Regina C., 63
Gothenburg, Neb.

“I’ve heard nothing good about annuities – especially what they call variable annuities. I’ve read some pretty scary articles in the newspapers, like the New York Times, and the whole idea makes me nervous. Apparently, with a variable annuity you’re supposed to be able to earn money if the market goes up, but you won’t lose money if it goes down. The whole idea reminds me of what my mother always said: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Ralph I., 65
Grand Junction, Colo.

“I’m a little gun-shy about investing in the stock market. With the economy the way it is right now, it just seems like a disaster waiting to happen. I might be a little too conservative, but I don’t care. I’ve got a good pension, a money market and some insurance, so I’d rather stick with what I know is safe.”

Matt D., 56
Sparks, Md.

“My brother is actually a financial planner, and he’s told me to stay away from equity indexed annuities. He doesn’t like them because they have caps on gains, extremely long surrender periods, and ?deceptive pricing,’ although I’m not sure what he means about the pricing thing. I’ve also been told to stay away from Registered Investment Advisors who work for a fee, which kind of surprised me, but he said that RIAs have limited resources to work with, so you don’t get the diversification you’re promised. He seems to know what he’s talking about, so I tend to pay attention to what he says.”