# Fundamental of Annuities – Meaning and Types

## What is an Annuity?

An annuity is a continuous stream of equal periodic payments from one party to another for a certain length of time in order to satisfy a financial commitment.

The dollar amount of the equal periodic payment in an annuity scenario is the annuity payment. The payments are continuous, equal, and periodic, and take place over a predetermined length of time. If any of these four conditions are not met, the financial transaction does not fulfil the definition of a singular annuity and must be solved using alternative methods and formulas.

## Four Types of Annuities

There are four different types of annuities depending on the combination of two fundamental characteristics: payment time and payment frequency.

### Ordinary Simple Annuity

An ordinary simple annuity is an annuity in which payments are made at fixed intervals, and the interest earned is reinvested in the annuity. The payments can be made monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. The payments can be made for a specified number of years or for the life of the annuitant. The interest earned on the annuity is taxed as ordinary income.

An ordinary simple annuity is a good way to save for retirement. The payments can be made from your paycheck or from your savings. The interest earned on the annuity is taxed as ordinary income, so you will not have to pay taxes on the interest until you withdraw the money from the annuity.

### Ordinary General Annuity

An ordinary general annuity is an annuity in which payments are made at fixed intervals, and the interest rate is fixed. The payments are made at the end of each period, and the interest is paid at the beginning of the next period. The principal is paid at the end of the term.

An ordinary general annuity is the simplest kind of annuity, and it is the most common type of annuity. It is easy to understand and easy to calculate. The payments are made at fixed intervals, so there is no need to worry about fluctuating interest rates. The interest rate is fixed, so you know exactly how much interest you will earn over the life of the annuity. And the principal is paid at the end of the term, so you know exactly how much money you will have when the annuity matures.

### Simple Annuity Due

An annuity due is an annuity in which payments are made at the beginning of each period. This contrasts with an ordinary annuity, in which payments are made at the end of each period. Because payments are made at the beginning of each period, an annuity due has one more period than an ordinary annuity.

The present value of an annuity due is always greater than the present value of an ordinary annuity with the same payments and interest rate. This is because payments made at the beginning of each period are worth more than payments made at the end.

### General Annuity Due

A general annuity due is an annuity in which payments are made at the beginning of each period rather than at the end. This type of annuity is typically used for business purposes, as the payments can be used to fund inventory or other short-term obligations.

The main benefit of a general annuity due is that it provides a guaranteed source of income. This can be especially beneficial for businesses, as it can help them meet their short-term obligations.

The downside of a general annuity due is that the payments are made upfront, which can strain cash flow. Additionally, if the annuity is invested in a volatile investment, the value of the payments can fluctuate.