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What made you want to look up variable? Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible. Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! We get asked at least once a year. You probably learned it in church. These words and phrases are full of 'em.

Comedian ISMO on what separates a boot from a trunk. Comedian ISMO on the complexities of the word 'tip'. How to use a word that literally drives some people nuts. The awkward case of 'his or her'. Huddle around your screen. Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way. Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram. Adjective adaptable , adjustable , alterable , changeable , elastic , flexible , fluid , malleable , modifiable , pliable Antonyms: Adjective established , fixed , immutable , inelastic , inflexible , invariable , nonmalleable , ramrod , set , unadaptable , unalterable , unbudgeable , unchangeable Visit the Thesaurus for More.

Examples of variable in a Sentence Adjective The winds were light and variable. The loan has a variable interest rate. Noun unemployment and other economic variables.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective California, for example, has set a target of zero net carbon emissions by , deploying aggressive policies to encourage electric cars, rooftop solar power, and batteries on the power grid to store variable renewable energy. DeSantis, Gillum face off in Florida," 29 Aug. Noun There would be too many variables to control, and this made the foreseeable stress level not worth the tasty reward.

Stevens to be a zero sum thing. First Known Use of variable Adjective 14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a Noun , in the meaning defined at sense 1a. Learn More about variable. Resources for variable Time Traveler! Explore the year a word first appeared. Dictionary Entries near variable vargueno vari- varia variable variable-area variable condenser variable cost. Time Traveler for variable The first known use of variable was in the 14th century See more words from the same century.

Your beneficiary will get a benefit from this feature if, at the time of your death, your account value is less than the guaranteed amount.

Third, variable annuities are tax-deferred. That means you pay no taxes on the income and investment gains from your annuity until you withdraw your money. You may also transfer your money from one investment option to another within a variable annuity without paying tax at the time of the transfer.

When you take your money out of a variable annuity, however, you will be taxed on the earnings at ordinary income tax rates rather than lower capital gains rates.

In general, the benefits of tax deferral will outweigh the costs of a variable annuity only if you hold it as a long-term investment to meet retirement and other long-range goals. Other investment vehicles, such as IRAs and employer-sponsored k plans, also may provide you with tax-deferred growth and other tax advantages.

For most investors, it will be advantageous to make the maximum allowable contributions to IRAs and k plans before investing in a variable annuity. In addition, if you are investing in a variable annuity through a tax-advantaged retirement plan such as a k plan or IRA , you will get no additional tax advantage from the variable annuity.

Under these circumstances, consider buying a variable annuity only if it makes sense because of the annuity's other features, such as lifetime income payments and death benefit protection.

The tax rules that apply to variable annuities can be complicated — before investing, you may want to consult a tax adviser about the tax consequences to you of investing in a variable annuity. Variable annuities are designed to be long-term investments, to meet retirement and other long-range goals. Variable annuities are not suitable for meeting short-term goals because substantial taxes and insurance company charges may apply if you withdraw your money early.

Variable annuities also involve investment risks, just as mutual funds do. A variable annuity has two phases: During the accumulation phase , you make purchase payments, which you can allocate to a number of investment options.

The money you have allocated to each mutual fund investment option will increase or decrease over time, depending on the fund's performance. In addition, variable annuities often allow you to allocate part of your purchase payments to a fixed account. A fixed account, unlike a mutual fund, pays a fixed rate of interest. The insurance company may reset this interest rate periodically, but it will usually provide a guaranteed minimum e.

Your most important source of information about a variable annuity's investment options is the prospectus. Request the prospectuses for the mutual fund investment options.

Read them carefully before you allocate your purchase payments among the investment options offered. You should consider a variety of factors with respect to each fund option, including the fund's investment objectives and policies, management fees and other expenses that the fund charges, the risks and volatility of the fund, and whether the fund contributes to the diversification of your overall investment portfolio.

During the accumulation phase, you can typically transfer your money from one investment option to another without paying tax on your investment income and gains, although you may be charged by the insurance company for transfers. However, if you withdraw money from your account during the early years of the accumulation phase, you may have to pay "surrender charges," which are discussed below.

At the beginning of the payout phase , you may receive your purchase payments plus investment income and gains if any as a lump-sum payment, or you may choose to receive them as a stream of payments at regular intervals generally monthly. If you choose to receive a stream of payments, you may have a number of choices of how long the payments will last. Under most annuity contracts, you can choose to have your annuity payments last for a period that you set such as 20 years or for an indefinite period such as your lifetime or the lifetime of you and your spouse or other beneficiary.

During the payout phase, your annuity contract may permit you to choose between receiving payments that are fixed in amount or payments that vary based on the performance of mutual fund investment options.

The amount of each periodic payment will depend, in part, on the time period that you select for receiving payments. Be aware that some annuities do not allow you to withdraw money from your account once you have started receiving regular annuity payments. In addition, some annuity contracts are structured as immediate annuities , which means that there is no accumulation phase and you will start receiving annuity payments right after you purchase the annuity.

A common feature of variable annuities is the death benefit. If you die, a person you select as a beneficiary such as your spouse or child will receive the greater of: You own a variable annuity that offers a death benefit equal to the greater of account value or total purchase payments minus withdrawals.

Under this feature, your guaranteed minimum death benefit may be based on a greater amount than purchase payments minus withdrawals. For example, the guaranteed minimum might be your account value as of a specified date, which may be greater than purchase payments minus withdrawals if the underlying investment options have performed well.

The purpose of a stepped-up death benefit is to "lock in" your investment performance and prevent a later decline in the value of your account from eroding the amount that you expect to leave to your heirs. This feature carries a charge, however, which will reduce your account value. Variable annuities sometimes offer other optional features, which also have extra charges. Other features may include long-term care insurance, which pays for home health care or nursing home care if you become seriously ill.

You may want to consider the financial strength of the insurance company that sponsors any variable annuity you are considering buying. This can affect the company's ability to pay any benefits that are greater than the value of your account in mutual fund investment options, such as a death benefit, guaranteed minimum income benefit, long-term care benefit, or amounts you have allocated to a fixed account investment option.

You will pay for each benefit provided by your variable annuity. Be sure you understand the charges. Carefully consider whether you need the benefit. If you do, consider whether you can buy the benefit more cheaply as part of the variable annuity or separately e.

You will pay several charges when you invest in a variable annuity. Be sure you understand all the charges before you invest. These charges will reduce the value of your account and the return on your investment. Often, they will include the following:. Surrender charges — If you withdraw money from a variable annuity within a certain period after a purchase payment typically within six to eight years, but sometimes as long as ten years , the insurance company usually will assess a "surrender" charge, which is a type of sales charge.

This charge is used to pay your financial professional a commission for selling the variable annuity to you. Generally, the surrender charge is a percentage of the amount withdrawn, and declines gradually over a period of several years, known as the " surrender period.

Mortality and expense risk charge — This charge is equal to a certain percentage of your account value, typically in the range of 1. This charge compensates the insurance company for insurance risks it assumes under the annuity contract. Profit from the mortality and expense risk charge is sometimes used to pay the insurer's costs of selling the variable annuity, such as a commission paid to your financial professional for selling the variable annuity to you.

Your variable annuity has a mortality and expense risk charge at an annual rate of 1. Administrative fees — The insurer may deduct charges to cover record-keeping and other administrative expenses.

Your variable annuity charges administrative fees at an annual rate of 0. Underlying Fund Expenses — You will also indirectly pay the fees and expenses imposed by the mutual funds that are the underlying investment options for your variable annuity.

Fees and Charges for Other Features — Special features offered by some variable annuities, such as a stepped-up death benefit , a guaranteed minimum income benefit , or long-term care insurance , often carry additional fees and charges. Other charges, such as initial sales loads, or fees for transferring part of your account from one investment option to another, may also apply.

You should ask your financial professional to explain to you all charges that may apply. You can also find a description of the charges in the prospectus for any variable annuity that you are considering.

Section of the U. These tax-free exchanges, known as exchanges, can be useful if another annuity has features that you prefer, such as a larger death benefit, different annuity payout options, or a wider selection of investment choices.

You may, however, be required to pay surrender charges on the old annuity if you are still in the surrender charge period. In addition, a new surrender charge period generally begins when you exchange into the new annuity. Further, the new annuity may have higher annual fees and charges than the old annuity, which will reduce your returns. If you are thinking about a exchange, you should compare both annuities carefully.

Unless you plan to hold the new annuity for a significant amount of time, you may be better off keeping the old annuity because the new annuity typically will impose a new surrender charge period. Also, if you decide to do a exchange, you should talk to your financial professional or tax adviser to make sure the exchange will be tax-free.