An agreement by an insurer to make periodic payments that continue during the lifetime of the annuitant(s) or for a specified period. Annuities are considered to be the opposite of life insurance, since annuities pay while you’re alive and life insurance pays when you die. Life insurance proceeds create an estate, while annuities are used to liquidate an estate over a period of time. All annuities are insurance products and a life insurance license is required.