Unlike many other insurance contracts, annuities are marked by significant fluidity where accounts change daily, weekly and monthly. When an accountholder makes a change, the service provider must be prepared to hold up their end of the bargain.This isn't always easy. A report commissioned by Edison, N.J.-based NaviSys Inc. states that "many potential customers fear the loss of control of their money as an immediate annuity essentially locks up those assets for the rest of their lives."

The report, conducted by David Ricker, Navisys solutions consultant, and James Reynolds, marketing actuary, also notes that "in the past, consumers were content to receive a periodic annuity payment. Sudden lifestyle changes may necessitate flexible access to those funds."

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