An annuity is an insurance contract between you and an insurance company that is designed to help meet retirement and other long-range goals. To fund an annuity, you can either transfer your money in one large payment or you can make a series of payments.

In return, the insurance company agrees to pay you a specific amount of income per month, quarter, or year. This income can start immediately or at some future date, depending on the type of annuity you purchase and the options available within that annuity. Income is paid for either a chosen period of time or even for the remainder of your life. An annuity is an insurance product and is sold by licensed insurance producers.