What’s covered in this Review?In this review we’ll cover the following information on the American National Strategy Indexed Annuity Plus 7 Fixed Index Annuity:
- Product Type
- Current Rates
- Realistic long term investment 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 in the process of researching annuities so that you can grow your savings and have a steady, guaranteed income in retirement, then it is important that you first have a good understanding of how these products work, and how they can differ from one another. For example, with the American National Strategy Indexed Annuity Plus 7, you have the opportunity to obtain a better rate of return as versus a CD or money market, or even over and above a regular fixed annuity. You would also have the ability to set up a guaranteed lifetime income that would continue to pay out regardless of how long you live. But, in order to determine whether or not this particular annuity may work for you and your specific needs, you should ideally review both the advantages and the potential drawbacks before you move forward with a purchase. That’s because, once you are committed to the annuity, it can be difficult, and costly, to get out. Over the past few years, due in large part to the constant ups and downs of the market, fixed index annuities have become very popular. Because of their growing popularity, the number of financial and insurance reps who are offering them has also increased. But this isn’t necessarily a good thing. As there are so many new annuities that are coming to the marketplace, a large number of them now contain a long list of “moving parts.” This can make these products extremely confusing – even for well-educated consumers and financial pros. With that in mind, unless the advisor that you work with has a key focus on annuity products, it is recommended that you do a bit of additional research on your own in order to make sure of just exactly what it is that you’re getting into.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information You Can TrustIf you have never been here to our AnnuityGator.com website before, then we would like to officially welcome you here right now. We comprise a team of financial and annuity experts who focus on providing comprehensive and unbiased annuity reviews online. This has been our key mission for many years – and for much longer than any of our competitors. Due to our experience and the information that we provide, we have come to be a trusted source. Over the past few years, there have been a fair number of copycat websites that have sprung up. However, if you look closely at the information they provide, many of these are just simply reiterating what our reviews already show. If you’ve been looking for as much information as you can about annuities on the Internet, it is highly likely that you have come across many conflicting details about these products. This is not at all surprising, as there are many annuities out there today – and everyone seems to have a different opinion about them. It is possible that you also may have attended an annuity seminar or workshop in the recent past. There, in return for a “complimentary” meal, the presenter may have gone into detail about the American National Strategy Indexed Annuity Plus 7 fixed indexed annuity – or some other similar product. Following that seminar, you may even have made a follow-up appointment with the presenter or with another financial advisor, with the purpose of purchasing an annuity. In fact, it may even have been your attendance at that seminar that has brought you here to our site in search of more information. If you have spent any amount of time looking for annuity information online, then it is likely that you’ve come across some of the other annuity marketing websites. Many of these will attempt to lure you in by making bold claims, such as:
- Guaranteed lifetime income
- Lowest fees
- Top-Rated Annuity Companies
- Highest Income Payouts
- Fast, Easy Annuity Quotes
American National Strategy Indexed Annuity Plus 7 Fixed Index Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||Strategy Indexed Annuity PLUS 7|
|Type of Product||Fixed Index Annuity|
|Standard & Poor's Rating||A (Excellent)|
|Phone Number||(800) 252-9456|
Opening Thoughts on the American National Strategy Indexed Annuity PLUS 7American National Insurance Company – also known simply as ANICO – has been in the business of offering their customers security through coverage products for more than 110 years. This company was initially founded in 1905, and since then, it has evolved into a well-respected member of the life insurance and annuity industry. The company offers a long list of product offerings, including annuities, life insurance, accident and health coverage, P&C coverage, and pension plans products and services. These are all distributed both career/captive and independent insurance and financial representatives. Given its strong financial backing, American National has received high marks from the insurer rating agencies, including an A from Standard and Poor’s, and an A from A.M. Best Company. American National is headquartered in Galveston, Texas. Over the past several years, fixed index annuities have become much more sought after by consumers as a way to obtain a guaranteed income for life, as well as an opportunity to keep principal safe regardless of what the market does. But, even though this all might sound completely enticing, the reality is that when something sounds too good to be true, it probably is – and in this case, you probably need a bit more information in order to discover the whole story. This is particularly the case if your decision about an annuity could ultimately result in you committing a large chunk of your hard-earned retirement savings.
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. American National 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 American National Describes the Strategy Indexed Annuity PLUS 7The American National Strategy Indexed Annuity PLUS 7 is described as a multi-strategy indexed annuity. This annuity, according to ANICO’s product literature “provides you one plan with multiple interest crediting strategies, which offer the opportunity to diversify your risk without the hassle of obtaining multiple annuity contracts.” There are several options available on this annuity product that can help you with both building up your cash inside the contract, as well as alternatives for receiving income down the road. For example, you could be eligible for a premium enhancement, which is an amount that is added to the annuity’s value by the company. There are a number of interest crediting strategies available – and, you can use as many of the different options that you wish, which can help you to better “customize” the product to your particular goals. For example, there are one-year, three-year, and five-year options, with various alternatives available, depending on which term you go with. Interest Crediting Methods There are also several optional riders available, including a:
- Lifetime Income Rider with a Fixed Rate
- Lifetime Income Rider with a Fixed Rate plus Index Credit
How an Advisor Might Pitch this AnnuityGiven the seemingly “best of all worlds” scenario that fixed index annuities tend to provide, it is likely that an insurance or financial sales rep will pitch the annuity as a way for you to grow your retirement savings, and to keep your money safe. Plus, given that people are living longer today than at any other time in history, this annuity can also help to alleviate the fear of running out of money before running out of time. You could also have the surrender charges on this annuity waived in the event of a qualifying terminal illness, disability, and/or confinement in a licensed hospital, convalescent home, or skilled nursing home facility. Yet, even though growing your money, keeping it safe, and knowing that you will have an income for life can initially sound like the best of all worlds, there are also some things that you need to know about the Strategy Indexed Annuity PLUS 7 before you dive in head first. For example, even though fixed index annuity products can have the ability to provide a larger return than that of a fixed annuity, in most cases – including right here – that positive return will be “capped.” So, if the underlying index that your money is tracking has an absolutely stellar return in a given year, your money will only be able to take part up to a certain amount. (Kinda like only getting halfway in the pool – where you’re only getting partially cooled off on a hot day). Along these same lines, you can also choose from several different participation rates. This means that your money will only take part in a certain percentage of the overall gain in the underlying index – such as 50% or 75%. So, when you couple the participation rate and the cap, you can soon see that, even if the index you’re tracking has a monumental return in a given year, you could still be left standing in the dust.
Hypothetical Example Including Participation Rate and CapsIn addition, if you need to get at more than 10% of the money that is in your annuity contract – at least for the first eight years – you will incur a surrender fee. (Plus, if you are under the age of 59 1/2 when you make such a withdrawal, you can also incur an additional 10% “early withdrawal” penalty from the IRS).
What About the Fees on the Strategy Indexed Annuity PLUS 7 from American National?Even if you searched far and wide, you will likely be hard pressed to find any financial or insurance product that didn’t have at least some amount of fees. The American National Strategy Indexed Annuity PLUD 7 annuity is no different. In this case, be prepared to pay an added amount of premium on the optional riders. So, if you plan to include these in the contract, it’s important to know up front how much more you’ll need to pay and to then weigh out the pros and cons. Also, any withdrawals that are taken out in excess of 10% of the contract’s value within the first eight years will be hit with a surrender charge. The amount of these surrender fees begin at 7% in Year 1, and gradually grade down over time.
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the American National Strategy Indexed PLUS 7 Fixed Index AnnuityWhere it works best: This particular annuity will usually work the best for those who are looking for:
- The opportunity to obtain a higher rate of growth
- Safety of principal
- Guaranteed lifetime income
- Want to fully participate in market gains
- Want or need to access their funds penalty-free within the first 8 years of purchasing the annuity
- Do not intend to use the guaranteed lifetime income feature