What will be discussed in this annuity review?
In this review of the American Life American Select fixed indexed annuity we will be going over the following information:
- Product type
- Current rates
- Realistic long term return expectations
- How this annuity is best used
- How it is most poorly used
- How it is offered and sold to customers
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We make the complex, simple.
If you have been thinking about purchasing an annuity so that you can attain tax-deferred savings, as well as a guaranteed lifetime income in retirement, then the American Select fixed indexed annuity from American Life may be a good choice for you.
But, before you run out and commit to this annuity – or to any annuity, for that matter – it is highly recommended that you first attain a good understanding of how the annuity works, and how it may (or how it may not) work for you.
Throughout the past several years, the fixed indexed annuity, in particular, has become extremely popular. This is because a fixed indexed annuity, or FIA for short, can essentially offer the best of both worlds…or at least it can appear that way.
That is because these annuities provide the opportunity to receive positive growth when an underlying market index is being tracked and performs well, while also protecting your principal if the underlying index performs poorly.
As an extra added benefit, fixed index annuities can also provide the ability to receive a guaranteed income for the remainder of your life (as well as that of a spouse or partner, if applicable) – regardless of how long that income may be needed.
However, due in large part to the increased number of new-fangled products that are being pushed out into the marketplace by insurance companies – each of these trying to outdo the other – these particular annuities can also be extremely confusing.
So, this can make it even more essential that you read over all of the fine print before you commit what could be a large percentage of your savings to this annuity. Otherwise, it could cost you a substantial amount to get out of it down the road.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information You Can Trust
If you have never been 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.
If you’ve spent any amount of time online looking for annuity information, you may have come across some highly conflicting details about these financial tools. That really isn’t all that surprising, though, as there are many varied opinions about these types of products.
There are also a fair number of annuity-related websites that will try to lure you in for the purpose of giving them your contact information. They’ll oftentimes do so by stating some pretty bold claims, like:
- Lowest fees
- High income
- Top-rated annuity carriers
- Income stream for life
Yet, while these claims might sound truly enticing, it’s important to be aware of whether or not they are actually true.
The reality is that the more “bells and whistles” an annuity has, the more “fine print” you are likely to see. And fixed indexed annuities do in fact have a fair amount of moving parts. So, while there are definitely some nice features that you can garner with these types of annuities if you aren’t sure what to anticipate, how will you know that you’re getting the best return on your money?
Oftentimes, you don’t…..
That being said, if you have landed here in search of more details on the American Select annuity from American Life, 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. 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 go ahead and dive in!
The American Select Fixed Indexed Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||American Select|
|Type of Product||Fixed Indexed Annuity (FIA)|
|A.M. Best Rating||B++ (Good)|
|Phone Number||(402) 489-8266|
Opening Thoughts on the American Select Fixed Indexed Annuity from American Life
Originally founded in 1960, American Life was restructured in 2018. Today, this company offers financially stable insurance products to customers so that they can ensure ongoing income in retirement and protect loved ones in case of the unexpected.
American Life is in a partnership with FAST, a leading digital platform, which allows customers to plan financially without ever having to leave the comfort of their home – a concept that has become so much more important since the COVID-19 pandemic. This platform also makes purchasing insurance and annuities fast and easy.
Without a significant amount of overhead expense, American Life possesses a flexible capital model that allows the insurer to quickly meet the changing demands of both its customers and the overall marketplace.
Due in large part to the constant ups and downs of the stock market, along with the fact that (on average) people are living longer today than ever before, fixed and fixed indexed annuities have become much more popular over the past decade or so.
One key reason for this is because these financial vehicles can provide you with the safety of principal in any type of stock market environment, and a steady rate of growth (regardless of the market or economy), as well as a future income stream that will last as long as you need it to.
But, while this may at first glance seem like an ideal way to go with your savings, if something sounds too good to be true, it typically is! Therefore, it is essential that you go over the “fine print” before you move forward with the purchase.
Before we get into the gritty details, here are some legal disclosures…
This is an independent product review, not a recommendation to buy or sell an annuity. American Life 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.
For more information on how to compare annuities in order to determine which one may be right for you, click here to obtain our free annuity report.
How American Life Describes the American Select Fixed Indexed Annuity
On its website, American Life describes the American Select as a fixed indexed annuity that is designed for individuals looking to take advantage of potential market gains without the risk of loss.
The American Select annuity offers flexible participation in any of three reputable indices or a fixed rate, so the annuity can essentially be customized as to how your money is allocated over time in order to meet your needs. In the case of this fixed indexed annuity, when markets grow, you gain, but should markets decline, your principal will remain protected.
You are allowed to choose the index allocations in the American Select annuity each year (if you choose to do so). The fixed account earns a set rate of interest for any period during your term. This fixed rate is guaranteed for a one-year term and will never drop below a guaranteed minimum that is stated in the annuity contract.
The three market indexes that you may choose from include the:
- Janus SG Guidance Index: Value Lock – American Life offers exclusive access to the Janus SG Guidance Index: Value Lock. This index uses an innovative stock selection methodology and protection features to potentially outperform market benchmarks like the S&P 500.
- S&P 500 – The S&P 500 index follows the top 500 U.S. companies, and it is one of the most established indices. American Life offers the option to participate in the index gains at a participation rate of 100%, subject to a maximum, or “cap.”
- S&P MARC 5% Index – The MARC 5 is a multi-asset strategy that allocates between equities, commodities, and fixed income in order to reduce risk and generate returns.
In addition, because the funds in the annuity grow tax-deferred, there is no tax due on the gain until the time of withdrawal. This means your money can grow and compound exponentially – especially over a longer period of time.
There are some other bells and whistles that you may get with the American Select fixed indexed annuity. For instance, you could earn a bonus when the contract is issued, or you could earn a larger bonus that can help to maximize your upfront earnings potential (although with this bonus, an additional amount of premium is required).
As with other types of annuities, this fixed indexed annuity offers the ability to convert the contract into an income stream. You can choose from several different income payout options, including a lifetime plan where income will continue to flow in for the remainder of your lifetime – even if you need it for another 30 or more years.
You can check out all of the information about the American Select annuity from American Life by going to the website here.
How a Financial or Insurance Advisor Might “Pitch” the American Select Annuity
As interest rates in the U.S. continue to remain low, it can be difficult at best to secure a good return on your money without having to incur more risk as a “tradeoff.” But because the American Select is a fixed indexed annuity, you can take advantage of the upside of the index(es) being tracked, but without having to incur a loss when the market goes down.
Plus, when the time comes for you to turn on the income stream, you could choose an option that ensures you won’t run out of money in the future, no matter how long you may need it to keep flowing in.
This “best of all worlds” scenario is likely that an insurance or financial advisor would focus on when presenting this annuity to his or her clients. But it’s really important to be careful here, as a jack of all trades is oftentimes a master of none.
With that being said, while you can definitely achieve a higher rate of growth than you could with a regular fixed annuity, the fixed indexed version will typically “cap” that growth. That means that, even if the underlying index being tracked has a stellar year, you will only be able to participate in a certain percentage of it.
Plus, even though insurance companies will oftentimes exclaim that their annuities are “liquid,” this is not the case, at least entirely. That’s because you will find a surrender charge if you decide to withdraw more than 10% of your contract value during the annuity’s surrender period – which in this case is ten full years. With that in mind, be sure that you are aware of how long you will have to have your money “locked in.”
To check out all of the “fine print” regarding the American Select annuity from American Life, you can go here.
Fees Associated with the American Select Annuity from American Life
While there is no up-front commission deducted from your contributions to the American Select FIA annuity, it doesn’t mean that you won’t incur any type of charges or fees with this financial vehicle.
For starters, this annuity has a 10-year surrender charge period. This means that if you withdraw more than 10% of the contract’s value in any of the first ten years of owning it, you will incur a penalty. This is over and above any taxes that may be due for accessing the gains.
On top of that, if you withdraw funds from the American Select fixed indexed annuity before you have turned age 59 ½, you can also incur an additional 10% “early withdrawal” penalty from Uncle Sam.
Given that so much of your money could be paid out in taxes, fees, and penalties, it is important that you consider the American Select (or any annuity) a long-term financial endeavor, and that you do not contribute money that you may need for emergencies or other obligations in the near future.
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the American Select Fixed Index Annuity from American Life
Where this annuity works best:
Although this particular annuity may not be ideal for everyone, it could be a nice option if you are seeking the following features:
- The option for market index-linked growth
- Protection of your principal
- Guaranteed income in retirement
Where it works the worst:
The American Select fixed index annuity from American Life may not, however, work very well in all situations. This is especially the case if you:
- Want or need to access more than just 10% of your money during the 10-year surrender period
- Do not plan to use the lifetime income feature on the annuity
When thinking over the purchase of an annuity, it is critical that you consider a long list of factors and financial probabilities for your specific situation. These should ideally include the annuity’s options for growing your money, as well as the way that it keeps your principal safe. And, because many people purchase annuities for the purpose of receiving long-term income, this too is extremely important.
If you are still leaning towards purchasing the American Select fixed index annuity from American Life, you can rest assured that your money will be safe, no matter what happens in the market. You can also count on a lifetime income in the future.
Yet, even with all of the awesome benefits that this annuity can provide you with, there could still quite honestly be a better option out there for you. With that in mind, it can be extremely beneficial to have this annuity tested, based on your specific parameters.
We are happy to provide this testing for you at no charge or obligation. If this is something that you would be interested in, then please just let us know by completing our secure online form here.
Have Any Additional Questions? Did You Notice Any Mistakes on This Annuity Review?
We know that this American Select annuity review was a bit on the long side – and for that, we truly thank you for sticking with us through to the end here. Our feeling is, though, that we would much rather provide you with a tad bit “too much” information about these products than not provide you with enough.
Therefore, if you felt that this annuity review was helpful to you, then please feel free to share it and forward it to anyone else that you think might also benefit from it. Likewise, if this review posed even more questions, then please let us know that, too.
Are there any other annuities that you would like to have us review on our website?
There is a long list of annuity products out there in the marketplace today. So, if there is one (or more than one) that you would like to have us review, then please let us know the name, or names, of the annuity, and our annuity “geeks” will get to it ASAP.
Thank you for visiting our AnnuityGator.com site and be sure to check back often for new and updated information regarding all things annuity.
The Annuity Gator
P.S. If you would like to read more of our American Life annuity reviews here are some links to check out.