Annuity vs. life insurance


Q. My husband and I are both retiring soon, he under FERS and me under CSRS. His income will be made up mostly of Social Security, while mine will be mostly CSRS. A full annuity for him would cost $425 a month. Does it make sense to elect this annuity given the cost? Would a term life insurance policy be a better alternative? I need to put the paperwork in this week.

A. There is no universal answer to this question, but if in doubt, the safe bet is to elect the full survivor benefit for your spouse. To answer this question properly would take a full-blown financial analysis, but you’ve waited too long for that to happen before your deadline, so you’ll have to “spin the wheel.”


About Author

Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

1 Comment

  1. Go the term life insurance route. Don’t worry about your deadline. Term is cheap on the open market. The economy and competition have driven rates down lower than ever.

    Take a look at an online term quoting website. QualityTermLife has one that is easy to use. You can view rates from nearly 100 insurers, anonymously.

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