...My niece, who recently lost her husband ....It is often recommended that after something like the loss of a spouse that no big decisions be made for a year unless there is some compelling reason to do something now. There is no reason to hurry up and buy an annuity now. It will likely be impossible or very expensive to get out of if she decides something else would be better. They will still be available a year or two from now and they may even pay a lot more then if interest rates go up. If an annuity is right for her then they are very complex financial instruments so before she spends a lot on one she should have a fee only financial that she is paying help her select one. Note: a "fee based" financial advisor is much different than a fee only financial advisor since they can still be paid to put you in poor investment choices. Delaying when she starts social security is essentially like buying a government guaranteed inflation adjusted annuity so that would likely be better than buying a commercial annuity.
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