What are we going to cover in this annuity review?In this review of the American National Century Plus annuity, we will be discussing the following information:
- Annuity type
- How the annuity works
- Pros and Cons
- Charges and fees
- Where the annuity works well
- Where the annuity may not be a good fit
Annuities can be complex. That’s where having an Annuity Investigator who loves math comes in. We make the complex, simple.If you’re considering a financial vehicle that can offer you protection of your principal, along with a guaranteed lifetime income in retirement, then the American National Century Plus fixed annuity could be a viable option for you. This fixed annuity has a number of guarantees that are actually built directly into it – which can be quite appealing, especially in turbulent market environments. But, prior to moving full steam ahead with purchasing this annuity, it is essential that you first get a more in-depth understanding about how it works – and how it may or may not be aligned with your specific financial goals and needs. Then, after you have a deeper knowledge with regard to its inner workings, you will be much more comfortable with what you decide. Throughout the past dozen or so years – and particularly after the 2008 recession, and the more recent COVID-19 pandemic and market downturn – fixed annuities have become much more in demand. One reason for this is because these products are able to offer an ongoing, guaranteed income in retirement. Therefore, those who know that they can rely on an annuity for income – regardless of how long they live – can eliminate the fear of outliving their savings in the future. But, even though this can be highly reassuring, it is also important that you realize that the purchase of any annuity should be considered a long-term commitment – and that these products will typically have a “surrender period” that lasts for several years. Because of that, if you happen to change your mind after you have purchased an annuity, it can be fairly costly to get out. Unfortunately, though, really knowing what it is that you’re getting into with an annuity product can be somewhat challenging. This is because these products oftentimes contain a myriad of “fine print” that can be highly confusing. Also, what can add even more confusion in regard to these products actually has less to do with the annuities themselves, but rather the way in which these products are sold to consumers. This is where the Annuity Gator comes in.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Advice that Can Be TrustedIf 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. (Imitation is a form of flattery, isn’t it?!) It is our mission to provide in-depth information and reviews about 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 and/or selling an annuity. These products can be highly complex, so it helps to have 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. When looking for annuity information online, 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 easy to be lulled into some of the other websites out there in cyberspace – especially when they make bold claims, like:
- Lowest fees
- High income
- Top-rated annuity carriers
- Income stream for life
The American National Century Plus Annuity at a Glance
|American National Insurance Company
|Type of Annuity
|A.M. Best Rating
Opening Thoughts on the American National Century Plus Fixed AnnuityAmerican National Insurance Company was founded in 1905, operating under the ideals of “strong management, prudent investment, and financial strength.” Over the past 115 years, the company has grown into a well-respected member of the life insurance industry. The company offers a wide variety of insurance protection, such as life, health, and accident insurance, as well as retirement annuities, which can help its customers to ensure that they will have an ongoing, guaranteed income for the remainder of their lives. Due to its strong financial foundation, along with its positive reputation for quickly paying out its policyholder claims, American National has received high ratings from the insurer rating agencies – including an A from A.M. Best Company, and an A from Standard & Poor’s. Headquartered in Galveston, Texas, American National Insurance Company has more than 3,000 employees in its home office, as well as in affiliated offices in Glenmont, New York, and Springfield, Missouri. Because one of the primary fears on the minds of retirees is running out of income when they still need it, the demand for fixed annuities has continued to grow. These products are designed for paying out an income stream, either for a set period of time or even for the remainder of your lifetime – no matter how long that may be. However, due in large part to today’s low-interest-rate environment, the return that has been offered on fixed annuities may not be enough for those who are in retirement to beat – or even to meet – future inflation. So, if you do plan to use the income from a fixed annuity as your primary source of future retirement income, then it could become difficult to maintain your ongoing purchasing power down the road.
Before getting into the gritty details, here are some legal disclosures…This is an independent product review, and it is not to be considered as a recommendation to purchase or to sell an annuity. American National Insurance Company has not endorsed this review in any way, nor do we receive any compensation for offering 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 the negatives of this particular annuity product. Prior to purchasing any insurance or investment product, you should be sure to do your own due diligence and consult a properly licensed professional if you 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 additional information on how to compare annuities so that you can decide which may be the best one for you, click here to get access to our free annuity report.
How American National Describes the Century Plus AnnuityThe American National website describes fixed deferred annuities as a strategy for replacing market uncertainty with the predictability of guaranteed interest rates. As an added plus, annuities allow for tax-deferred compounding of the funds that are inside of the contract. This means that you don’t have to pay tax on the gain until the money is withdrawn. This single premium annuity can be fully funded with just one single lump sum deposit. These funds could come from a personal account, or via a rollover from an IRA or employer-sponsored savings plan like a 401(k). There is also a 5% interest rate enhancement offered in the first year. With its fixed guaranteed rate that is locked in or fixed for one year at a time, the Century Plus annuity can allow you to accumulate assets without the need to worry about what happens in the stock market. The American National Century Plus annuity brochure outlines a list of guarantees that are offered with this annuity, including:
- Guaranteed fixed rates that are declared each year by the insurance company.
- Guaranteed minimum interest rates that protect your money from loss in value.
- Guaranteed lifetime income benefit that tells you upfront what your future income will be like when you retire.
- Guaranteed minimum surrender value that you would receive if you decided to surrender (i.e., cancel) the contract.
How a Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” this AnnuityIf you have been approached by an insurance or financial advisor regarding the American National Century Plus fixed annuity, it is likely that he or she placed a focus on the fixed-rate guarantee, as well as the ability to attain an ongoing lifetime income with this annuity. In fact, if you have reviewed any literature regarding annuities of late, then you may have noticed that financial and insurance companies will do a great job of ensuring that their products sound very enticing. For example, based on the above description of the American National Century Plus annuity, you may feel that this could be a good product for you. But, when you really take a close look at it, you could very well find within the fine print that some of the features of this annuity can come at a cost. For example, while it does offer an interest rate guarantee, the reality is that the guarantee is only offered for one year at a time. In addition, the 5% enhancement that you may be given isn’t guaranteed. So, if you do plan to move forward with this annuity, make sure that you ask your insurance or financial advisor if you are eligible for this bonus. Knowing just exactly what to look for in an annuity can be hard. But it is essential to understand just exactly what you are getting into, as it could determine your future income – and in turn, your future lifestyle in retirement. So, if you’ve been offered the Century Plus annuity, or any annuity at all, by a salesperson, it is essential that you only purchase it if it makes sense for you and your financial objectives.
Fees on the American National Century Plus AnnuityIn addition to knowing how your money may perform over time in a fixed annuity, it can also be wise to know just exactly what type of fees you will be charged – both during the accumulation phase of the annuity, as well as after you begin to receive the income from it. With regard to the American National Century Plus annuity, there is a charge for the lifetime income rider. This amount actually varies, though, so before moving forward with the purchase of this rider, be sure to ask your advisor just exactly how much this additional benefit will cost you. On top of that, there is a surrender charge levied if you either cancel the annuity or you withdraw more than 10% of the contract value in any of the first ten years that you own the annuity. The surrender charge starts at a pretty hefty 10%, and then gradually decreases over time. (Note that the time and the charge differ for residents of California).
Surrender Charge Schedule for the American National Century Plus Fixed Annuity
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the American National Century Plus AnnuityWhere it works best: The American National Century Plus fixed annuity will generally work best for those who are looking for:
- Safety/protection of principal
- Slow but steady growth over time
- Guaranteed lifetime income stream
- Want to have access to their funds during the first 10 years of the contract
- Want to get a high return on their money
- Will not be using the lifetime income feature
In SummaryThere are numerous criteria that should be considered when you are deciding on which annuity may be best for you and your specific needs. In any case, though, annuities should always be considered to be long-term endeavors – and because of that, fixed annuities can oftentimes be more appealing to people who are seeking ongoing retirement income as versus a high return. However, even though the American National Century Plus fixed annuity does offer some attractive features, it may also still fall short – especially when compared to some of the other options that may be available to you. So, if you are wondering whether or not the American National Century Plus fixed annuity is right for you – or if you still have any additional questions that you need some assistance with in terms of making your decision – then feel free to reach out to us via our secure contact form here.
Any Additional Questions on the American National Century Plus Annuity? Did You Happen to Notice Any Mistakes in this Review?We realize that this annuity review was rather lengthy, so thank you for bearing with us. If you did find the review to be beneficial, please feel free to spread the word and share it with others as they, too, may also find the information in it to be useful. Also, we realize just how often the information on annuities can change or be updated. With that in mind, if you did happen to notice any information that needs to be corrected as you read through the review, please let us know and we will be happy to get that taken care of. If you are still concerned about whether this annuity is right for you, or if this annuity review caused you any confusion, please reach out to us with your concerns or any other questions that you may have. Are there any other annuities that you would like to see reviewed on our website? No problem! Our team of highly trained annuity “geeks” will get on it. Just simply click here and let us know the name of the annuity (or annuities) that you are interested in learning more about and we will work to get that information on our site as quickly as possible. Best, The Annuity Gator P.S. If you would like to read more of our American National annuity reviews here are some links to check out:
- Independent Review of the American National Palladium MYG 6 Annuity
- Independent Review of the American National Strategy Index Annuity Plus 10
- Independent Review of the American National WealthQuest Citadel 7 Diamond Fixed Annuity
- Independent Review of the American National Palladium MYG 7 Annuity
- Independent Review of the American National Palladium Century 1 Annuity
- Independent Review of the American National Strategy Indexed Annuity Plus 7
- Independent Review of the American National WealthQuest Citadel Five Diamond Series Fixed Annuity
- Independent Review of the American National Insurance Company