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Insurance companies can guarantee almost anything if the premiums are high enough.

Most variable annuities that promise high returns have caps of one sort or another that keep you from receiving the promised amount.

Annuities tend to be high commission products that benefit the salesman more than they do you. Most are never annuitized. As soon as the surrender period is over the salesman shows up on your doorstep wanting to sell you another "better" annuity (so he can collect another commission on the same money).

Immediate fixed annuities can play a role in some retirement plans. But most would be better off to invest their money in other plans and then buy a fixed annuity in retirement if you plan calls for it.
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