As consumers reach retirement age, they are tasked with looking at their financial stability and they are given the challenge of trying to make their retirement as worry and stress free as possible, especially when it comes to finances. For this reason, many consumers choose to convert their pension fund, or part of it, into a lifetime annuity. This works for many consumers and turns out to be a great decision for most. However, in order for this to be the right decision, the consumer must be wise and thoughtful about which annuity they choose. This requires a great deal of research, time, and effort. Most consumers are urged to spend a great deal of their resources on determining the best annuity for their unique and particular needs. This is all for good reason, given that many will use their lifetime annuity to fund their retirement years, a period of life that should be marked with freedom and the ability to do what one pleases during their later years in life.

What many consumers overlook during their research of annuities is the idea that they should also compare annuity providers. While choosing the right annuity can be a huge decision, choosing the right annuity provider can be an equally important decision. What is crucial for consumers to remember is that once the annuity is purchased, it cannot be changed and the investor cannot be changed.

There are a number of factors that should be considered when choosing an annuity provider. One of these is of course that once chosen, the provider cannot be changed. This means that the consumer really does have to make the right choice the first time around. In order to do so, there should be a great deal of research and time invested in making the right decision. The factors that differ between providers can make a real difference in terms of the annuity and lifetime income. For example, one provider may offer a much better rate than another. Different providers might also offer a series of add-ons or enhancements to certain types of annuities. While these enhancements may serve a purpose for a particular consumer, they may also come with a fee. That fee may inevitably defeat the purpose of the enhancement. It truly depends on the unique nature of the needs of that consumer and their family. Because of the uniqueness of each consumer’s needs, it is important for each to independently research their options. Each and every one of these factors must be researched in order to make the most educated and sound decision. It is not a decision that anyone else can make, as each need is unique to the consumer.

One factor is constant when investing with a provider and that is to choose one that is regulated by the FCA. Regardless of the rates offered or types of annuities available, this remains constant with every provider. Those providers regulated by the FCA are vetted and backed, allowing for a far more competitive market place. When providers are held to a higher standard, it only means that the consumer can capitalize on that heightened standard. As more providers are held to higher standards and are forced to stay competitive with the market, the consumer is able to find the best deal and the best annuity for their particular needs.

For every consumer, the needs for retirement are different. While lifetime annuities are a great choice for many, they require a good amount of research and effort. However, consumers must stay cognizant that it is not only the annuity that should be researched, but the provider as well.