Last year, indexed annuity sales increased 23% to $48.2 billion, accounting for more than half of all fixed-annuity sales for the first time, according to LIMRA.

"A fixed index annuity may be a good financial tool to fill the gap between retirement income from sources such as Social Security and the family's total spending need," says Kathy Nolan, president of Family Focus Financial Group in Wall, N.J. "If clients live so long that they run out of money from their investments, they will still get the FIA checks, providing certain guidelines are met."

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