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A lifetime annuity works similar to a personal pension plan. Lifetime annuities are sometimes referred to as single life, straight life or non-refund. They are all a form of immediate annuities that provides income for your entire life. The payments can also be increased to cover a second person; this is called a joint and survivor annuity. While most provide income for life, some may offer the option of payments for a fixed number of years.

A lifetime annuity could serve as a supplement, after retirement, to Social Security checks, 401(k) plans, and pension funds. Lifetime annuities will provide income for as long as you live even after all the money you contributed is exhausted. Annuities can be useful if you like the security of establishing a guaranteed income stream. If you should pass away before all the funds in your account have been paid out, the payment option to your beneficiaries will be determined by a choice you made upon purchasing the annuity. In some cases, no payouts will be made to your dependents or other beneficiaries because you’ve received an income you cannot outlive.

A lifetime annuity makes sense for those who need the most retirement income possible and do not plan to use the money invested for dependents or other beneficiaries.
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