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Variable annuities have become a part of the retirement and investment plans of many Americans. Before you buy a variable annuity, you should know some of the basics – and be prepared to ask your insurance agent, broker, financial planner, or other financial professional lots of questions about whether a variable annuity is right for you.
This is a general description of variable annuities – what they are, how they work, and the charges you will pay. Before buying any variable annuity, however, you should find out about the particular annuity you are considering. Request a prospectus from the insurance company or from your financial professional, and read it carefully. The prospectus contains important information about the annuity contract, including fees and charges, investment options, death benefits, and annuity payout options. You should compare the benefits and costs of the annuity to other variable annuities and to other types of investments, such as mutual funds.