Vanilla as they may be, annuities still represent the lifeblood of many investors' portfolios because they deliver a steady, predictable income throughout retirement.

But Western & Southern Financial Group's new variable annuity, Varoom -- short for Variable Annuity Roll Over Only Money -- is making things a bit more exciting for investors and financial advisors by allowing them to select individual exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as subaccount options.

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