Certified financial planner Wes Moss is an advocate of investments that pay consistently after retirement, but he’s not convinced a variable annuity is the best tool for that job. Variable annuities consist of a pool of money placed in mutual funds and another pool that grows at a rate set by the insurer. Surrender charge, fees and commissions can be significant. Annuities are not insured by the government and stampedes by baby boomers to all collect at once are possible. To Moss, the benefits of the variable annuity generally don’t justify the high annual fees and surrender charges. However, they might make sense for a panic-prone person who could use help to avoid making bad investment timing decisions.