There's a reason variable annuities are not good financial investments. They make money for the seller and for the insurance company. The purchaser is lucky to live long enough to recoup his/her investment let alone realize a profit.
I am fortunate in that I have passed the surrender periods of a Transamerica Variable Annuity I never would bought in the first place had my (former) broker not left out certain details. I now have a lifetime income from the annuity, which sounds great except for the fact that the annual check- in the low 5 figures- not only isn't enough to pay my rent, it is my own money!
This annuity is no longer being sold. Comparable ones that are would pay a lifetime income of less than half of what I receive- again, getting your own money back until you have it all and start receiving TransAmerica's money- if you live long enough to enjoy a few years of that profit.