A single life annuity is a monthly payment made by an insurance company to a retired person. The payments only cover the person who bought the annuity and stop in the event of that person's death, according to Money.cnn.com.
A single life annuity is designed to supply a steady income in retirement, according to freeannuityrates.com.
After the policy holder dies, the contract is terminated and the payments stop. This means that a spouse cannot continue receiving the payments, according to freeannuityrates.com.
Joint-and-survivor annuities are similar to single life annuities except they cover both the policy holder and the spouse. With a joint-and-survivor annuity, payments will continue after the policy holder's death, according to money.cnn.com
Monthly payments will be higher with a single life annuity than with a joint-and-survivor annuity, according to money.cnn.com
Before buying a single life annuity, you should be absolutely sure that it meets your needs. Generally, once you pick a payment plan, you can't change it, according to money.cnn.com.