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Independent Review of the EquiTrust Certainty Select MYGA Annuity

What’s Covered In This Review

In this annuity review, we will be covering the following details regarding the EquiTrust Certainty Select MYGA Annuity:
  • Product TypeIndependent Review of the EquiTrust Choice Four Fixed Annuity
  • Fees and charges
  • Current Rates
  • Realistic expectations
  • Who the annuity may be a good fit for
  • Who may not want to purchase this annuity

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

The purchase of any type of financial product can be a major decision. This is particularly the case, though, when it is something that your retirement lifestyle can depend upon such as an income annuity. For instance, the right annuity can provide you with a nice, steady stream of guaranteed income that you can count on for a set period of time – or even for the remainder of your lifetime, no matter how long that may be. On the other hand, if you end up choosing an annuity – or for that matter, any financial related product – that really doesn’t fit your particular needs, then it could have a negative impact on your retirement lifestyle…and the way you live for the remainder of your life. An annuity can also usually require a fairly large chunk of your retirement savings. And, because most annuities have surrender penalties for withdrawing your funds – some for more than ten years – it can cost you dearly if you purchase an annuity and then soon afterward determine that a different product would be better. Annuities can be somewhat confusing to understand – even for well-educated consumers (as well as for some financial and insurance advisors). As “new and improved” annuities hit the marketplace, there can be a plethora of “small print” that comes along with these vehicles, sort of like an owner’s manual. But have you (or anyone you know, for that matter) ever really sat down and read an owner’s manual word for word? The answer is likely no. The “small print” that is associated with almost any product or service can oftentimes seem a bit daunting. Therefore, most people will simply move forward with their purchase and hope that everything turns out ok. When it comes to your future income, though, hope is definitely not the best strategy. That’s where Annuity Gator can help.

Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information That You Can Actually Trust

If this is your first visit to our website, please allow us to officially welcome you here to Annuity Gator. We are a team of experienced financial and annuity professionals who focus on offering comprehensive and unbiased annuity reviews online. We’ve been doing this for quite some time now – far longer than our competitors. Because of this, we have come to be known as a highly trusted source of annuity information. Over the past several years or so, though, many “copycat” websites have started to spring up, mimicking what we do. While that can be somewhat confusing for consumers, we take it as “imitation being the highest form of flattery.” If you have spent any amount of time on the world wide web looking for information about annuities, you may have come across some very conflicting information about these financial vehicles. This, however, is not necessarily all that surprising. There are a lot of different annuities out there – and just about everyone has some opinion about them. Some people love them, some people hate them. But the reality is there are situations where annuities work, and situations where annuities don’t work. That’s the premise of our annuity reviews – to make sure that you have enough information to make a well-informed annuity purchasing decision. With that in mind, if you are looking for all of the in-depth details about the EquiTrust Certainty Select MYGA (Multi-Year Guarantee Annuity), then you are definitely in the right place. That’s because we don’t hold back any of the information about how this annuity works, and what you can expect if you make a purchase. So, if you’re ready to begin, let’s go ahead and dive in!

EquiTrust Certainty Select Multi-Year Guarantee Annuity at a Glance

Product NameCertainty Select
IssuerEquiTrust Life Insurance Company
Type of ProductMulti-Year Guaranty Annuity
S&P RatingBBB+ (Good)
Phone Number(866) 598-3692

Opening Thoughts on the EquiTrust Certainty Select MYGA Annuity

EquiTrust is considered to be a strong and innovative company and one that can help its clients to meet their financial objectives. A relatively newcomer in the industry, EquiTrust was initially founded in 2003 as a subsidiary of FBL Financial Group and was later acquired by Magic Johnson Enterprises in 2015. Considered strong and stable financially, the company holds more than $18.5 billion in invested assets and a solvency ratio of $104.92. EquiTrust is today recognized among the top life and health insurance companies. Standard & Poor’s has rated EquiTrust as a BBB+ (Good), and A.M. Best Company rates it as a B++ (Good). Over the past several years, due in large part to the continuous ups and downs of the stock market, the demand for fixed indexed annuities has increased substantially. One key reason for this is because, in addition to keeping principal safe (in any market condition), these financial vehicles can also provide you with the opportunity for ample growth, as well as a set amount of income that could last you for the remainder of your lifetime. Yet, even though this might sound like a win-win-win situation, the reality is that if something sounds like it may be too good to be true, then it typically is – so you should ideally get as much in-depth detail as possible if you are considering committing to it for the long term.

Before we get into the gritty details, here are some necessary legal disclosures…

This is an independent annuity product review. It is not a recommendation to purchase or to sell an annuity. EquiTrust Life Insurance Company has not endorsed this review in any way, nor do we receive any type of compensation for providing this review. This annuity review is meant solely to be an independent review at the request of our readers so that they may see out perspective when breaking down the positives and the negatives of this particular annuity. Before purchasing any type of insurance and/or investment 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 situation. All of the names, marks, and materials that were used for this annuity review are the property of their respective owners. For more information on how to compare annuities in order to determine which one may be the best for you and your financial circumstances, click here to obtain our free annuity report.

How EquiTrust Describes the Certainty Select MYGA Annuity

According to its website – EquiTrust describes the Certainty Select MYGA annuity as a product that offers guaranteed interest rates for a select period of time, such as:
  • 3 years
  • 5 years
  • 6 years
  • 8 years
  • 10 years
It is important to note, though, that once an interest rate guarantee period has elapsed, the rate may change upon renewal of the annuity contract for another guarantee period (subject to a minimum guaranteed interest rate). Renewal for the original guarantee period is automatic if no action is taken during the 30 days prior to the expiration period of the guarantee period. There are a few other “bells and whistles” on this annuity, such as a death benefit that will pay out the annuity’s accumulation value upon the death of the first owner. There is also a nursing home waiver and a terminal illness rider available (and there is no charge for either of these additional riders). With the nursing home waiver, after the first contract year, surrenders will not be subject to surrender charges or a market value adjustment in the event of the owner being confined to a nursing home for 90 days or longer. Likewise, if the owner of the Certainty Select MYGA annuity is diagnosed with a terminal illness, the surrender charges and the market value adjustment will be waived for a withdrawal of up to 75% of the annuity’s accumulation value. For additional in-depth information, you can check out the Certainty Select MYGA information by visiting EquiTrust’s website.

How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” this Annuity

If you are approaching retirement, you may be torn between going with financial vehicles that have more risk in order to increase your opportunity for growth, or instead, going with something “safe” so that you don’t lose any of your hard-earned retirement funds. Because many pre-retirees today are concerned about not losing what they’ve already saved, having certain guarantees can be comforting – so if you have been presented this annuity by an insurance or financial advisor, it is likely that they keyed 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.” But there are some tradeoffs that you need to be mindful of. For example, even though you can earn more than the guaranteed rate on this annuity, the reality is that you still may not be able to beat, or even meet, the rate of inflation. In the case of the EquiTrust Certainty Select MYGA annuity, you could be essentially locked into certain rate guarantee periods. These periods can last for 3, 5, 6, 8, or even 10 full years (during which you may have to pass up other, higher interest-earning financial opportunities. So, on the one hand, while it might be nice knowing how much you’re going to earn in the next few years, what happens if interest rates go up? In this case, you’d be left behind, earning a lower rate for the remainder of the guarantee period! Also, once your initial guarantee period ends, if you should decide to lock into a new guarantee period, not only would you be stuck with the given interest rate, but your surrender period would start all over again. Yikes!

What Fees are Associated with the EquiTrust Certainty Select Annuity?

Speaking of surrender fees, it is important that you are aware of just how long you could be subject to a penalty if you decide to withdraw more than 10% of your contract value during the surrender period. This period actually correlates with your rate guarantee period. So, in essence, the longer you lock in your guaranteed interest rate, the longer you will have to wait to make penalty-free withdrawals.

EquiTrust Certainty Select MYGA Annuity Surrender Periods

Rate Guarantee Period
3 Years10%10%9%
5 Years10%10%9%9%8%
6 Years10%10%9%9%8%8%
8 Years10%10%9%9%8%8%7%7%
10 Years10%10%9%9%8%8%7%7%6%5%
In addition to a possible surrender fee, you could also incur an additional 10% “early withdrawal” penalty from the IRS if you make a withdrawal prior to turning age 59 ½. So, it is really important to consider this a long-term financial commitment.

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the EquiTrust Certainty Select Multi-Year Guarantee Annuity

Where this annuity works best: Just like all product or service offerings, there will usually be some pros and some cons with annuities, meaning that the item or service may work well for some, and not-so-well for others. So, if you are still considering the purchase of the EquiTrust Certainty Select MYGA annuity, then it could work well for you if you are seeking the following benefits:
  • Guaranteed growth (for a variety of different rate periods)
  • Protection of principal – no matter what occurs in the stock market
  • Lifetime income in retirement
Where it works the worst: On the other hand, this particular annuity may not be the right one for you if:
  • You want the opportunity to earn an even higher rate of return in order to keep better pace with future inflation
  • You want to access more than just 10% of the contract’s value during the surrender period
  • You do not plan to use the guaranteed lifetime income feature

In Summary

When you’re thinking about how to best position your savings for the future, there are a number of different criteria that you should ideally take into account. For instance, with annuities, you will definitely need to make sure that the product allows you the opportunity to earn a nice return (at least enough to meet or beat inflation), while also keeping your money safe in any type of market environment. In addition to that, if you’re seeking a future income stream – including one that you cannot outlive, regardless of how long that may be – then you also need to know how the annuity will pay out when you need to convert the funds into ongoing income. So, if you are still leaning towards the Certainty Select Multi-Year Guarantee annuity from EquiTrust, then you can be assured that your money will be safe, no matter what goes on with the stock market. You can also count on an ongoing income stream down the road, alleviating the worry about running out of money before “running out of time.” However, while this annuity can certainly provide you with some nice benefits, the reality is that it could still fall somewhat short – and quite honestly, there may very well be a better alternative out there for you. This is even more true if you are looking for a way to keep your money safe, while still having the opportunity to earn a higher rate of return. The only way to truly get an idea of how this annuity may perform – based on your specific situation – is to have it tested. We can do this for you by running the numbers through our annuity calculator, and we can then provide you with a spreadsheet of the results. In order to receive this information, just simply contact us through our secure online form here and let us know.

Have Any Additional Questions About the EquiTrust Certainty Select MYGA Annuity? Are There Any Other Annuities You’d Like to Have Reviewed?

While we know that this annuity review was a bit on the long side, we feel that providing “too much” information is better than not enough. That being said, we appreciate you sticking with us here to the end. We also realize that, because everyone’s situation is different, there may have been some questions that went unanswered in this review. If this is the case and you still have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us here. In addition, if you found this annuity review to be helpful, then please forward it on to anyone else that you think may benefit from it, as there is a lot of misconception out there about annuities and how they work. Is there any other annuity you would like to see reviewed? If so, we will get right on it! There is a myriad of annuities available in the marketplace today. So, if you don’t currently see an annuity in our online database in that you are considering, then just let us know the name of that annuity (or the names, if there is more than just one), and our team of annuity pros will get to work on it ASAP. Best, The Annuity Gator P.S If you would like to read more of our EquiTrust annuity reviews here are some links to check out:   Independent Review of the EquiTrust Certainty Select MYGA Annuity

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