Several insurance companies provide all different types of annuities. You can call each one to get a quote and then compare. If you don't have the time to contact each insurance company, then use an independent annuity broker to do the shopping and the research for you. Unlike career agents who only represent one company, independent brokers can get you rates from most of the insurance companies out there. They are not tied to, work for, or represent any one particular company.
When you buy a life annuity (lifetime payments) you can choose a guaranteed period ranging from 0-25 years. If you die within the guaranteed period you choose, then the annuity income payments continue to your beneficiary for the remainder of the period. For example, a 74 year old male buys a single life annuity with a 10-year guaranteed period for $100,000. He receives an income of $700 a month for the rest of his life tax free. He dies at age 80. His named beneficiary will now receive his income of $700 a month for the next 4 years, fulfilling the 10 year guarantee period.
The lower the guaranteed period the higher your income will be. That means less risk to insurance company and more money for you. If you're concerned leaving money to your loved ones when you pass away, then simply replace the money spent on your annuity with a back-to-back arrangement. Simply buy a life insurance policy on your life to give to your beneficiary tax free.
(CAUTION: YOU MUST QUALIFY MEDICALLY FOR A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY).
Annuity rates favour men. Why? Because on average men don't live as long as woman do. Therefore shorter payout time for the insurance company which means higher annuity income payments for men.
If you are in poor health, then look to see if you can qualify for an impaired annuity. Impaired annuities are calculated using lower life expectancies, which translates to more income for you.
Deferred annuities can translate into some of the highest returns out there. You can defer your annuity by 10 years. That means you buy an annuity today and ask to receive payments starting 10 years down the road. The longer you wait for payments to begin the more money you'll get.