By LIZ WESTON of NerdWallet
When you purchase an immediate annuity, you’re paying a lump sum now in exchange for a stream of payments over a fixed period or for your lifetime. That money can round out your retirement cash flow plan, along with Social Security, retirement plan withdrawals, other investments and a pension if you have one. They’re particularly attractive now, because payouts are the highest seen in a decade. But the decision can’t be undone, so take time to research and choose. The payout varies depending largely on how much you invest, your age, interest rates and the payout option chosen. Compare companies’ offerings and ratings, and consider your tax situation too.