How do annuities work as part of a financial plan?

Whatever you dream of when it comes to retirement, making sure you'll have the money to make it happen is an important part of your financial plan. These days, fewer and fewer companies are offering pensions, and the future of Social Security is uncertain. So now, more than ever, people have to rely on themselves to plan for their finances in retirement. A fixed or variable deferred annuity can be a smart way to keep your retirement goals on track by letting you save and grow your money, tax deferred, over and above what you can save by maxing out your contributions to your 401(k) or IRA.

Connect with an advisor

What to know about fixed and variable annuities:

Annuities are more affordable than many people think.

Like with all financial products, annuities do come with some costs. But there are also some big benefits. Depending on the type of annuity you purchase, you can have tax deferment, a minimum death benefit, and/or guaranteed income for life.

You won't lose your money if you pass away sooner than expected.

Many fixed and variable annuities come with a death benefit feature to make sure your loved ones will get back at least what you've put into your annuity if you pass away before your income payments start.

It's never too early or too late to start planning for the future.

A fixed or variable annuity can be a great way to save money for the future and let it grow, tax deferred. With a fixed annuity, you can get guaranteed growth.1 With a variable annuity, you can invest your savings.2 Either is a great option when it comes to rolling over a workplace retirement plan or if you've maxed out your 401(k) or IRA contributions.

How does an annuity work? Test your knowledge.

Questions about fixed and variable annuities? We've got answers.

Get matched with a financial advisor in four easy steps.

Which type of annuity will help you meet your goals best?

Compare life insurance products
BenefitsFixed AnnuityVariable Annuity
Option to convert to an income plan at retirement to receive income payments for life
A guaranteed death benefit following the death of the owner of the annuity*
Tax-deferred growth
Multiple investment sub-account options that are managed by dedicated and experienced professionals**
Variable investments that can provide the potential to keep pace with inflation***
Tax-free, cost-free transfers of assets between available investment sub-accounts****
*Variable Annuities are sold by prospectus only. Clients should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, expenses and charges of the investment company before they invest. A Northwestern Mutual Investment Services Registered Representative can provide clients with a contract and sub-account prospectus that will contain the information noted above and other important information that clients should read carefully before they invest or send money.**The performance of variable sub-accounts is not guaranteed, and variable annuities are subject to market risk, including loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against a loss.***Variable annuities are subject to fees and charges, such as mortality and expense charges, annual contract fees, sales charges, and portfolio expense fees associated with the underlying investment options.****Please refer to the Prospectus for details of all fees and charges.

Make a plan for tomorrow today.

couple watching a sunset

Research shows that people are the happiest when they know how much they can safely spend month to month.3 A fixed or variable annuity can help by giving you the chance to grow your savings for retirement. Find out more about how a fixed or variable annuity can fit into your overall financial plan and help you save for retirement. Your Northwestern Mutual financial professional will work with you on a retirement plan specifically tailored to your goals.

Our approach to planning

The Northwestern Mutual difference

97% of our clients stay with us year over year

The percentage of our policyowners who stay with us year over year.4

Statistic for Northwestern Mutual, based on Northwestern Mutual policyowner data.

164+ years strong through depressions, downturns, and pandemics

The number of years we’ve been there for our clients—through depressions, downturns, and pandemics.

A++ financial strength rating

AAA, Aaa, and AA+—we've earned the highest financial strength ratings awarded to life insurers from all four major rating agencies.5

Awarded in the Insurance category: Life & Health industry, Fortune® Magazine's annual survey, 2017
Picture of a financial representative

Ready to take the next step?

Our advisors will help you find the right type of annuity for your goals and budget.

It's easy to get started—no commitment, just a conversation