Top of mind for many retirees these days is financial security, an asset that annuities have traditionally delivered in spades.

In fact, in the first six months of 2011, annuity sales increased 19 percent compared to annuity sales during the same period of 2010, according to Morningstar Inc, an investment researcher.

“Companies with the strongest sales growth are those offering the lifetime withdrawal and income benefits and [they] are offering them in a structure that enables opportunities for increasing income over time,” said Frank O’Connor, variable annuity database product manager at Morningstar.

But annuities aren’t the right solution for everyone. Among the things to look for: double-dip fees, surrender charges, and the additional expense of riders.

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