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According to the Insured Retirement Institute:

Fixed Annuity:

Designed for people who are looking to save money and the ability to draw protected income from their annuity for retirement.

How It Works:

A Fixed Annuity provides a fixed interest rate that offers a high level of predictability, along with flexible payment choices including the option for lifetime income.

Features:

• Rate of interest is guaranteed for a specific period of time.

• Protection from market downturns.

• A choice of payment options, including protected lifetime income for as long as you live.

• Income can begin immediately or be deferred to a later date.

• You may not have to pay taxes on any interest earned until money is withdrawn.

• Access to your funds at any time, possibly subject to charges.

Considerations:

• There may be charges and a tax penalty for early withdrawals.

Index Annuity

Designed for people who want to take advantage of potential gains in the stock market while still having some level of protection against losses.

How It Works:

With an Index Annuity, the interest you receive is linked, in part, to the performance of a market index, such as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. When the index increases, you’ll receive interest – based on what’s specified in your annuity contract. If the index declines, you won’t receive interest, but the principal of your annuity will not be affected.

Features:

• The potential to grow based in part on the performance of a market index.

• Protection from market downturns since the value of the annuity is not affected by negative index returns. You are not directly invested in any security or index.

• You may not have to pay taxes on any interest earned until money is withdrawn.

• A choice of payment options, including protected lifetime income for as long as you live.

• Income can begin immediately or be deferred to a later date.

• Standard or enhanced death benefit features are available.

Considerations:

• There may be charges and a tax penalty for early withdrawals.

• In a down market, your annuity may not earn interest.

(Source:  https://www.retireyourrisk.org/article/signature-series-types-of-annuities/)

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