Jerome G., 76
New Prague, Minn.
“I don’ know any details about them; I have other investments. I guess I have heard a few things about them in the news, and none of it was good. The feeling I got is that a lot of advisors use variable annuities to take advantage of older people, and while I’m sure that’s not always the case, it’s a pretty big deterrent.”

Virginia C., 72
Wantaugh, N.Y.
“My financial advisor wanted to explore the idea of variable annuities for me and my husband, so I’m just starting to learn about them now. I don’t like a lot of risk, so the idea that they’re tied to stock market returns appeals to me – especially since you can’t really lose your money. I imagine you have to sacrifice some things, though, like maybe there are extra fees involved, but so far, they sound pretty good.”

Greta S., 50
Englewood, Colo.
“My sister has a variable annuity, and so far she seems happy with it. For now, I’ll stick with the investments I know and understand, like mutual funds. I’m still pretty young, so maybe if I realize I’ll need more money for retirement we’ll look into them.”

Paul Z., 60
St. Cloud, Minn.
“I read an article in The New York Times about variable annuities, and the main point was that if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. I guess maybe I don’t understand exactly how they work, but it certainly doesn’t sound like something I’d be interested in.”