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Reading up on annuities is not the most exciting task that you will ever come across. If your are not au fait with the world of pensions and retirement finance you can quickly find yourself bamboozled by myriad of industry jargon. What's more the topic of annuities itself is only really of interest to those who are of retirement age, the rest of the population has even less inclination to know what they are. However if you are in a position where you need to buy an annuity or help a relative or friend purchase one then there are a few good places you can start to look for information.

One of the best sites I found so far is 123annuityrates which is a UK based annuity brokerage. They basically act as a comparison engine allowing you to get rates from across the annuity market. This is a really important process for those buying an annuity because each providers varies their product offering and rates. There can be massive differences between the top and bottom rates, something that unless you were informed of, you would never actually realise yourself. I also found out that most of those who buy annuities don't end up going through this comparison process - they just buy their annuity from the company who their employer choose to build up their pension fund. I think many over 50's will be shocked when they find out just how much more money they could get by comparing provider quotes. Many in fact miss this opportunity because their pension provider did not force them to compare the market too see if there were any other better rates available.

I would recommend to anyone who is buying an annuity to really read up on the subject first, even if it is just to get to grips with the basics.