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At a time when there always seems to be a new flavor of the month for retirement investments, annuities can seem like plain vanilla. Yet despite common misperceptions, they remain a valuable component of an overall retirement strategy, according to a report from TIAA and Fiduciary Insurance Services.

"Many people have misconceptions about annuities and, inspired in part by unfavorable and often undereducated media messaging, see all annuities as being the same inherently economically unfair financial instrument," the report said. "Research sponsored by the Society of Actuaries demonstrates that retirement-income-generating solutions that include annuities often produce materially more income than do solutions that do not include annuities."

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