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Independent Review of the AIG AllianceBernstein Annuity Index

What Will Be Covered in this Annuity Review

In this annuity review, we will be discussing all of the details regarding the AIG AllianceBernstein annuity index, including:

  • Product type
  • Fees
  • Current rates
  • Realistic long-term return expectations
  • How the annuity is best used
  • How the annuity is most poorly used

Annuities can be complex. That’s where having an Annuity Investigator who loves math comes in.
We make the complex, simple.

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing an indexed annuity because of the market-linked (and tax-deferred) growth you can obtain without any worry about market-related losses, then the new AIG Alliancebernstein index could be a good option for you.
That’s because fixed index annuities can offer you the opportunity for both accumulation and principal protection, along with an ongoing, guaranteed lifetime income that you can count on when you retire – and for the remainder of your life, regardless of how long that may be.

In fact, index annuities have become extremely popular with investors who are tired of worrying about stock market losses – and losing a considerable amount of sleep over it – and who want to know that their money will be there when they need it – and for as long as they need it.

Even so, though, before you run out and purchase any annuity (and in particular, an indexed annuity that has many moving parts), it is important that you first have a good understanding of how the product works, so that you can anticipate how the returns are determined, what limitations you could run into, and any of the fees that you may incur, as well as knowing the ins and outs of the crediting of returns. That way, you won’t be disappointed if the annuity does not perform the way you originally anticipated that it would.

Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information You Can Trust

If this is your very first visit to our website before, please allow us to officially welcome you here to Annuity Gator.

Who exactly are we?

At Annuity Gator, we are a team of experienced financial and annuity professionals who focus on providing in-depth, and unbiased, annuity reviews on the Internet. We have been at this for quite a while now – far longer than our competitors have – even though there are now a number of “copycat” websites that are popping up. (Imitation is a form of flattery, isn’t it?!)

It is our mission to provide in-depth information and reviews about all types of annuities to consumers – as well as to financial professionals – so that they know exactly what they may (or may not!) be getting into when considering buying and/or selling an annuity.

These products tend to be highly complex, so it helps to get advice from someone who is adept in how annuities work, and who can pare down the massive amount of “fine print” into something that is more easily understood.

That’s where Annuity Gator comes in!

When looking for annuity information on the Internet, it is essential that you know who is trying to provide education on the products, and who is simply trying to sell you something…regardless of whether or not it is the right financial vehicle for you.

It’s very easy to be lulled into some of the other annuity-related websites out there in cyberspace – especially when they make bold claims, like:

  • Lowest fees
  • High income
  • Top-rated annuity carriers
  • Income stream for life

Does this, by chance, look familiar?

In addition, the more “bells and whistles” an annuity has, the more “small print” you are likely to come across that “explains” to you how it works. Not that it’s a bad thing – the more information, the better – but it can make shopping for the right annuity much more cumbersome.

That being said, if you have landed here on our website in search of more details on the AIG Alliance Bernstein Multi-Asset Indexed annuity, then you are definitely in the right place. In fact, we dare say that this is the only website where you can find all of the information you need.

This includes an honest review of the good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly about this annuity. But that way, you will be able to make a much better decision regarding whether or not this is truly the best annuity for you.

So, if you’re ready to get started, let’s dive right in!

The AIG AllianceBernstein Annuity Index at a Glance

Product NameAllianceBernstein (AB)
IssuerAIG
Type of ProductAnnuity Index
A.M. Best RatingA (Excellent)
Phone Number(800) 435-7457
Websitehttps://aig.com

Opening Thoughts on the AIG AllianceBernstein Annuity Index

American International Group – better known as AIG – is a large finance and insurance corporation with operations in more than 80 different countries. Headquartered in New York, AIG has offices around the world, and it serves approximately 87% of the Fortune Global 500 and 83% of the Forbes 2000. In fact, according to AIG’s website, nearly 2.5 million people trust this company and its subsidiaries to help them prepare for retirement.

While AIG had some challenges during the 2008 recession – and was even bailed out by the government to the tune of over $200 billion – the company has since repaid all of these funds and has essentially rebuilt itself into a financial and insurance powerhouse.

AIG holds high ratings from the insurance rating agencies, including a(n):

  • A+ from Standard & Poor’s
  • A2 from Moody’s Investor Services
  • A from A.M. Best
  • A+ from Fitch

Annuity indexes like the AllianceBernstein (AB) from AIG can be a solution for helping you grow your retirement assets, but without subjecting them to risk. For instance, fixed index annuities provide the principal protection of a regular fixed annuity, along with the added opportunity for market-linked growth – which, by the way, takes place on a tax-deferred basis. As an added bonus, you can also choose to receiving income payments that will last for the remainder of your life – no matter how long that is.

But it is essential to know all of the in-depth details about a fixed indexed annuity you are considering before you move ahead with depositing a large chunk of your money into one – as it can be difficult, and costly, for you to get out if you later realize that it really isn’t the best option for you.

You can access our annuity buyers guide HERE for more information on how fixed index annuities work, and to help you determine whether or not this type of annuity would be right for you and your specific objectives.

Before we get into the gritty details, here are some legal disclosures we need to provide…

This is an independent product review, not a recommendation to buy or sell an annuity. AIG has not endorsed this review in any way, nor do we receive any type of compensation for providing this review. This review is meant to be an independent review at the request of readers so that they may see our perspective when breaking down the positives and negatives of this particular annuity. Prior to purchasing any type of investment or insurance product, it is important that you do your own due diligence and that you consult a properly licensed professional if you should have any specific questions that relate to your individual circumstances. All names, marks, and materials that were used for this review are the property of their respective owners.

How the AIG AllianceBernstein Index Annuity Works

AIG recently launched the AB All Market Index – a multi-asset index that was developed exclusively for AIG’s Power Select Index Annuities by AllianceBernstein (AB). This index may help investors who are uncomfortable with changing markets by balancing the growth equity and the defensive fixed income assets.

How so?

This particular index has a focus on stabilizing returns through a systematic allocation process that is based on both risk and momentum. In this case, a strategic asset allocation is determined, which seeks to equally balance risk among the equities that are in the index. But the index also works to protect principal using defensive assets.

Then, the index relies on a proprietary momentum strategy in order to adjust risk exposure over time by re-allocating assets to reduce risk, as well as to obtain assets that are trending upward at a given time in order to turn poor performance around.

In this case, the AB index takes a unique approach by basically blending three different momentum signals in order to better capture the movement of the underlying assets in the portfolio.

According to AIG, “By using asset classes not commonly found in most index strategies, such as currency-hedged global bonds, and combining them with a dynamic allocation across ten U.S. equity sectors, this new index has the potential to generate solid risk-adjusted performance.”

As with other types of indexed annuities in the marketplace, your funds in an AIG annuity will not be invested directly into the index – or even into the market at all. Rather, the AB index is simply used for measuring the performance of the underlying assets in the annuity.

How an Insurance or Financial Advisor May “Pitch” this AIG Annuity Index

Because people are living so much longer today than ever before, having enough income in retirement has become a top concern for many retirees, as well as those who are approaching retirement.

Unfortunately, growing assets (as a base for retirement income) while at the same time keeping assets safe has become a considerable challenge, given the volatile stock market and historically low interest rates.

With that in mind, the guaranteed income concept of annuities is enticing. So, the “best of all worlds” scenario using the AllianceBernstein annuity from AIG is most likely where an insurance or financial advisor would focus when presenting this product to clients or prospects, as well as the “all win, and no loss of principal” benefit.

In addition, the tax-deferred growth of your money inside of a fixed indexed annuity contract can also be a bonus – and it could even allow for an additional option for tax-advantaged accumulation, even if you have “maxed out” other alternatives like an IRA and/or employer-sponsored retirement plan.

But even with all of these awesome features, you really need to be careful, as there are some “tradeoffs” you may need to make with indexed annuities. For instance, even though you have the ability to obtain a positive return based on the performance of an underlying index (or indexes), the upward potential can also be capped or limited by a certain percentage.

In other words, depending on the crediting strategy you choose, an indexed annuity may use an annual index rate cap, which is another way of saying that there is a maximum amount of return you can earn each year – even if the underlying index(s) have a stellar performance.

For instance, if the cap on earnings is 4%, and the underlying index return 6%, you will only receive 4% for that time period. In addition, excess withdrawals will void any income credits, and can even reduce the income base.

There may also be limited return due to the use of a participation rate. In this case, if the annuity has a participation rate of 80%, your account will only be credited with 80% of what the underlying index returned for a given time period. So, in this instance, if the tracked index returns 6% in a given period, an 80% participation rate would only provide you with a 4.8% return on your account. (80% of 6% = 4.8%).

In addition to that, if you find that you have to pull some (or all) of your money out of an annuity before its surrender period has ended, you can incur a surrender charge. So, while you don’t have to worry about being hit with market-related losses, you could still end up receiving back far less than you put into the annuity.

Plus, if you make withdrawals prior to turning age 59 ½, you could face yet another penalty. This time, it’s a 10% “early withdrawal” penalty from the IRS. So, make sure that any of the funds you use with the AIG AllianceBernstein annuity (or with any annuity, for that matter) are not your “emergency” funds that may need to be quickly liquidated.

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the AIG AllianceBernstein Annuity Index

Where it works the best:

Although this index offers many nice benefits, an indexed annuity will typically work the best for those who are seeking the following attributes:

  • Safety of principal
  • Tax-deferred growth
  • The opportunity for additional, index-linked growth, which can provide a higher return than a regular fixed annuity
  • Guaranteed income for life in the future (and possibly also a lifetime income stream for a spouse or partner if the joint life income option is chosen)

Where it works the worst:

Conversely, there are some areas where a fixed index annuity may not be the best option. That may be for people who:

  • Will need access to most or all of their funds within the annuity’s surrender charge period
  • Do not intend to use the lifetime income feature

If you are still considering the purchase of an AIG annuity that uses the AB index, but you’re currently on the proverbial fence regarding whether or not it will be right for you, we can help you to “test” it, based on your specific scenario, at no cost or obligation.

Just let us know if this is something that you are interested in doing, and we’ll get on the case right away!

In Summary

While there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration when you are buying an annuity, one of the biggest concerns is making sure that the annuity is truly right for what you want – and need – it to do.

With regard to an indexed annuity from AIG, you can rest assured that you will have an income for life. But at the same time, depending on your other goals and needs, this type of product may still fall a bit short – and there quite frankly could very well be something else out there that is a better fit for you.

If you have any additional questions on this annuity index, or other income related financial and insurance products, we are here to help. We can also run side by side annuity comparisons in order to determine how various annuities might perform. So please feel free to contact us directly via our secure online contact form here.

Do You Have Any Additional Questions About this Annuity Index? Did You Happen to Notice Any Mistakes on this Annuity Review?

We realize that this review may have run a bit long. But quite frankly, we would much rather that you have “too much” information than to not have enough. So, if you found this annuity review to be beneficial, please feel free to pass it on and to share it with other people who could also find value in it. (And, if you found it to be confusing, please also let us know that, too.)

In addition, we are aware that information regarding annuities can, and often does, change. So, if you happened to notice anything in this review that should be updated or revised, let us know and we will be happy to make the necessary edits.
Are there any other annuities that you would like to learn more about? If so, just give us a shout and let us know, and our team will get to working on them right away.

Best,

The Annuity Gator

P.S. If you would like to read more of our AIG annuity reviews here are some links to check out:

Independent Review of the AIG AllianceBernstein Annuity Index

 

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