Today, the majority of the burden for retirement income seems to have shifted to the individual. For this reason, you may want to consider an annuity as part of your retirement strategy. An annuity is a contract you purchase from an insurance company. For the premium you pay, you receive certain fixed and/or variable interest crediting options able to compound tax deferred until withdrawn. When you are ready to receive income distributions, this vehicle offers a variety of payout options, some that enable you to stretch income throughout your retirement.