Living in Retirement

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One way to get guaranteed income in retirement

July 26, 2013

Keeping a regular income stream flowing during retirement—one that won't trickle and stop over your lifespan or decline as a result of market conditions—is likely one of your financial goals. Social Security can provide some income certainty, but it might not be as much as you'd like. Annuities—specifically immediate fixed annuities—are one option you can explore to provide you with guaranteed income in retirement.

Immediate annuities provide predictable income

An immediate fixed annuity, also known as an income annuity, is an insurance contract. You make a lump-sum payment up front and then receive a steady stream of income. It's guaranteed (by the insurance company issuing it*) to continue throughout your lifetime or your spouse's lifetime (if you buy a joint-and-survivor annuity), or for a set number of years.

Learn more

In addition to immediate fixed annuities, you have a range of annuity options. And we help simplify the selection process in our annuity center.

If you'd like more information or a quote, you can:

Call 800-856-2597 to speak with one of our noncommissioned annuity specialists.

Access information about using annuities for lifetime income and request a quote through Vanguard Annuity Access.

If you're considering an immediate annuity as a source of retirement income, a single-life annuity—which provides you with payments as long as you live—might be a good option.

For example, at age 65, a man who invests $100,000 in a single-life annuity today could, on average, expect to receive payments of $585 a month for the rest of his life. (Of course, the amount you receive could be different, because payments are based on age, gender, current interest rates, and annuity purchase amount.)

If you decide to purchase an immediate annuity, Vanguard generally recommends that you invest only a portion of your retirement savings. This approach gives you the steady income you want from the annuity but still keeps assets available for investing, emergencies, or unanticipated purchases.

Because you generally can't cancel an immediate annuity once you invest, consider your options carefully before you buy one.

Vanguard Annuity Access makes it easier to decide

Vanguard Annuity Access™, powered by the Income Solutions® platform, makes it easier to find the immediate annuity that best fits your needs and circumstances from among the many options available.

This web-based service lets you compare immediate fixed annuities from leading insurance companies and provides you with customized quotes in real time. Quotes from Vanguard Annuity Access are based on institutional rates, so you get the pricing power of a large organization for your individual annuity.

To receive quotes, log on to your account or call 800-856-2597 to speak with one of our licensed annuity specialists. Our specialists, who don't work on commission, can help you determine if an annuity is right for you. They'll answer your questions, help you obtain quotes, and assist you with the application process if you decide to purchase an annuity.

Once you complete your purchase, the insurance company of the annuity you select will support you directly.

*Product guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.


  • The underwriting risks, financial obligations, and support functions associated with the products are the responsibility of the issuing insurance company. The issuing insurance company is responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations.
  • Vanguard Annuity Access is offered in collaboration with Hueler Investment Services, Inc., through the Income Solutions platform. Income Solutions is a registered trademark of Hueler Investment Services, Inc., and used under license. United States Patent No. 7,653,560. Vanguard Annuity Access is provided by Vanguard Marketing Corporation, d/b/a VMC Insurance Services in California.
  • Vanguard Annuity Access is a service that provides education and guidance to assist preretirees and retirees in purchasing fixed annuities. As part of this service, Vanguard associates will concierge clients to a Hueler Investment Services web tool, branded Income Solutions.
  • The Vanguard Group offers annuities through nonaffiliated insurance companies
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