from the variable annuity. This innovation, known as a living benefit rider, has significantly altered the application and overall usefulness of variable annuities.THE CARES PROCESS™As an annuity owner, you anticipate that your current contract is efficiently and effectively meeting your long term financial goals. However, as time elapses and objectives shift, you may wonder if the product you have is still the best solution for your needs. Using a professional process called The CARES Process™, we perform a comprehensive review of your existing annuity contract. Specifically, we analyze and detail your current product features, employing analytical tools developed and managed by our nationally recognized team of annuity experts. We understand annuities can be complex; The CARES Process™ helps you gain the clarity you desire.