DEFINITION of 'Lifetime Payout Annuity'

A type of insurance product that pays out a portion of the underlying portfolio of assets over the life of the investor. A lifetime payout annuity can provide fixed or variable payments. In a fixed payout scheme, the investor receives a fixed dollar amount for each payment, potentially with cost of living adjustments (COLA). Payouts under a variable payout scheme will fluctuate because payments are based on the value of the investments held in the annuity's portfolio.

BREAKING DOWN 'Lifetime Payout Annuity'

Investors may choose a lifetime payout annuity to head off the risk of outliving the amount of money set aside for retirement. Basically, the guaranteed payments for life reduce a person's longevity risk. However, this payout scheme can cause problems for those wanting to leave estates to heirs. Payouts from a lifetime payout annuity typically end with the death of the policyholder. The policyholder can purchase adjustments which allow payments to continue to an estate or which allow for a guaranteed number of payments, but these can result in a different payout.

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