Get the skinny on an immediate fixed annuity, and see if it's a good choice for you. By Kimberly Lankford, Contributing Editor May 1, 2010 Purpose: An insurance product to help you stretch your retirement dollars.How it works: You invest a lump sum and receive a fixed monthly income for life. Typical investor: Retirees age 60 or older who want current income. Features: Simple to understand and easy to comparison-shop. Fixed payouts may not keep pace with inflation. Monthly payouts of about 7% or more of your initial investment for life. Once purchased, you can't change your mind. To see if a deferred variable annuity is a better fit, read Which Type Is Right for You?: Deferred Variable Annuities.