When Joan Shaffer's husband died last year, she went out and bought a variable annuity because it was an investment that she wouldn't have to look after every minute.

Shaffer, 68, who lives in Raleigh, N.C., says she chose variable annuities from her bank, Centura, because she can get her hands on the money in case there's an emergency.

Limited Time Offer

Save $400 off your subscription. Special offer ends April 30, 2017.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.