Annuities are financial products which you buy when you reach retirement. You need to buy an annuity because it is your life income, the income you receive instead of working. For some retirees, it is a stressful and worrying time as it is a major decision which is irreversible and very important. However, there is a lot of support available. One way to get maximum attractive rates for your annuity is by seeing if you are eligible for enhanced annuity rates.

These work by offering the client more money because their life expectancy is calculated at being less than the average person of that age. Securing an enhanced rate is a great benefit to many who want the most for their money. This is vital especially after the credit crunch. You can get an enhanced rate by the following:

1. Being a smoker. Smokers annuity rates are higher because medically speaking their life expectancy is on average ten years shorter than the average non smoker. This means pension companies can afford to offer a higher, more attractive rate. To qualify as a smoker you need to have been smoking for more than ten years and have more than ten cigarettes a day. You need a health assessment from your GP to confirm your status as a smoker. Smokers annuities are therefore very popular and a great way of getting an enhanced annuity rate.

2. Having had cancer. Even if you don’t have anything in your current health which is of any concern to the doctor, having had cancer can qualify you for an enhanced rate. This is because the likelihood of the cancer returning (even if it was minor cancers) makes your life expectancy shorter. Even if you live longer than anticipated, you will still receive the enhanced rate.

3. Living in a poorer area. Some areas of the country have lower life expectancies than others. These might also be known as poorer areas and by stating your location on your application you might be eligible for an enhanced rate. You need to ensure you ask the pension company if they offer enhanced rates before applying, though. Some companies do not offer the enhanced rates and to find out what providers do, you should use the internet and some of the tools on there (like annuity calculators) to see the best providers to ask for quotes from.

Author's Bio: 

Scott Artichoke used to work in financial services for many years and now writes as a freelancer providing informative articles that help to educate people on financial topics.

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