Annuities are insurance products that have different goals depending on what you’re trying to protect. There are basically two types of annuities, immediate and deferred. Immediate annuities take a single investment amount and create a guaranteed income stream out of it that you can count on for as long as you’ve chosen it to. Deferred annuities take a similar investment, but defer the income stream benefits to some point in the future…typically in retirement. Deferred annuities can offer guarantees either in the amount accumulated within the contract, or in the income stream offered at a later date. The guarantees offered help with the retirement income planning process. There are also annuities that offer riders (added benefits for an extra charge) that offer higher income streams if you need and qualify for long-term care benefits.