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Independent Review of the Great West Financial Capital Choice Annuity

What’s Covered In This Review

In this annuity review, we will be going over the details regarding the Great West Financial Capital Choice single premium index-linked annuity, such as:
  • Product TypeIndependent Review of the Great West Financial Smart Track Variable Annuity
  • Fees
  • Current Rates
  • Realistic long-term investment expectations
  • How it is 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.

It’s a well-known fact that today, people are living longer lives. But, even though a nice long life can be positive in a number of ways, it also means that you will need enough income to support your everyday living expenses – as well as other items like travel and fun – for a longer period of time. For this reason, many people have turned to annuities. An annuity can provide a set amount of ongoing income in retirement, so it can alleviate the worry about running out of money before “running out of time.” But, before running out and purchasing an annuity, it is essential that you know how these products work, as well as how an annuity may – or may not – end up working for you and your specific long-term financial goals. Over the past several years, index-linked annuities have become quite popular – particularly with those who are seeking higher returns than what a regular fixed annuity can provide, yet who also want principal protection of their hard-earned savings. Fixed indexed annuities can provide all of this – as well as a guaranteed lifetime income in retirement. However, because these types of annuities have become so in demand lately, many insurance carriers have expanded their product lines and have added all kinds of “bells and whistles” to them. And, while this can be beneficial in many ways, it can also make an already confusing product even more so – and, many of these product add-ons will cost you an additional amount of premium, in turn, negatively impacting the ultimate benefit that you may end up with. Even though this might not be a bad thing in all instances, it is still really important that you at least now the “inner workings” of the annuity (or annuities) you’re considering, as well as what the annuity could cost you. That way, you can be in a better position to determine whether you want to move forward.

Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information that You Can Trust

If this is the first time you’ve visited our website, then please allow us to personally welcome you to Annuity Gator. We are a team of experienced annuity professionals who focus on offering very in-depth, and unbiased, annuity reviews online. We’ve been doing this for quite some time now – longer than many of our competitors…even though there are some websites that offer “copycat” information, based on our reviews. 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
Look familiar? Yet, while these claims might sound truly enticing, it’s important to be aware of whether or not they are actually true. Annuities can have a great deal of “fine print,” so reading up on the ins and outs of how they work can be somewhat time-consuming. But there is an easier way to learn how a particular annuity works by going over a comprehensive review. That being said, if you are here to obtain more details about the Great West Financial Capital Choice Annuity, then you are definitely in the right place. In fact, dare we say that Annuity Gator is the only website where you will find all of the information that you need – which includes the good, as well as the not-so-good. This, however, is really the only way for you to make a realistic and well-informed decision about whether or not this annuity is right for you. So, if you’re ready to get started, let’s jump in!

The Great West Financial Capital Choice Annuity at a Glance

Product NameCapital Choice
IssuerGreat West Financial
Type of ProductSingle Premium Index-Linked Annuity
S&P RatingAA
Phone Number(866) 543-7899

Opening Thoughts on the Great West Financial Capital Choice Annuity

Great West Financial has been helping clients to grow and protect wealth for more than 127 years. The company offers a wide range of products, including life insurance, IRAs, retirement plans, and annuities. The company holds in excess of $557 billion in assets under administration and has high ratings from the insurer rating agencies. These include an AA from S&P Ratings Services, an Aa3 from Moody’s, an AA from Fitch Ratings, and an A+ from A.M. Best Company. Overall, Great West has more than 8.3 million in total retirement plan participants, more than 445,000 individual accounts, and $62.5 billion in total assets as of year-end 2017. For the 2017 year, Great West brought in more than $2.8 billion in total revenue – part of which was related to the company’s indexed annuity sales. Over the past several years, the demand for index-linked annuities has risen significantly. This is due in large part to the volatility in the stock market, and the need for people to both grow and protect their money at the same time. A fixed indexed annuity is oftentimes touted as the “best of all worlds,” because they allow their owners a way to secure a positive return in good times and to hang on to their principal value during market downturns. But it is essential to know all of the in-depth details about an indexed annuity you are considering before you move ahead with depositing a large chunk of your money into one – as it can be difficult, and costly, for you to get out if you later realize that it really isn’t the best option for you.

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. Great West Financial 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 Great West Financial Describes the Capital Choice Index-Linked Annuity

On its website, Great West describes the Capital Choice solutions as single premium deferred index-linked annuities that offer growth potential with a variety of protection features so that you can feel confident about your financial future. With this type of annuity strategy, you can better prepare against rising and falling market cycles. You can also keep assets invested for potential index-linked growth opportunities. In the Capital Choice suite of products, there are actually two options. These are the:
  • Great West Capital Choice Advisor – This solution offers you a select range of options from which you can choose. This is a single-premium, fee-based index-linked annuity that offers principal protection, opportunities for growth, and a death benefit. To see more about this option, you can check out the product summary HERE. There is also a consumer brochure that you can access HERE.
  • Great West Capital Choice Select Advisor – This fee-based solution offers a select range of options from which you can choose. Here, for instance, this single premium annuity offers annual point-to-point crediting (with cap rate), and a death benefit that will return the greater of the contract value, surrender value, or premium – minus withdrawals. To check out the Capital Choice Select Advisor product summary, go HERE. There is also a consumer brochure that can be accessed HERE.
With an index-linked annuity, there is a great deal of flexibility in terms of both growing and protecting your money. So, unlike most regular fixed and variable products, you don’t have to choose one over the other.

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

Given 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 the Capital Choice annuities from Great West 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 these annuities. 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. With that in mind, you need to be sure that you know all of the potential tradeoffs you may need to make in order to obtain the full benefits of this (or for that matter, any other) annuity that you’re considering.

What are the Fees on the Great West Capital Choice Annuities?

With just about any type of annuity, there will be charges and/or fees to be mindful of. The Great West Financial Capital Choice products are no different. In this case, the Capital Choice Advisor imposes an annual contract fee of 0.40%. This is deducted on a pro rata basis, as a Strategy Fee, from the Strategy Value of each Strategy that you have selected. Also, if you surrender the contract, or even take a partial withdrawal that is in excess of the free annual withdrawal amount, a market value adjustment will be incurred. To check out all of the fees and explanations, you can access the Great West Capital Choice Advisor prospectus HERE. Likewise, the Great West Capital Choice Select Advisor also imposes a contract fee, as well as other potential charges. The prospectus for the Capital Choice Select Advisor can be accessed HERE.

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Great West Financial Capital Choice Annuity Products

Where these annuities may fit: This annuity product may work well for you if you are seeking:
  • Index-linked growth
  • Beneficiary protection
  • Lifetime income in retirement
Where these annuities may not be a good option: This may not be the right choice for you if you want penalty-free access to most or all of your money during the surrender period. It may also not be a viable option if you do not plan on using the lifetime income feature. If you really want to know whether or not the Great West Financial Capital Choice annuities are right for you, click here to access our free annuity buyer’s report, which shows you what to look for when shopping for an annuity.

In Summary

There are many different factors that you should consider prior to making a long-term commitment to purchasing an annuity. For instance, in addition to knowing that it can be costly to change your mind once you have purchased it, you should also consider why you may be choosing one fixed indexed annuity over a long list of other products that may also suit your particular financial needs. As it pertains to the Great West Financial Capital Choice, you can be assured that your principal is protected. In addition, you can also be sure that you will have an income in retirement for as long as you (and your spouse, if applicable) need it. However, that being said, this annuity could also fall somewhat short – and there could be some other, better alternatives that are available to you. Even so, though, the only way to really know whether or not this annuity is right for you is to have it tested. We can assist you with that – at no charge or obligation – by running it through our annuity calculator, using your particular financial figures. If this is something that would be of interest to you, then please contact us.

Have Any More Questions Regarding the Great West Financial Capital Choice Annuity? Did You Notice Any Mistakes in this Annuity Review?

We realize that this annuity review was a tad bit long. So, we want to thank you for sticking with us through to the end here. But, when we provide our annuity reviews, we would much rather provide our readers with “too much” information about an annuity than not provide enough. With that in mind, if you found that this annuity review was beneficial to you, then please feel free to pass it along and forward it to anybody else who you think may also benefit from it. Likewise, if this review caused you to have even more questions, then please let us know that, too! Are there any other annuities you would like us to review? No problem! Just let us know the name of the annuity (or annuities), and our team of highly trained annuity “geeks” will get on it. Then, be sure to check back soon to to view the new (and updated) reviews. Best, The Annuity Gator Independent Review of the Great West Financial Capital Choice Annuity    

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