1. Resources>
  2. Retirement Planning>
  3. How To Calculate Annuity Payout

How To Calculate Annuity Payout

Jan 24, 2024

Blueprint Income Team

Introduction to annuities calculation

An annuity is a unique financial tool and a great way to provide yourself with a predictable stream of income well after retirement. There are many types of annuities, each suited to different people with their own financial wants and needs. Knowing how to calculate the valuation of that income stream may be helpful in understanding how much money you could receive in the future and whether an annuity is right for you.

What is an annuity?

An annuity is a contractual agreement between you and an insurance company where you pay the insurance company either periodic payments or a lump sum that it will immediately or eventually turn into guaranteed income payments. 

Annuities are often useful as retirement tools if you're looking to supplement your income after you stop working, as they can guarantee a consistent income stream. There are various types, each suitable for people with different financial needs, giving them a unique versatility that other investment vehicles don't always have.

There are two main types of annuities — income annuities and deferred annuities. An income annuity is a lifetime income guarantee that you purchase from an insurance company to reduce the risk that you run out of money in retirement. Deferred annuities delay income payments to a later date, giving the investment time to grow before distributions begin.

Basics of annuity calculation

There are two formulas to determine annuity payouts — one for present value and another for future value.

Present value calculation

You can calculate the present value of an annuity by taking the current worth of its future cash flows and discounting it by a special interest rate. For an ordinary annuity, calculate the present value using the formula PV = PMT [(1 – [1 / 1 + r)n] / r], where PMT represents the total of each annuity payment, r is the interest rate, and n represents the number of payments. An annuity due differs from an ordinary annuity in that it changes the formula to reflect the payments occurring at the beginning of each period. This change results in a higher present value due to the extended period for interest to accrue. 

Future value calculation

Future value calculations can determine the value of all annuity payments at a specified future date and interest rate. For an ordinary annuity, calculate the future value as FV = PMT × [([1 + r]- 1) / r], where each variable has the same value as the equation for present value calculation. 

Annuities due use a similar formula but factor in the higher value due to payments happening at the start of each period, again providing more time for interest accumulation.

Time value of money

Understanding the concept of the time value of money is essential when calculating an annuity payout. The time value of money suggests that the worth of money changes over time due to factors such as inflation, interest rates, and opportunity cost.

This concept helps people in annuities understand the present value of future income streams or the future value of current investments. The time value of money can also influence future cash flow values.

The time value of money stipulates that a dollar today is worth more than the same dollar in the future due to its potential earning capacity and purchasing power. The time value of money is extremely important in the world of annuities.

Annuities calculation process

Annuity calculations take into consideration its structure and payment timings, and applies specific mathematical formulas to find its present and future values.

Components of an annuity calculation.

Present value formulas

Present value formulas for both ordinary annuities and annuities due take into account the above components and put them into mathematical formulas. These formulas help determine how much an annuity's value is at the present.

Future value formulas

Future value formulas also consider the above components and use a mathematical formula to determine an annuity's worth at any given time in the future.

Total of each annuity payment

The total of each annuity payment is the amount of money exchanged regularly within the annuity, otherwise known as the regular payment.

Number of payment periods

The number of payments made is often similar to the length of the annuity. This number is also responsible for determining the frequency of cash flows. 

Interest rate

The interest rate plays a major role in determining the rate at which future cash flows are to be discounted to their present value. The rate is essential in influencing the present and future valuation calculations, which can impact the annuity's overall worth.

Present value of an annuity

The present value of an annuity represents the cumulative worth of a series of future cash flows from the annuity, adjusted for the time value of money. To calculate the present value of an annuity, first discount future payments at a specified interest rate to get the correct current value.

Some key factors that influence the present value include the amount of cash flows per period, the interest rate used for discounting, and the number of payments.

Future value of an annuity

The future value of an annuity represents the total worth of a series of payments at a specified date in the future with a set interest rate taken into account. Understanding the future value of an annuity can help with long-term financial or retirement planning.

Financial advisors use future valuations to project the potential growth of investments or savings. They use formulas like the ones above to help give you an idea of how your investment could potentially grow. 

Like the present value of an annuity, the future value of an annuity is determined by its cash flow per period, the interest rate applied for compounding, and the number of payments made during the annuity's duration. 

Annuities calculation formula

Specific mathematical formulas determine both present and future values to calculate annuities correctly, taking the timing of payments and interest rates into account. 

Determining the payment amount

Several factors can influence payment options, including financial obligations, investment returns, loan terms, or long-term retirement planning goals. While you may want to contribute as much as possible to your annuity in the present, you may also need funds to pay for your current financial obligations. Finding the right payment amount for your unique financial situation is key.

How annuity calculators help determine payments

Annuity calculators can help anyone make a decision about whether to purchase an annuity.

Calculators can help you simplify complex mathematical formulas by doing the work for you. They can help you determine an accurate payment amount with just a few clicks. These calculators also enable you to input unique parameters surrounding your annuity, including interest rates, the number of payments, and cash flows per period. 

Annuity calculators also work well if you want to try inputting different values. What if your interest rate was 1% higher, and how would that affect your future payments?

Specific annuity calculators work well if you want to preview your annuity's present or future value without doing too much math. You can get an accurate number in an instant with little effort. The calculators even allow you to play around with the numbers you input, providing a vision of your other options as you approach annuities.

Calculating an annuity payout

Calculating an annuity payout may include relatively complex mathematical equations, but annuity calculators can do the hard work for you. If you do understand value of a future payout, you'll have a much better grasp on your financial future and the potential investment vehicles like annuities hold.

You can visit our website for more information, or start your journey today with our intuitive guide.


Blueprint Income Team

We are a team of finance, insurance, and actuarial professionals working to make it easier for everyone to achieve a steady and comfortable retirement. We write about annuities (the good and the bad) and provide strategies to help Americans prepare for retirement.