An annuity is a type of investment that is usually handled by an insurance company. An investor will invest her money in an annuity fund in exchange for periodic payouts over a predetermined interval (such as for the next ten years) or indefinitely (for the rest of your life). Some annuities provide the option of getting immediate payment. However, if you are in a financial emergency and require immediate cash, you might have to cash out an annuity early. While there may be hefty fees involved, particularly if your annuity is held within a retirement account like an IRA or 401k, it is possible to get immediate cash from your annuity investment.