I'll give you my "experience", since I have:
- Prepared for retrement.
- Am retired.
- And have an SPIA...
I've been in retirement (fortunatly) for a bit over four years.
I was faced with the reality that I would not have a defined benefit (e.g. penson) in retirement.
I would retire before any "income streams" would be available.
I desired not not only to "take care of myself" but also insure that DW would get a benefit, regardless of my lifespan.
I also wanted to delay SS (primarily for the benefit of my DW) until age 70.
And most importantly, I wanted to ensure that if I (and DW) would die today, that the SPIA would remain of some value to our estate.
I started out with the traditional way of investiagation, both through Immediate Annuities - Instant Annuity Quote Calculator.
along with requested quotes by our investment companies (e.g. FIDO/Vanguard)
In our case, we were looking for a "life annuity" that would provide benefits for both of us, at 100% payments if each died.
We also wanted to ensure that if we died/passed before our anticipated "terminal date", that payments (both in monthly, or lump sum) would go to our estate.
We did not look at inflation protection, since the "offset" was delaying SS till my DW's FRA, and mine at age 70. If we were still alive (money is for the living, not the dead) our "upgrade" to SS would cover inflation in the future.
In our case (everybody is different) it wound up that Fidelity "fit our needs" and provided the highest initial monthly income. BTW not all insurance companies will give you what you require. For instance, FIDO no longer offers the policy we wanted.
IMHO, it's most important to specify your needs (which may be difficult). After that? Then start searching for available plans, via different companies...
I started my "search" two years before I retired. I execututed the contract six months after I retired. It's not something that can be done on the fly, IMHO (if you expect results that meet your plan)...