Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs)

A feature that can be added to some annuities that can increase your income payments to account for increases to the cost of living.

Death Benefit

The payment amount available to a beneficiary when the owner dies. 

Deferral Period

The period of time when you are accumulating interest in your annuity before you begin taking payments. 

Deferred Annuity

An annuity that accumulates interest, with the distribution of the annuity delayed until a future date. Depending on the type of deferred annuity, the payments could begin after a set period of time or after the death of the annuity owner. 

Delayed Retirement Credit

A monthly credit applied to a social security retirement benefit for each month beyond full retirement age that the benefit is claimed.  Delayed retirement credits stop at age 70, even if the benefit is claimed beyond this age.

Early Withdrawal Penalty

The 10 percent penalty the IRS requires you to pay if you withdraw money from a qualified retirement account or an annuity before age 59 ½. You will also be subject to federal and (if applicable) state taxes on your withdrawal.

Exclusion Ratio

This ratio determines the taxable and nontaxable portions of each payment from an immediate annuity, annuitization, or life insurance policy.   


The person named in a will to carry out the wishes of the deceased for the distribution of his or her assets. The executor fulfills his or her duties under court supervision.


A person who is required to act in your best interest with prudence, diligence, skill, and loyalty. In financial situations, this means a fiduciary is required to make financial decisions that are in your best interest, rather than their own.

Financial Advisors

Financial Advisors focus on investment products, including stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. They also manage portfolios, deliver financial plans, recommend investments, are securities licensed, and help monitor financial performance versus goals over the long term.

Financial Planner

Financial planners deliver financial plans, which you can initiate on your own or through a financial advisor. This service also includes ongoing reviews and guidance. Financial planners are like architects who design a house—they can create the plan, but you need to hire the contractors to build it.

Financial Professional

A number of professions in the financial services industry, including insurance agents, accountants, investment managers, financial planners, and financial advisors.

Get the Best of
Retirement Well Spent

Receive insights and retirement tips right in your inbox.

We respect your privacy, and we won’t share your email with anyone, ever. Your email address will only be used for Retirement Well Spent communications.