Lock In Your Retirement Income

Three strategies that use annuities to guarantee monthly paychecks for life.

As rumors spread that President Obama might utter the word annuity during his State of the Union address earlier this year, the insurance industry went wild. Salespeople touted the president's impending seal of approval as a reason to buy their wares -- even if the high-fee, complex versions they were promoting only vaguely resembled the products that the president supports.

Although Obama never actually mentioned the A-word in his speech, his Middle Class Task Force later recommended annuities as a good way to reduce "the risks that retirees will outlive their savings or that the retirees' living standards will be eroded by investment losses or inflation."

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.