Immediate Fixed Annuity Payments - How much will you get?

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One of the advantages of immediate fixed annuities is the feature that provides you with income for the rest of your life, for both you and your spouse, or simply to pay you for a fixed number of years. But what's the best choice for you? Let's consider some payouts based on annuity type and other factors to get a feel for what to potentially expect.

We'll hypothetically assume a man has $50,000 to invest in an annuity. He's 70 years old with a remaining average life expectancy of 16 years. What kind of payouts can he expect to get?

If he wants an immediate fixed life annuity on himself, a hypothetical insurance company  determines a monthly payout for him based on his sex, age, investment amount, and the current interest rate. The current interest rate is particularly important since their profit will be based on how much they'll get for investing his $50,000. They're predicting the man will die 16 years later (at least that's their bet based on the average life expectancy of males age 70) so they know how many monthly payments they must make. They're obliged to keep paying if the man lives longer, but also get to keep the investment if the he dies earlier than expected.

Life Expectancy
In our hypothetical case, the monthly payout is $385.  Incidentally, if the man were 80 years old his remaining life expectancy would be 11 years. So the insurance company would pay out $554 per month since they'll be statistically paying for fewer months.

Women statistically live longer than men. A 70 year old woman has a remaining life expectancy of 20 years. This implies more monthly payouts by the insurance company so her payout is only $352 for that $50,000 investment. And if she were 80 years old, her monthly payout would be $498 – somewhat less that then 80 year old man's, because of her still longer life expectancy.

$50,000 annuity investment

Life annuity

Life annuity

Survivorship annuity

Period certain



Joint survivorship

10 year certain




both 70


Remaining life expectancy





Monthly payout





Age 80 payouts





Joint Life
A married couple may opt for a joint life annuity where payments will continue until the second spouse dies. In the case that both are 70 years old, the insurance company would pay $318 since statistically it turns out that between the two, the survivor would statistically live longer. The payout remains the same even if only one remains alive 

Finally, if the single 70 year old man chose an annuity for a certain period – 10 years – under the prevailing rates, he'd receive $515. But in this case, the insurance company would pay his beneficiary the remaining payments if he died. The payout is the same for the women since there's no age or age-related sex difference issue here.

For the most current rates, use the immediate annuity calculator.

Immediate fixed annuities are the payment of a single premium to an insurance company in return for periodic payments over a specific period or life.  Once payments begin, the annuity cannot be surrendered for value (there are a few companies that do allow commutation--the surrender of the annuity for a discounted refund).  Income from annuitization is taxed part as ordinary income and part as return of capital and a 10% penalty could apply if the recipient is under age 59 1/2. Any guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the insurance company. Annuities should be considered long term investments. For other ways to generate income in retirement, visit the retirement planning center.

One thought on “Immediate Fixed Annuity Payments - How much will you get?

  1. Etienne Aigner says:

    I am trying to figure out if something like this could work for my 79 year old grand father. He has a pretty good sum of money that is outside of his retirement accounts so I am thinking this could be a good way to go. Thanks for providing that calculator, makes it much simpler to figure out.

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