Find out if one is right for you. September 4, 2007 Annuities can be a good way to ensure a steady stream of income in retirement if -- and that's a big IF -- you choose the right kind for your needs.There are a whole range of products labeled annuities, and some are much better than others. A few new developments make some more appealing than they have been in the past. But sales people continue to tout both the good and bad. So you need to be really careful before you jump into an annuity. THE BASICS What to Ask Before Buying an Annuity If more people understood these confusing products, fewer probably would be sold. Find out what you need to know. Guarantee Income in Retirement If you're worried you might outlive your savings, consider an annuity. Advertisement Choose an Annuity You Can Ride for Life An array of new products offer death benefits, inflation protection, emergency cash and more. Giving a Charitable Gift Annuity This annuity won't give you the highest payout, but it will help you support a charity, receive lifetime income and get some big tax breaks, too. NEW TWISTS Advertisement Annuities With New Promises Now dozens of insurers are offering a new way to get lifetime income, but with opportunities to cash out and for payouts to increase. Retirement Income You'll Never Outlive New longevity insurance policies promise a big payoff -- if you live long enough to collect. Indexed Annuities: Too Good to be True? The sales pitches for these annuities are enticing, but few -- if any -- are a good place to put your money. WHEN ANNUITIES ARE WRONG The Great Annuity Rip-Off Unscrupulous agents take advantage of seniors with risky investments that cost too much. How to Dump a Bad Annuity Consider these three things if you want to get rid of an annuity you no longer want or need.