What will we cover in this annuity review?
In this review of the Bankers Elite fixed annuity from Liberty Bankers Life, we will be going over the following details:
- Annuity type
- How the annuity works
- Benefits and drawbacks
- Fees (and how to avoid them)
- Who may or may not be a good fit for this annuity
Annuities can be complex. That’s where having an Annuity Investigator who loves math comes in.
We make the complex, simple.
Purchasing an annuity can be a major financial decision. These financial vehicles – provided that they are purchased properly – can play a big part in helping you to ensure that you’ll have a guaranteed income for the remainder of your lifetime, regardless of how long you may need it.
Depending on the annuity, you may also be able to attain some nice tax advantages, such as tax-deferred growth, which can allow your funds in the account to grow and compound exponentially over time.
A fixed annuity like the Bankers Elite can also offer you principal protection – in any type of market environment. This can be particularly beneficial in times like the 2008 economic recession, and the more recent 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, where the stock market took a tumble.
But even though annuities can certainly offer many benefits, there can also be some potential drawbacks to consider with regard to the products themselves, as well as the way in which they are sold by insurance and financial professionals.
On top of that, annuities are pretty confusing products, so unless you read the “fine print” very carefully and/or discuss your objectives with an annuity specialist, an annuity may not necessarily perform the way that you anticipated it to.
This is where the Annuity Gator can help!
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information You Can Count On
If this is the first time you have visited our website, then please allow us to officially welcome you here to Annuity Gator. We make up a team of financial and annuity specialists who provide education and non-biased comparisons of annuities.
We’ve been doing this for quite some time now – far longer than our competitors – and so we have become a highly trusted source of annuity information online. We can help you to determine which annuity, if any, is right for you.
If you’ve been researching annuities on the Internet, it is likely that you have come across some very conflicting information on these products – anything from, “Annuities are a must for all investors,” to “I hate annuities.”
So, what is the best answer in terms of whether or not you should purchase an annuity?
Honestly, it depends on a number of factors, such as your future income needs, risk tolerance, and time frame until retirement.
Because of that, no one can truly predict whether or not a particular annuity should be purchased until they fully know the answer to these questions.
That being said, while there many good annuity-related websites out there on the Internet, the truth is that some of these simply want to lure you in by making claims like:
- Highest income payouts
- Lowest fees
- Guaranteed lifetime income
Even though these promises can certainly be enticing – particularly in light of the extremely volatile stock market of late – it is absolutely essential that you check them out first to determine whether or not they are true, or just a lot of fluff.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that annuities are bad. In fact, for many investors and retirees, annuities are an ideal addition to their portfolio…but only if the annuity fits in with their specific needs and goals.
This annuity review of the Bankers Elite fixed annuity from Liberty Bankers Life is here to help you with decoding all of the “fine print” that is associated with the product so that you will better understand whether or not it is actually a good fit for you.
That being said, if you’re ready to move forward with this review, let’s dive in!
The Bankers Elite Fixed Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||Bankers Elite|
|Issuer||Liberty Bankers Insurance Group|
|Type of Product||Fixed Annuity|
|A.M. Best Rating||B++|
|Phone Number||(800) 745-4927|
Opening Thoughts on the Liberty Bankers Insurance Group’s Bakers Elite Fixed Annuity
Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Company was established in 1958. For the past six decades, this insurance company has grown and expanded in order to help with meeting its customers’ needs.
This insurer is domiciled in the state of Oklahoma, and it is licensed to sell its products in 46 of the U.S. states. With its headquarters in the Dallas, Texas area, LBL has more than 8,000 licensed agents throughout the United States who represent its products and service the company’s customers. In marketing its products and services, LBL uses The Capitol Life Insurance Company – a subsidiary of LBL – which markets products in numerous states.
Liberty Bankers Insurance Company (LBL) is owned by Liberty Life Group Trust, a Texas holding company. Liberty Bankers offers a wide array of life insurance and annuity products that can help individuals and businesses with meeting their financial goals.
The LBL Group has developed a proven track record of growth of its assets, as well as its insurance premiums, and earnings, over the past decade. Today, the company has in excess of $1.5 billion in assets under management.
As a reflection of its financial strength, as well as its claims-paying ability, Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Company has been given the rating of B+ (Very Good) by A.B. Best Company, the most recognized insurer rating agency in the industry.
Today, with so many employers doing away with their defined benefit pension plans, it has really become the responsibility of individuals to make sure that they convert their savings over into an income stream – and that the income continues to last throughout the remainder of their lifetime.
The demand for fixed (and fixed indexed) annuities – which are always backed by insurance companies – has been steadily increasing ever since stock market volatility has become the norm, rather than the exception over the past several years.
In fact, the biggest fear on the minds of many retirees these days is running out of money. Fewer people are retiring with employer-sponsored pension plans, so they have to “create” one for themselves. This is what a fixed annuity can do.
On the other hand, due to the historically low interest rate environment of late, the return that is offered by most fixed annuities is so low that it typically can’t even meet, much less beat, inflation.
Also, annuities are considered to be longer-term financial options. So, if you purchase one, and then you change your mind down the road and you want to cancel it, you will usually incur a surrender charge. This is why it is essential to understand just exactly what it is that you are getting before you make a commitment.
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. Liberty Bankers 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 Liberty Bankers Insurance Group Describes the Bankers Elite Annuity
On the Liberty Bankers website, the company describes their fixed annuities as products that provide assurance that your money can grow with fixed rates of interest that are guaranteed.
Deferred fixed annuities also have tax advantages because they allow the money in the account to avoid the payment of tax until the time of withdrawal. This tax deferral can help your funds to grow and compound – especially over a long period of time.
Likewise, given the guaranteed income stream that can be paid out by a fixed annuity, you can count on an ongoing income for a set period of time, or even for the remainder of your lifetime, regardless of how long that is.
Should you pass away before you receive the contract value from the annuity, a death benefit will be paid out to a named beneficiary. Alternatively, if you choose the joint income option, income could continue for another individual – such as a spouse or partner – for the remainder of their lifetime, too.
The Bankers Elite annuity series offers several time periods where your rate of growth is guaranteed. These include three years, five years, seven years, and nine years. There is a minimum initial premium requirement of $10,000 – although you can add more to the annuity over time.
For more information on the Bankers Elite annuity series, go here.
How a Financial Salesperson Might “Pitch” the Bankers Elite Fixed Annuity
If you are approaching retirement, it is possible that you are torn between going with financial vehicles that have more risk in order to increase your opportunity for growth, or instead going with something “safer” so that you don’t lose any of your hard-earned principal in the event of a market “correction”.
With so many pre-retirees being concerned about not losing what they’ve already saved, having certain guarantees can be comforting – so if you have been presented with a Bankers Elite annuity by an insurance or financial advisor, it is likely that they zeroed in on the safety features of this product, along with the ability to earn a higher return if or when rates rise in the near future.
So, in many ways, this annuity can allow you to potentially increase the returns on your “safe money”.
Or can it?
Similar to most other either/or scenarios, the benefits that you get from this annuity will require a “tradeoff” of sorts. For instance, with this particular annuity, your principal will remain safe – even if the stock market tanks. But in return for that safety, the insurance company is giving you very little in terms of reward, or return.
On top of that, given the surrender period, you can be penalized if you opt to cancel the annuity – or even if you withdraw more than 10% of the contract’s value during the surrender charge period – so, you will also incur some potential lost opportunity costs here.
Fees You Might Incur on the Bankers Elite Annuity from Liberty Bankers Life
Even though you won’t be charged an annual fee on this annuity, there can be some hefty “early withdrawal” charges to be mindful of should you decide to take money out before the surrender period has elapsed.
The length of the surrender charge corresponds to the length of the interest rate guarantee period. So, if you purchase the Bankers Elite 3, the surrender period will last for three years. If you purchase the Bankers Elite 7, the surrender charge period will last for seven full years, and so on.
Therefore, you are allowed to withdraw up to 10% of the contract’s value penalty-free during this period of time. But any more than that will cost you!
Bankers Elite Fixed Annuity Surrender Charge Schedule
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4||Year 5||Year 6||Year 7||Year 8||Year 9||Year 10+|
In addition, you may owe tax on your withdrawal. And, if you access funds from the annuity before you have turned age 59 ½, you could also incur an additional 10% “early withdrawal” penalty from the IRS.
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Bankers Elite Fixed Annuity from Liberty Bankers Life
Who might be a good fit for this annuity?
This particular annuity could work best for those who are seeking the following features:
- Guaranteed retirement income stream
- Safety of principal in any type of market
- A guaranteed rate of return for a pre-selected period of time
Who might want to consider alternate options?
The Bankers Elite annuity might not be a good fit for those who:
- Need or want access to more than 10% of their principal penalty-free during the surrender charge period
- Want a higher rate of return on their money
- Do not plan on using the guaranteed lifetime income feature
There are a lot of important factors that should be considered when you are trying to determine which annuity is right for you – or even if any annuity will fit into your overall financial picture.
In any case, though, annuities should always be considered as long-term financial endeavors, and because of that, you should feel comfortable that an annuity you ultimately go with can help you to reach your goals.
If you are still leaning towards the purchase of a traditional fixed annuity, you can certainly be assured that your principal will be safe and that you will earn a steady, tax-advantaged gain in the account.
However, even with these nice benefits, this annuity could still fall somewhat short – and quite frankly, there very well could be a better option out there for you – particularly if you are focused on getting a guaranteed lifetime income in retirement AND the opportunity to earn a higher rate of return.
If you still have any questions with regard to whether or not a Bankers Elite fixed annuity is right for you – or, even if you just simply need some additional guidance about annuities in general – then please feel free to reach out to us directly via our secure contact form here.
Any Additional Questions on the Bankers Elite Annuity Series? Did You Notice Any Mistakes in this Annuity Review?
Although this annuity review was a bit lengthy, we would much rather provide you with too many details versus not nearly enough. Therefore, if you did find this review helpful to you, then please feel free to share it with others that you think might benefit, too.
We also understand that annuity product information can change frequently. Therefore, if you happened to notice that any of the information in this annuity review was incorrect, then please let us know and we will do our best to get that updated as soon as possible.
Also, if this annuity review made this product even more confusing – and/or if it happened to spark any additional questions or concerns – please let us know that too and we will work to make the information clearer.
Are there any other annuity reviews that you would like to see posted in our annuity review database?
If so, we’ll get on it! Just simply tell us the name of the annuity (or annuities, if more than one) and our highly trained team of annuity “geeks” will start working on those – so be sure to check back soon for updates, as well as a whole host of new annuity reviews!
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