jeannie: regarding your 77 year old mom putting $ into a variable annuity... my question is: what's her goal for the lump sum? That's the most important question, because if she wants a stream of income (which won't necessarily stop at her passing away) it may be a viable option. Also, if she has no particular need for the funds and wants to park it in a tax-deferred vehicle, it might work. There are many legitimate uses that could be discussed, but I don't know enough facts. Variable annuities can offer many investment subaccounts, so she could select several that could produce a composite yield that is higher than straight GNMA's. Call around for ideas from a few insurance agents who specialize in VA's and have a heart-to-heart discussion with each, notifying each agent that you're on a fact-finding mission & will not decide on a proposal until you've heard from each & have compared them fully. Good luck. PP
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