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What to look for in an annuity

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Look for low-cost single premium life income annuities. An immediate annuity will begin payouts within 12 months; a deferred annuity will begin paying later.

Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. That means getting multiple quotes for annuities offering the exact same terms.

Price out the options. See how income payments change if you buy a joint life instead of a single life annuity. Then run the numbers for inflation-adjusted products and those that guarantee a minimum 10-year payout.

Don’t buy all at once. And don’t be afraid to diversify your portfolio by buying annuities with different features at different times.

Remember, annuities are guaranteed. In Massachusetts, that protection is limited to $100,000 of the present value of annuity benefits per person per insurance company.

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