In order to get the most out of an annuity investment, the annuitant must first know the benefits it has to offer, like being an investment vehicle for meeting long-term goals and being a stable form of income. It is also important to know the different types of annuities, such as the single premium annuity, flexible premium annuity, deferred annuity, fixed annuity and variable annuity. Knowing these types is useful to help the investor identify the right kind of annuity to match with your needs and capacity to pay.

Annuity products are an attractive investment to many customers and are a growing form of business, even on the internet. One proof of this is the growing number of online firms responsible for generating annuity insurance leads which further help insurance groups reach out to potential customers. Annuities are meant to provide several financial benefits to the people who buy them. Before investing in an annuity product, there are two very basic things you should know about:


* An investment vehicle for meeting long-term goals

Essentially, an annuity is a means of receiving income gained from an investment distributed to them over a period of time. People are actually making an investment when they buy annuities, and these are useful for meeting long-term goals. Annuitants buy this financial product from insurance companies who then guarantee to pay the exact amount, including a return on the investment, over a certain period of time in the future. Unlike life insurance plans that take effect when the investor dies, annuitants receive the financial benefits of annuities over their lifetime.

* A stable form of income

Most people who want to secure a stable form of income after he or she has retired or stopped working might find investing in an annuity appealing. This is a common form of annuity called a retirement pension and is earned by paying a pension fund prior to retirement. Annuitants usually receive the returns from their investments upon retirement from work.

Different forms of annuities

There are a variety of annuity products offered by insurance companies with contracts differing mainly on how money is paid, withdrawn or how the funds are invested. Insurance firms maintain a reliable source of annuity insurance leads so that they can find the right customers for the type of annuities they offer.

* Single premium annuities

This single premium annuity is paid with a single lump sum payment or the needed investment is made all at once.

* Flexible premium annuities

This type of annuity is different from single premiums because its payments are made in installments over time and are not as financially straining on the part of the investor.

* Deferred annuities

Another type of annuity contract is the deferred annuities where periodic contributions are made to the fund but withdrawals are not allowed until a specific time or condition has been met in the future.

* Fixed annuities

This is the safest type of annuities and the one with the lowest risk since it is based on a fixed annuity rate. The insurance company basically invests your payment into conservative investments, such as bonds, which are guaranteed to give back a steady flow of income despite changes and uncertainties in the economy.

* Variable Annuities

This is the direct opposite of Fixed Annuities. The investor is given the option to invest in several different funds. But, this is riskier because the interest or principal is not guaranteed.

Annuities may be a great source of income for the investor when properly used and selected. Although insurance companies are equipped with their own database of annuity insurance leads, it is also necessary for consumers to learn all about annuities because they have a more profound understanding of their personal needs, preferences and financial capacity.