Over the past twenty years, I have noticed that the national financial media has had a true love - hate relationship with annuities. At times, the prevailing theme seems to be that all annuities are expensive boondoggles designed only to benefit the insurance companies and agents who represent them. At other times, however, many financial authors seem to feel that they should be an integral part of any well-thought-out retirement plan. What gives? Both opinions can’t be right, can they?