A life insurance annuity is a financial product that combines features of both life insurance and annuities. It is a contract between an individual and an insurance company where the individual makes a lump-sum payment or a series of payments to the insurance company in exchange for a guaranteed income stream for a set period of time or for the rest of their life.
In essence, the individual pays the insurance company a premium or premiums, and in return, the insurance company provides a guaranteed income stream. The income stream can start immediately or can be deferred to a future date, depending on the terms of the contract. Life insurance annuities are often used as a retirement income vehicle, as they provide a steady stream of income during retirement. They can also provide a death benefit to the individual’s beneficiaries if the individual passes away before the annuity payments have been fully received.