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What Are The Best Ways to Get a Lifetime Income Stream from an Annuity?

Stan The Annuity Man

Question: Stan, what are the best ways to get a lifetime income stream from an annuity?  Larry from Maryland

Answer: Good question Larry.  Annuities are pure transfer of risk strategies, and the only product that guarantees income for life regardless of how long you live.

There are really 2 ways to solve for lifetime income using annuities, Income Now or Income Later.  You either need income to start immediately or sometime down the road.  Let’s look at the best ways to achieve both.

Income Now

The only product that you should consider is a Single Premium Immediate Annuity.  This is a pure transfer of risk pension product, and the lifetime income stream starts 30 days after the contract is issued and continues for the rest of your life.  Below are a few key points to know about Single Premium Immediate Annuities.

• Lifetime income stream can be set up single life or joint life
• Annual cost of living increases can be contractually added to the policy
• No Annual Fees
• No liquidity (you can only get to your money in payment form)
• You can set up the contract so that 100% of the money goes to you or your listed beneficiaries, and the insurance company will not keep a dime.

Income Later

Income that starts in the future can be achieved with 2 different annuity strategies:

1) Income Riders attached to a deferred annuity

*Income Riders are attached benefits to a policy that have guaranteed growth rates during the deferral years, and you can use that dollar amount to calculate your lifetime income stream.

Key points to know:
• Income Rider totals cannot be accessed lump sum and can only be used for lifetime income.
• Lifetime income is taxed at ordinary income tax levels.
• Income Rider guaranteed % is guaranteed during the deferral years, and stops when lifetime income starts.

2) Longevity Annuity

*Longevity Annuities are deferred immediate annuities with enhanced payouts when you turn on the lifetime income stream.

Key points to know:
• No Annual Fees
• Part of lifetime income stream is not taxable when used in a non-IRA account.
• Cost of living annual increases can be contractually added to the policy.

Income Now and Income Later strategies allow you to know exactly (to the penny) what your lifetime income stream will be.  Because they are contractual guarantees, you can solve for a specific monthly or annual income need.

I encourage you to go to my website at and find out your best national contractual guarantees for Income Now and Income Later.  We have a free no obligation, no hassle, no phone call quotation system that lists the top payouts in the country based on your specific situation.  It’s worth a look.

*If you have a question for Stan The Annuity Man, please send your question to  He will answer all questions directly, and might include yours in his next Annuity123 “Ask Stan The Annuity Man” blog.

Click here to see more of Stan’s educational articles.

About the Author:

Stan The Annuity Man is a nationally recognized annuity expert and annuity critic, and has been called the national consumer advocate for annuities… and a walking middle finger of annuity truth.  He is a weekly RetireMentor columnist for The Wall Street Journal’s, and is the exclusive annuity contributor for  His highly acclaimed book, The Annuity Stanifesto, is a top seller in its category, and is known as the go to resource for all things annuity.

Stan The Annuity Man has clients nationwide, and is considered one of the top independent annuity agents in the country.  You can learn more at


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  • Burt Silver says:

    This is really good information to know about lifetime income. I didn’t know that a lifetime income stream could be set up for a joint life, I thought it was only for an individual. That makes a big difference for me and my wife, we will have to look into it some more.

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