# Understanding the Annuity Factor and How to Calculate It

A lot of people are aware about annuity. This is a financial instrument that provides income through a series of payments in exchange of a capital investment often paid in lump sum. The payment accumulates interest till the time it is ready to be paid out. The annuity factor is also known as the present value of the income stream that creates a dollar of income each period for a particular number period of time. The annuity factor can be multiplied by the annuity payments in order to determine present values of the rest of the annuity payments that will be sent to you.

With the annuity factor, the present value is a vital variable to consider. This is the value of all the future payments at a current time or even before they have garnered some interest for the investor who is receiving the payments. Thus, in order to determine the annuity factor of your future payouts, the interest that has accumulated up to the time of the payout schedule should be backed out. The payments generate interest until the period in which the annuity begins to be paid out. It is rather complicate to analyze the annuity factor unless you have a thorough understanding of the various factors. You have to understand the payout as well as the interest accumulated at one period. Since the interest is compounding, the annuity factor would carry the results from your first payout. If there are a specific number of future payments left, then the total annuity factor is the accumulated sum of payments that have been reduced by the amount of interest earned during the time of payment.

An easy way to analyze the annuity factor is to use the annuity factor method. This is a calculation method that helps you in determining the amount of possible withdrawals that the investor can take from the account without resulting to penalties. The annuity factor calculation utilizes life expectancy information. However, it also uses unique data than used in amortization methods. With the help of the annuity factor method, you can divide the current balance using the annuity factor. Again, you get this amount based on the average mortality rate and interest rates.

Let’s face it: calculating the annuity factor is not an easy task and for some, it can be frustrating since it is very hard to determine these factors and you also have to address specific factors and know the interest rates. If you are not too keen about doing this yourself, you might want to have an expert do that for you or ask the help of someone who actually understands annuity. Sometimes, understanding mathematical formulas can be difficult without some real life concepts about annuities and what it means to them at the end of the day. While this might make more sense to them than simply using the annuity factor, understanding how the insurance company comes up with these numbers will give you more insight about the whole process.