To annuitize or not?

Does one have to annuitize at some point and time? My understanding of the newer annuity offerings is that the riders that are available allow for a person potentially receive lifetime income without ever having to "annuitize" the contract. Is this correct?

Your understanding is correct. There are many options and wrinkles available to an annuity buyer--too many to summarize in this thread. Things are much different than 10 years ago from a product feature standpoint. Others, please feel free to elaborate.

A word of caution is appropriate for individuals nearing age 90 and owning a deferred annuity. This message is also important to those individuals who may be in charge of an elder's financial affairs.

Several companies will exercise what may be described as a default 10-year period certain annuitization option in the event there is no reply to notices mailed to annuity owners or annuitants who are approaching 90.

The "unintended consequences" of this default trigger could be quite damaging to an individual's financial and estate plan.

David F. Sterling, Esq.