What Will Be Covered in this Review?In this annuity review, we will be discussing the following information about the C.M. Life Index Horizons deferred annuity:
- Product type
- Current rates
- Realistic long-term return expectations
- How this annuity is best used
- How it 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 considering the purchase of a deferred indexed annuity, because you want to ensure that you won’t run out of income in the future – especially if you live a nice, long life – then purchasing the C.M. Life Index Horizons Annuity could be a great way to accomplish that. One reason for that is because this annuity allows you the opportunity to avoid the constant ups and downs of the market. It also offers a fixed interest rate, so you won’t incur losses – even in the event of a downturn in the stock market. In addition, the income can last throughout the remainder of your lifetime, regardless of how long that may be. However, before you go out and purchase any annuity, it is really important that you first have a thorough understanding of the benefits that it may provide, as well as any possible drawbacks, as annuities can be very difficult to get out of once you get in. Over the past decade or so, annuities have become much more popular with people who are retired, as well as those who are approaching that time in their lives, as they can help to alleviate the concern about running out of money in retirement. On the other side of the coin, though, due in large part to the increased demand, many insurance companies have been introducing new products. This is great if you want a wide selection of options to choose from. However, it can also make it extremely confusing to choose the product that will best fit your particular objectives. With that thought in mind, unless the insurance or financial advisor whom you work with has a primary focus on selling annuity products, you really should do some additional research on these products, as they will oftentimes require that you deposit a large chunk of your savings into them. That’s where the Annuity Gator can come in!
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information You Can TrustIf this is the first time you have been to our website, please allow us to officially welcome you here. We are a team of highly knowledgeable financial experts who are focused specifically on offering very in-depth and unbiased annuity reviews. We have been at this for quite a number of years now – much longer than our competitors – and because of that, we’ve become a go-to source for annuity information. If you are researching annuities for the tax-deferred savings they allow, as well as for the reliable income stream that they provide, it is likely that you’ve run across a whole host of information and opinions about annuities online. You might also have been “lured” into various websites that state a wide range of claims like “highest annuity payouts” or “lowest annuity fees.” Unfortunately, as nice as these features sound, many of these sites are only hoping to get your contact information so that they can send you endless emails and hope that you buy an annuity from them or their affiliates. If you are really interested in learning more about the C.M. Life Index Horizons Indexed annuity, though, the best way to do so is through an unbiased, objective expert…like us! In fact, we dare say that we are the only place online where you can find the good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly details about annuities. That’s not saying annuities are bad – because they’re not – provided they are purchased for the right reasons. We feel that complete transparency we provide is the only way to make a truly well-informed decision about whether or not a particular annuity – or for that matter, any financial vehicle – will be a good fit for you. That being said, this annuity review is here to help you get a better understanding of all the “fine print” about the Index Horizons annuity from C.M. Life. So, if you’re ready to get started, let’s just right in! [desktoponly]
The C.M. Life Index Horizons Indexed Annuity at a Glance
|Issued and Distributed by MassMutual
|Type of Product
|A.M. Best Rating (MassMutual)
Opening Thoughts on the C.M. Life Index Horizons Indexed AnnuityAs a subsidiary of MassMutual, C.M. Life Insurance Company offers a wide range of life insurance and annuities. C.M. Life is domiciled in Enfield, Connecticut, along with MML Bay State Life Insurance Company, another of MassMutual’s affiliates. One of the few remaining mutual insurance carriers in the United States, MassMutual has a history that spans more than 160 years. The company does not have shareholders but rather is owned by its policy holders. And, while dividends are never guaranteed, this company has paid them out consistently since the 1890s. MassMutual has some of the highest ratings available, including a(n):
- A++ (Superior) from A.M. Best Company
- AA+ (Very Strong) from Fitch Ratings
- Aa3 (High Quality) from Moody’s Investor Service
- AA+ (Very Strong) from Standard & Poor’s
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. C.M. 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 details on how you can compare annuities so that you can determine which one may be right for you, click here to instantly download our free annuity report.
How the C.M. Life Index Horizons Indexed Annuity is DescribedAs with other index-linked annuities, the C.M. Life Index Horizons Indexed annuity has its return tied in large part to an underlying market index. (There is also a fixed account available for you to put some – or even all – of your funds in. This, however, is not recommended because there is no downside risk with this annuity). If the underlying index performs well, the annuity will be credited with a positive return – up to a set maximum, or cap. If, however, the underlying index performs poorly in a given period, there is no loss incurred in the annuity. Rather, a return of 0% is simply credited for that period. The growth that takes place in the annuity is tax-deferred. And, if you opt to convert the annuity into an income stream, you have several choices for how you want to receive that income. This includes a life income option where you can continue to receive an income stream for the remainder of your lifetime, regardless of how long that may be.
How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” this AnnuityGiven that people are living so much longer today than ever before, having enough income in retirement has become a top concern for many retirees. With that in mind, the guaranteed income concept of this annuity is most likely where an insurance or financial advisor would focus on when presenting this product to clients or prospects. An additional aspect is the beneficiary protection that is provided by the death benefit. Here, in the event that the annuitant passes away before receiving all of the contract value back, a named beneficiary can receive the funds, without them having to pass through probate. 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 this product. 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 is capped. In other words, this annuity uses 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. In this case, 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. As with most other annuities, there may also be some fees to be mindful of with the Index Horizons annuity from C.M. Life. For instance, while an upfront sales commission won’t likely show up on your statement, you could incur a surrender charge if you withdraw more than 10% of the contract’s value in any (or all) of the years during the annuity’s surrender period. In addition, if you make a withdrawal before you turn age 59 1/2, you could also be hit with an additional 10% “early withdrawal” charge from the IRS.
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the C.M. Life Index Horizons AnnuityWhere it works the best: Although this annuity offers many nice benefits, it will typically work the best for those who are seeking the following attributes:
- Safety of principal
- The opportunity for additional, index-linked growth, which can provide a higher return than a regular fixed annuity
- Guaranteed income for life
- Will need access to more than 10% of the contract’s value within the surrender period
- Do not intend to use the lifetime income feature
In SummaryThere is a long list of factors that need to be considered when you are planning for your future retirement income. And, when it comes to using annuities for either your primary income stream, or even for filling in any retirement income “gaps,” it is essential that you know just exactly what you can anticipate. That’s because a different amount of income than you were planning on can make a big difference in your retirement lifestyle, and on your life! In terms of the Index Horizons annuity from C.M. Life, you can be assured that you will have an income for life. But at the same time, depending on your other goals and needs, this product may still fall a bit short – and there quite frankly may be something else out there that is a better fit for you. If you do have any questions on this or other income-related products, we are here to help. So please feel free to contact us directly via our secure online contact form here.
Do You Have Any Additional Questions About this Annuity? Did You Happen to Notice Any Mistakes on this Annuity Review?We realize that this annuity review may have run a bit long. But quite frankly, we would much rather that you have “too much” information on this product 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. 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 MassMutual annuity reviews here are some links to check out:
- Independent Review of the Mass Mutual RetireEase Choice QLAC
- Independent Review of the MassMutual RetireEase Immediate Fixed Income Annuity
- Independent Review of the Massachusetts Mutual Stable Voyage 7 Year MYGA Annuity
- Independent Review of the MassMutual RetireEase Choice Deferred Income Annuity (DIA)
- Independent Review of the Massachusetts Mutual Odyssey Select 7 Year MYGA Annuity
- Independent Review of the MassMutual Stable Voyage Fixed Deferred Annuity
- Independent Review of the Massachusetts Mutual Odyssey Select 9 Year MYGA Annuity
- Independent Review of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Stable Voyage 5 Year Single Premium Fixed Deferred Annuity