A comfortable retirement was once a certainty for many people.
Now the retirement equation has changed: You will likely work longer and live longer, and also deal with the uncertainty of having enough savings.
Even those who have been diligent about saving have cause to be nervous.
Sure, they started early and set goals along the way, and even came up with an informed and realistic magic number to work toward.
But now, in the wake of the Great Recession, many analysts say that your 401(k), or IRA, or both, may not be enough. With all the stock market volatility of the past 12 years — including what some call the "Lost Decade" — there's been growing interest in a guaranteed-income stream for retirement.
That's given new life to annuities, a financial product that many consumers have traditionally found complex and expensive at best, and dubious at worst.
Annuities today, however, are not what they once were, other than the fact that the basic concept is that an insurance company agrees to pay you an annual return — fixed, variable or otherwise — on your investment for as long as you live.
More companies are offering annuity options in their 401(k) plans and the government recently made it easier to convert money in such plans to an annuity. Still, many consumers remain uninterested.
So where do you stand on annuities?