Considering an annuity purchase can be fraught with fear for some investors. This is particularly true if the product that you’re considering will require a fairly sizeable portion of your retirement savings.
You may have many questions about the annuity in terms of how it performs, how it will pay you retirement income going forward, and whether or not it will really provide all of the key benefits that are touted in the marketing materials.
This is why it can be important to review not just the glossy brochures that are written and produced by the provider of the product itself, but to also take a gander at how the annuity is – or is not – working for others who have already purchased it.
With the American Equity Bonus Gold annuity, there are numerous reviews posted online from people who have purchased this annuity. Unfortunately, unlike the product’s sales literature, which paints a nice, rosy picture about how life can be when you own this annuity, things haven’t worked out so well for everyone.
In fact, take a peek at just some of the American Equity Bonus Gold annuity testimonials and complaints that can be found on the Consumer Affairs website:
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, Virginia
So, 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.
How the American Equity Bonus Gold Annuity is Rated
Knowing how an annuity performs, as well as how the insurance company treats its customers overall, can also be helpful when weaving down the path of indecision as to whether or not the product will be right for you.
Based on information from consumers who own the American Equity Bonus Gold annuity, Consumer Affairs has provided it with an overall satisfaction rating of only 3 stars (out of 5).
The truth of the matter is, though, that the information you find online can often times be slanted in order to make the outcome appear however the website owner wants it to. In this case, though, the reviews – and the complaints – that are provided on the Consumer Affairs website are all verified.
This means that the reviewer provided his or her name and contact information to Consumer Affairs (in order to prove that they are in fact real). Consumer Affairs then takes it one step further and makes use of “intelligent” software in order to maintain the integrity of the reviews.
But you don’t have to take our word for it. If you would like to read over all of the reviews that have been posted on the Consumer Affairs site regarding American Equity, just go here.
Want to Get an Unbiased Explanation of the American Equity Bonus Gold Annuity?
Even for highly intelligent consumers, the ins and outs of annuities can be a bit overwhelming – especially when trying to wrap your head around index annuities and all of their moving parts.
The good news is that we offer easy-to-digest annuity information that can help you to make an unbiased decision as to whether or not this annuity is the right one for you (or even whether or not an annuity, in general, is the right way to go).
So, feel free to reach out to us via our secure online server and let us know any and all of the questions or concerns that you have with regard to the American Equity Bonus Gold annuity. We will walk you through all of the details so that you feel like you’re back in the driver’s seat with your financial plans.