When you're afraid of the stock market
If your alternative is "investing" in a savings account, checking account or just putting money under the mattress, annuities could be a better solution, says Wade Pfau, professor of retirement income at the American College of Financial Services.
"A variable annuity lets them invest in the stock market and still have the protection of a guaranteed income," he says.
There are simpler, less expensive investments. But for folks who have earmarked cash for investing and are stock-market averse, it's another option, Pfau says.
"There are a lot of Americans who don't have stock market investments because of their fear of market volatility," he says.