Fixed Annuity

Learn How Fixed Rate Annuities Work In Retirement.

What Is A Fixed Annuity?

fixed annuity is like a safe place to grow your money, promising a guaranteed fixed rate of return on your initial investment. 

Imagine tucking money into a piggy bank; only this piggy bank always gives you a bit extra.

It’s an insurance contract that provides a guaranteed return, keeping your funds protected against market fluctuations. 

Retirees who need to protect their monthly retirement income from stock market corrections move their retirement savings from their 401k and IRA to a fixed annuity.

Fixed annuities are perfect for retirement planning, as they guarantee a steady income without any surprises down the road.

How Does A Fixed Annuity Work?

When you purchase a fixed annuity, you will typically pay a lump sum or make regular contributions over a period of time. The insurance company that sells the annuity will then invest your money in conservative assets like bonds or treasuries that generate a fixed rate of return.

This fixed rate is usually higher than what you would receive from a savings account or a certificate of deposit (CD). The fixed annuity contract will specify the interest rate you will earn on your investment and the length of the guarantee period. At the end of the guarantee period, the annuity can be extended, converted to a different type of annuity, or disbursed as a lump sum.

One of the key advantages of a fixed annuity is the guaranteed income it provides. You will receive a regular payment based on the annuity contract terms, regardless of market conditions.

This can help provide peace of mind during retirement, as you don’t have to worry about market volatility affecting your income stream. 

The earnings in a fixed annuity are not taxed until they are withdrawn, allowing your money to grow on a tax-deferred basis. This can be especially beneficial if you are in a higher income tax bracket during your working years and expect to be in a lower tax bracket in retirement. 

Contact Integrity Now Insurance Brokers to see if a fixed annuity suits you.

Understanding The Advantages Of A Fixed Annuity

Step 1: Work With An Annuity Expert

The first step in working with an annuity expert is understanding the importance of their role. They are not just advisors but your financial allies, simplifying the complexities of fixed annuities to help you make informed decisions.

When you work with specialists like those at Integrity Now Insurance Brokers, they create tailored solutions to suit your unique financial needs and retirement goals.

Our Annuity professionals will educate you about features like hidden fees, surrender charges, and any rider costs in the contract. Ensuring you know what you’re signing up for is crucial in making an informed decision

Be ready to discuss key questions such as:

  1. How much do you intend to invest in an annuity?
  2. When do you require the annuity payments to begin?
  3. What are your plans for financing this annuity?
  4. What is your likelihood of needing the money from your annuity contract before it matures?

Our annuity professionals will also guide you through the features of different fixed annuity products to help you buy the type of fixed annuity contract with the highest fixed rates. 

Step 2: Choose The Time Period

Choosing the time period that aligns with your goals and financial circumstances. Traditional fixed annuities offer different types of annuity contracts from one to ten-year investment periods.  

You may also want to establish an immediate annuity that provides a guaranteed income stream for a set period or the rest of your life, starting immediately after you purchase the annuity. It is often used as a retirement income tool to supplement other sources of income.

Step 3: Compare Rates And Features

After you’ve learned how fixed annuities work and identified your financial goals, your independent annuity agent will compare rates and features and discuss carrier ratings. 

Step 4: Consider Your Investment Needs And Wants

A fixed annuity is an investment that includes an array of choices, and navigating through them without losing sight of your financial goals can be daunting. Understanding fixed annuities requires thinking about your investment needs and wants. 

As you navigate the world of fixed annuities, remember this journey is all about you: your needs, wants, goals, and comfort level. 

Step 5: Make An Informed Decision

Integrity Now Insurance Brokers will review all available options, including fixed annuities, variable annuities, and indexed annuities, and discuss the pros and cons of each investment vehicle. Making an informed decision about fixed annuities requires careful planning, an understanding of your financial goals, and expert advice. 

Withdrawals from a fixed annuity are subject to ordinary income tax based on your current income tax bracket. Fixed annuities are insurance contracts offered by life insurance companies specializing in annuities.

Fixed annuities are not federally insured, and state insurance departments regulate fixed annuities. A fixed annuity is an insurance contract, not a bank.

Remember, while annuities can be a valuable part of your retirement strategy, making informed decisions that align with your financial goals and personal situation is essential. Our Annuity agents will help you consider the pros and cons each fixed annuity contract provides.

Accumulation Periods And Payout Of Fixed Annuity Products

Fixed annuities have two essential phases: the accumulation period and the payout phase. Here’s a quick breakdown of the two:

The accumulation period is when you’re putting money into a fixed annuity. The insurance company guarantees that your money will grow at a specific interest rate for a set duration. 

The payout phase is when the insurance company starts doling out regular payments from the money in your annuity account. The amount and duration of the payments depend on factors like the sum in the account, your age, and the length of the annuity contract.

The payout phase could last several years or even the rest of your life.

Contact Integrity Now Insurance Brokers to learn about fixed annuities, current guaranteed fixed annuity rates, and how your fixed annuity pays income for the rest of your life.

Things To Consider Before Investing In Fixed Annuities

1. Retirement Savings Plan

The top features of fixed annuities include:

  • Guaranteed income throughout retirement
  • Tax-deferred growth
  • Potential to save beyond traditional retirement account limits
  • It may be included as part of your workplace plan

2. Investment Goals

Knowing what you want from it is crucial when picking the right investment strategy. So, if you’re considering Fixed Annuities, you should start by defining your investment goals. Here’s why:

  • Fixed Annuities are all about growth and security
  • Taxes can take a hit
  • Need a steady income in retirement
  • Meet the unpredictable with rustling ease
  • Protect your principal

3. Risk Tolerance

Understanding your risk tolerance is pivotal before diving into a fixed annuity investment. ‘Risk Tolerance’ measures how much uncertainty or potential loss you can stomach on your investments.

Think of it this way. If you’re the type that loses sleep after your investment values shrink a penny, you’re likely someone with low-risk tolerance. In contrast, if you’re unfazed by a minor roller coaster in the market, you’ve garnered a higher risk tolerance.

Now, you may wonder – how does this tie into a fixed annuity? Well, a fixed annuity comes packed with minimal investment-risk exposure while offering the space for your money to grow at a set interest rate. This controlled-growth environment makes it a top choice for individuals with low to moderate risk tolerance.

4. Life Expectancy

You know, friend, when planning your retirement, how long you’ll live, aka life expectancy, plays a vital role. It’s not just some morbid curiosity but an essential key in choosing the best fit for your golden years, like investing in fixed annuities.

Remember, past the smoke and mirrors of life insurance myths, the reality is this- it’s affordable and accessible. So, while we’re talking fixed annuities, don’t forget to take a peek at life insurance too.

5. Annuity Type

When considering an investment in annuities, you might want to explore all annuity types:

  1. Fixed Annuities: These annuities are the most secure and uncomplicated. They provide a specific, guaranteed interest rate for your contributions. Although they typically offer lower returns, they are popular for retirement planning due to their stability and predictability.
  2. Variable Annuities: This type promises potential higher returns based on the performance of your chosen investment portfolio. However, with higher potential returns come more significant risks. A Variable annuity is an investment subject to stock market risk and includes the highest fees.
  3. Indexed Annuities: These are a hybrid of fixed and variable annuities. The return is tied to a market index, offering a more moderated risk and return potential. Indexed annuities can be a good choice if you’re looking for a more balanced approach to your annuity investment.
  4. Fixed deferred annuities: Provides individuals with a guaranteed income stream for the future. It is a type of annuity where individuals make regular contributions or a lump sum payment to an insurance company. In return, the insurance company promises to pay a fixed amount later, typically during retirement.
  5. Life Annuity: A life annuity, also known as a retirement annuity, is a financial product that provides an individual with a steady income stream for the rest of their life. It offers a way to secure financial stability in retirement by converting a lump sum into regular payments. Several factors, including your age, gender, and prevailing interest rates at the time of purchase, determine the value of your annuity. 

Remember, the appropriateness of each annuity type vastly depends on your risk tolerance, financial goals, and investment horizon. Consult a financial advisor at Integrity Now Insurance Brokers to help guide your choice.

6. Annuity Rates

The rates on fixed annuities are determined by the returns generated by the life insurance company’s investment portfolio, typically placed in top-notch corporate and government bonds. 

The responsibility for paying the promised rate in the annuity contract falls on the shoulders of the insurance company, offering an attractive contrast to variable annuities where the annuity owner shoulders the investment risk.

After the expiration of the initial guarantee period specified in the agreement, the insurance company can modify the rate using a specified formula or based on the return it generates from its investment portfolio. 

It’s also important to remember that, to protect against dropping interest rates, fixed annuity contracts commonly come with a minimum rate guarantee. You can use a fixed annuity calculator to evaluate the return on your investment.

7. Payment Options

One crucial aspect of assessing the various options that investing in fixed annuities offers is understanding the different payment options. These choices are significant in your financial planning as they determine how and when you access your money.

The payment options available include the following:

  • Set payment amount
  • Lump-sum payments
  • Lifetime income streams

By familiarizing yourself with these payment options, you can better align your investment in fixed annuities with your financial goals and needs. Whether you value predictability, instant access to your savings, or a lifetime income provision, a payment option is tailored to suit your preferences.

8. Guarantees

When planning your retirement, deciding where to invest is a big deal. You’ve probably heard about fixed annuities; part of their charm is their guarantees. Let’s dive a bit deeper and check out the main features of these guarantees:

  • Fixed annuities offer guaranteed interest rates, shielding you from market fluctuations.
  • They provide high protection, guaranteeing your initial investment and any interest you’ve earned.
  • You’re not required to make any withdrawals until you’re 90.
  • You can establish a guaranteed income stream for life or opt for a lump sum.
  • Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuities (MYGAs) offer a secured return on your retirement savings.

Just a quick tip: While fixed annuities boast some appealing guarantees, always do your homework in assessing the financial stability of your annuity provider. You can use rating services like A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings, and Moody’s Investor Services to check out the insurer’s financial health. 

Be a savvy investor and ensure your retirement is as worry-free as possible!

9. Annuity Provider

Choosing the right annuity provider is critical in investing in fixed annuities. It significantly impacts the agreed fixed return on your contributions, financial stability, and retirement planning.

Consider the following key factors:

  • Financial Strength of the Provider
  • Track Record and Reputation
  • Range of Annuity Products Available
  • Cost and Fees involved
  • Customer Service and After-sales Assistance

Remember, the best annuity provider for you depends on your investment objectives, risk tolerance, and financial circumstances. Research extensively and consult with a financial professional specializing in fixed annuities to secure a prosperous retirement future.

10. Run-Through Period

A critical phase in an annuity contract is what we call ‘the run-through period.’ This is when your money accumulates, the interest rate is determined, and, most importantly, when you’re laying the groundwork for your stable income in the future.

But hold your horses; there’s more to it than just that. Let’s now navigate through an ordered list of key pointers to consider during the run-through period in a fixed annuity.

  1. Choosing an Appropriate Time Frame and Interest Rate: During the initial run-through period, the insurance company guarantees your account will earn a specific interest rate. Be sure to choose the duration and rate wisely, matching your long-term goals.
  2. Understanding the Accumulation Phase: In this phase, your money grows over time through either a lump sum or a series of payments. There’s no tax to pay during this period, giving your account a chance to grow optimally.
  3. Grasping Renewal Rates: Once your initial run-through period ends, a new interest rate, known as the renewal rate, will be set for the next period. This could increase, stay the same, or decrease, impacting your future income.
  4. Comprehending the Payout Phase: If you opt to start receiving regular payments after the run-through period, you’re entering the payout phase. The specifics of your payout depend on factors such as your age, the total amount in your account, and the duration of the payment cycle.
  5. Tax Implications: When you withdraw or annuitize the contract, you must pay taxes. How much you need to pay is based on the total paid in premiums and how much the account has grown.
  6. Considering the Minimum Rate Guarantee: Consider the contract’s built-in protection against declining interest rates. Fixed annuities usually guarantee a minimum rate to protect your investment.
  7. Scrutinizing the Surrender Charges: Like a certificate of deposit (CD), an annuity locks your money in for a fixed period, and early withdrawals can lead to heavy penalties. Always be sure that you’re comfortable with the commitment.
  8. Deciding What’s Next: After the run-through period, you have options — renew the contract, transfer your balance to a different annuity product, roll over your balance to a different retirement account, or annuitize your contract, converting your balance into a guaranteed lifetime income stream.

Remember, every person’s financial needs are unique, as are their financial journeys. To get the best out of your fixed annuity, you must tailor it according to your needs, considering all these facts.

As always, seeking professional advice is a smart move when in doubt. Contact us today for help designing your fixed annuity.

Who Should Consider A Fixed Annuity?

A fixed annuity is a long-term investment that generates a steady, guaranteed return regardless of market performance – a solid pick for those who love predictability and security.

If you’re wondering if a fixed annuity is a match for you, here are some typical investor profiles who could benefit:

  1. The risk-averse retirees: If you’re stepping into retirement or are already in the early years, fixed annuities might seem appealing. You know what you’ll get, which could give you peace of mind. It’s like a safety net that promises a steady flow of income with zero market risks.
  2. The security seekers: If the stock market rollercoaster ride isn’t your cup of tea, especially in your older years, a fixed annuity could be a fine choice. Steady income immune to market ups and downs… now that’s stability!
  3. The retirement planners: Not just any planners, but ones who love their retirement budget to be detailed and predictable. With fixed annuities, you can be sure how much you’ll receive, irrespective of how the stock market is doing.
  4. The capital preservers: Late retirees who are more focused on preserving the principal rather than risky ventures – fixed annuities can be a stronghold.

Is A Fixed Indexed Annuity Better Than A Fixed Annuity?

A Fixed Annuity is your steady-as-she-goes option. It gives you a guaranteed return, meaning you know exactly what you’ll get, and there’s absolutely zero guesswork involved. Now, 

A Fixed Indexed Annuity could be considered an alternative to a Fixed Annuity because it may offer greater returns if its tracking index is doing well. It’s also considered a safer option during volatile market conditions, as the annuitant’s principal is protected from market losses.

Key features of a Fixed Indexed Annuity:
  1. It’s linked to the performance of a stock market index like the S&P 500 or Dow Jones.
  2. It offers a guaranteed minimum interest rate.
  3. Your initial investment (the principal) is shielded from market downturns.
  4. It provides a portion of market index gains up to a specified cap.
  5. Renewal rates might fall after a set period.
Pros of a Fixed Indexed Annuity:
  1. Protection: Your initial investment is safeguarded against any stock market woes.
  2. Guaranteed Returns: There’s a promised minimum interest rate for the term.
  3. Market Gains: You get to share in the benefits of a booming market index with a specified maximum cap.
  4. Potential Greater Returns: You stand to earn more than with a Fixed Annuity, provided the market is doing well.
  5. Simplicity: It’s more straightforward than other annuities, making comparing rates and finding the best deal for your circumstances easier.
Cons of a Fixed Indexed Annuity:
  1. Less Upside: When the market is in full swing, you might not enjoy the same gains as other annuities due to the cap.
  2. Limited Guarantees: The minimum returns you were guaranteed can potentially drop after a specific time.
  3. Inflation Risk: With high inflation, the returns might not be as high as you hope.
  4. Possible Lower First Payouts: If you don’t add a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) rider to keep up with inflation, your initial payouts may be reduced.
  5. Higher Fees: While not the highest fees around fixed index annuities, they have higher fees than a pure fixed annuity.

What Is A Non-qualified Fixed Annuity?

Non-qualified fixed annuities are funded with “after-tax” dollars, meaning you’ve already paid taxes on the money you invest. The only taxes owed are based on any earned interest that isn’t yet taxed.

What Is A Qualified Fied Annuity?

A Qualified Fixed Annuity is funded with pre-taxed dollars transferred from a traditional 401k and IRA. Funds continue to grow tax-deferred until the individual reaches retirement age.

Both qualified and nonqualified annuities provide guaranteed income payments, offering a steady stream of income. 

Are annuities good investments

Is A Guaranteed Fixed Annuity A Good Investment To Protect My Retirement Savings?

A fixed annuity can be a good investment to secure retirement savings and pay you a fixed return on your investments. If you are looking for safety and security a fixed annuity is an exceptional choice to move your at-risk assets such as a 401k, IRA, and mutual fund too.

Let’s get a bit more granular…here’s a quick list of pros and cons for considering fixed annuities:

Fixed Annuity Pros

  1. Secures a predictable income, keeping retirement budgeting stress-free.
  2. Offers protection from market volatility.
  3. Allows for tax-deferred growth.
  4. It is ideal for capital preservation while offering growth speedier than a savings account or CD.

Fixed Annuity Cons

  1. Depends on your faith in the issuing company’s financial strength.
  2. It may have an impact on inflation over the long term. 
  3. Not suitable for chasing high market returns.

Alternatives To Fixed Annuities

1. Certificates of Deposit (CD)

People often view Certificates of Deposit (CD) as an exciting alternative to Fixed Annuities. This mindset hinges on CDs’ guaranteed return investment and specified maturity date.

On a high level, some of its sterling features include:

  • A guaranteed fixed interest rate
  • Relatively higher interest rates than traditional savings vehicles
  • Minimal or no upfront charges or fees
  • Lower penalties for early withdrawal
  • Purchase through banks or credit unions, often making them easier to access

Let’s dive deeper into why CDs can be preferred and consider pros and cons.


  • Safety and Security: With CDs, you’re guaranteed to receive your original investment back plus a certain amount of interest.
  • Higher Interest Rates: CDs often have higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts or other financial instruments.
  • Fewer Penalties: If you need to withdraw early, CDs usually only cause you to forfeit about 90 days of interest.
  • Easy accessibility: CDs can be purchased through any bank or credit union, making investing more straightforward.
  • Taxation: CD interest is indeed subject to federal and state income tax each year, but this occurs once, at maturity, rather than each year as with some other investments.


  • Limited Access to Funds: Money invested in a CD can’t readily be accessed. Early withdrawal results in penalties.
  • Lower Potential Return: Unlike Fixed Index Annuities linked to stock market performance, CDs offer a fixed return, with potentially lower overall yields.
  • Interest Rate Risk: If interest rates rise, you cannot benefit from these with a fixed interest CD.
  • Inflation Risk: Over long periods, inflation can diminish the purchasing power of the money you receive on CD maturity.
  • Lack of Additional Benefits: CDs do not offer certain benefits akin to fixed annuities, such as death benefits or systematic withdrawal of interest.

2. Bonds

Bonds can be an attractive alternative to fixed annuities for you, me, and any other investor. They’ve got quite a few features that make them truly appealing. Let me break them down:

  • Dependable income: Like fixed annuities, they pay good ol’ reliable interest over time.
  • Safety: Both are deemed safe long-term investments, perfect if you’re in it for the long ride.
  • Bond laddering: A cool feature where you (or any investor) can stage several bonds with different maturity timelines — a tried and tested method to secure income each year without fail.
  • Increased liquidity: Unlike annuities, bonds can be liquidated more easy; you can cash out from individual bonds without having to withdraw all of them. No string-pulling is required! Oh, and you have better control over your money.

Now, let’s tackle the pros and cons. 


  • Flexibility and control: With bonds, you’re not handing over your money to lock away in an annuity. Your money, your rules!
  • Liquidity: If you find yourself in a pinch, bonds are more “liquid” or easier to sell and convert into cash than annuities.
  • Ladder strategy: Have your income, and time it too! The laddering strategy helps ensure a steady income flow.
  • Less risk: Bonds aren’t exposed to market fluctuations, keeping your sleep peaceful at night.
  • Diversity: Various bonds are available, so you’ve got options.


  • Lower-income potential: Bonds typically generate less income than annuities bought simultaneously. If you’re into bigger returns, this might be a downer.
  • No tax-deferred growth: Unlike annuities, bonds don’t offer the option of tax-deferred growth.
  • Interest rate risk: If market interest rates rise, the prices of existing bonds drop. It’s the way the cookie crumbles.
  • Inflation risk: Bond income may not keep pace with inflation, eroding the purchasing power of your ongoing interest income.
  • Credit risk: In rare cases, the bond issuer might default on their promise to repay the principal or interest on time.

3. Dividend-Paying Stocks

Dividend-paying stocks are a solid alternative to fixed annuities, especially when aiming for growth and income in your retirement. They offer a different approach to earnings, less emphasizing guaranteed income and more on potential growth.

Top Features of Dividend-Paying Stocks:

  • Regular income distribution
  • No contractual payment
  • Payment originates from company earnings
  • Higher potential earning compared to traditional savings vehicles
  • A form of passive income

Pros and Cons of Dividend-Paying Stocks:


  • Potential for Higher Returns – Dividend-paying stocks occasionally outperform bonds and CDs, offering the potential for higher returns.
  • Passive Income – They provide regular income through dividends, making them a source of passive income.
  • No Contractual Obligation – Companies are not contractually obligated to pay dividends, giving them flexibility in capital deployment.
  • Ownership – When you own dividend-paying stocks, you hold part of the company, participating in its success.
  • Tax Advantages – Dividends may qualify for lower tax rates than regular income.


  • Market Volatility – The stock market is unpredictable and even high-quality, dividend-paying stocks can experience price fluctuations.
  • No Guarantee – Unlike fixed annuity income, dividends are not guaranteed and can be cut or eliminated.
  • Requires Research – Successful investment in dividend stocks requires substantial research and understanding.
  • Reduction in Company Reinvestment – Companies that pay dividends may have fewer funds to reinvest in the business.
  • Possibility of Lower Yields – Some safer investment options offer guaranteed growth higher than most dividend-paying stocks can provide.

Reviews Of Fixed Annuities

Here are four real reviews of fixed annuities, including two positive and two negative reviews:

Positive Fixed Annuity Reviews:

  • “The no fee fixed rate annuities can help real conservative folks that want to look at something other than CDs or US treasuries. Annuities provide a guaranteed income stream and can be a good option for those seeking stability and security in their retirement planning”4.
  • “If the index delivers a positive return at the end of 3 years, you get 110% of the growth (e.g., if the S&P index goes up by 40%, Allianz pays you 44%). This feature can provide potential growth while still offering some level of protection”5.

Negative Fixed Annuity Reviews:

  1. “Variable and indexed annuities are mostly garbage products that are optimal only for a very small…”1.
  2. “I agree that 3.2% isn’t a wonderful return on investment … but the fact is that my existing investments are still negative, compared to their original value. I’m not sure what to do, but I’m not convinced that a fixed annuity is the answer”2.

It’s important to note that these reviews are from anonymous individuals on Reddit and may not reflect the opinions of financial experts or the general population. It’s always a good idea to consult with a fixed annuity agent before making any investment decisions.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can you lose money in a fixed annuity?

No. A fixed annuity promises a set interest rate that is usually 8-9 times more competitive than an average bank CD.

Can I access my money before the fixed annuity term ends?

Yes, you can. However, you could face early withdrawal fees depending on how the annuity was set up. Annuity companies often allow an annual 10 percent withdrawal option without any fees.  

If I die, what happens to a fixed annuity?

Annuity contracts provide the owner with the option to include beneficiaries. This allows for the simple transfer of funds to anyone the owner designates.

How Do I Buy A Fixed Annuity

If you are looking to buy a fixed annuity, there are several steps you can take to ensure a smooth and informed process. First, it is essential to research and gather as much information as possible about fixed annuities.

Seeking guidance from professionals such as Integrity Now Insurance Brokers can be beneficial. These annuity brokers can provide expert advice and assistance throughout the buying process.

Annuity consultants or agents who work with Integrity Now Insurance Brokers can also be valuable resources. They can help assess your financial goals and needs and recommend a suitable fixed annuity product.

Fixed annuity experts deeply understand the annuity market and can help you navigate the various options available to find one that matches your requirements. By working with these professionals, you can ensure that you make an informed decision and select a fixed annuity that aligns with your long-term financial goals. 

Contact us today and obtain a no-obligation fixed annuity quote.

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