I put $100,000, my life’s savings, into her [the agent’s] fixed deferred annuity. I was so stupid in trusting her implicitly, that I did not read the contract, but just signed all the paperwork she was shoving at me. She never explained to me anything as a friend, and I know nothing about investments of annuities. My maturity date is in 2049 when I am 114 years old. I am now 78. The surrender fee is 20%, and I can only take out $5,000 yearly without penalty. Herminia of Germantown, Maryland
Submitted via overnight express mail instructions canceling a $250,000.00 annuity during the 20 day free look period. Letter receipted for @ 12 noon 10 JUNE 2015. Follow up phone call to ensure that funds were being returned to my Fidelity account in a timely manner resulted in my being told the company would take no action to refund the monies until it received the contract back from the agent. Contacted the Florida Department of Financial Services to ask about the veracity of this statement. Agents at the FL Department of Financial Services stated unequivocally that American Equity had no right to delay refunding the monies while waiting for a contract to be returned. All that was required was a letter of instruction from me canceling the contract and instructing American Equity to return the $250,000.00 to my Fidelity IRA. That letter was signed for @ 12 noon 10 JUNE 2015.
When I called American Equity today 11 JUNE 2015 @ 1500 EDT the representative, once again, insisted that the company did not have to refund the monies until after the contract was returned. I stated the information I obtained from FL Department of Financial Services. The representative for American Equity stated that his company required that the contract is returned and didn’t care what Florida’s regulations were. When I asked to speak with a supervisor I was put on hold for ten minutes then told that a supervisor would have to be sent a message to call me back. It has been over an hour since that exchange with no return phone call. American Equity is keeping my funds to earn income on the float while they delay returning monies that are mine.
V.L. of Tampa, Florida
I was convinced into investing $100,000.00 (inherited) into an annuity that returns very little investment. I have been trying to cash in my funds and pay the surrender fees for several months now to reinvest and actually make money. The stalling tactics are unbelievable. AE sends copies of letters to me that are addressed to my investment firm but the firm never receives them. I have been trying to get my money for two months. I called today and demanded my funds be released. We will see how long it takes if I ever even get it. I might have to get a lawyer and report them to the state insurance department as one reviewer suggested. SO SICK OF THIS.
Patricia of Hardy, VirginiaSo, based on these consumers’ experiences, is the American Equity Bonus Gold annuity a scam? Not necessarily. While it may be right for some, though, it isn’t for others – which makes it that much more important that you do your homework on the annuity product itself, as well as the financial advisor you’re working with. While many people will thoroughly research a new TV or computer before buying one, blindly plunking down a large portion of savings with a financial advisor who calls out of the blue is actually more common than you might think. With that in mind, it is imperative to perform a quick and easy check of the person who is presenting you with this (or any other) annuity. This is relatively painless to do by simply going to the BrightScope website and filling in the information about your broker, such as his or her name, city, and state. After taking a look at the results, you will be able to either breathe a sigh of relief and move forward with the purchase of the annuity – or alternatively, move as quickly as you possibly can away from the advisor altogether.