I completely agree with the Oblivious Investor's opening paragraph:
"Many annuities (maybe even most) are a raw deal for investors. They carry needlessly high expenses and surrender charges, and their contracts are so complex that very few investors can properly assess whether the annuity is a good investment.
That said, one specific type of annuity can be an extremely useful tool for retirement planning: the single premium immediate annuity (SPIA)."Click here to read the rest of the article.
Click here to play with Vanguard's automatic annuity quote calculator.