A variable annuity is a contract with an insurance company. It lets you choose how your money will be invested, and the returns will vary depending on the performance of the investments you choose. This is the “variable” part of a variable annuity. The insurance provided is guaranteed income in retirement.
Earnings on your investments grow tax-deferred until they are withdrawn. Because you’re invested in the market, there are some risks involved—the value of your funds will fluctuate based on market performance. It’s possible that your investments could lose money.
A variable annuity may be a better fit if retirement is still a few years away. It offers:
- Guaranteed lifetime income
- Investment options (called subaccounts) across asset classes
- Tax-deferred growth until income payments begin
- Death benefits to create a legacy for your beneficiaries
- Flexible withdrawal privileges, as well as a free annual surrender amount