Does the annual plan, paid monthly require that I maintain the subscription for the full year and pay for all 12 months? In otherwords, I won't be able to cancel in month 9.
That's right. It means you need to maintain your subscription for an year and the subscription charge will be deducted monthly. If you want you can cancel your subscription in between but the cancellation fees will be applicable.
About those cancellation fees...what if something happens to you financially, like you lose your job unexpectedly. How do you handle that?