It’s no secret that annuities have been subject to a long run of bad press. A Huffington Post article published last month added one more log to the fire, calling annuities “the biggest financial ripoff on the planet.” Fortunately, claims this wide-sweeping and ill-informed are easy to disprove. While deferred annuities, with their high early withdrawal penalties and high fees can be a poor choice for investors, single-premium immediate annuities can and often should be part of a savvy investor’s retirement plan. SPIAs aren’t right for everyone and they shouldn’t form the whole of a retirement plan — but when used correctly, they can be a healthy way to generate guaranteed lifetime income.

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