No. of Recommendations: 0
The good news for you is that if you are going into annuities, Vnaguard and TIAA CREF are the bes place to do it. These are the lowest cost annuities on the market. When people state that annuities are bad, its often because of the high costs and surrender fees associated with them. Since you are with CREF, you are better off than most. There are 2 types of annuities, variable, and fixed. A fixed annuity will payout the same amount each month for the rest of your life. These annuities are invested in the Insurance company's general account and are often made up of conservative investments. Variable annuities allow you to chance for a higher payout and you achieve this by investing in more riskier investments. These are invested in the insurance company's separate account and often go into mutual fund "type" investments.
You're probably better off investing the money in no-load mutual funds & Index funds, but you could be in alot worse shape than CREF.

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