What We Will Be Covering in this Annuity ReviewIn this annuity review, we will be discussing the following details on the Athene Agility 7-year fixed indexed annuity:
- Product type
- Current rates
- Realistic long-term return 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.
If you have been thinking about purchasing an annuity so that you can attain tax-deferred growth with your savings, as well as a guaranteed lifetime income in retirement, then the Athene Agility 7-year fixed indexed annuity may be a good choice for you. But, before you run out and commit to this annuity – or to any annuity – it is highly recommended that you first attain a good understanding of how the annuity works, and how it may (or may not) work for you. In addition, as annuities – and fixed indexed annuities in particular – have become more popular over the past several years, more and more insurers are introducing new products out into the marketplace. Because of that, annuities that initially might seem exactly alike can actually give you vastly different results. So, it is important that you first discuss your needs with an annuity professional who can help you with sorting all of the intricate details. This annuity review will give you a good running start. One of the biggest reasons that consumers are so interested in fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) is because they can essentially offer the best of both worlds…or at least it can appear that way. This is because these annuities provide the opportunity to receive positive growth when an underlying market index is being tracked and performs well, while also protecting your principal if the underlying index performs poorly. As an extra added bonus, FIAs can also provide you with the ability to receive a guaranteed income for the remainder of your life (as well as that of a spouse or partner, if applicable) – regardless of how long that income may be needed. But, due in large part to the increased number of new-fangled products that are being pushed out into the market by insurance companies – each trying to outdo the other – these particular annuities can also be extremely confusing. So, it makes it even more essential that you read over all of the fine print before you commit what could be a large percentage of your savings to this annuity.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information That Can Be TrustedIf this is your first visit to our website, we would like to formally welcome you to Annuity Gator. We are a team of annuity professionals who have a key focus on offering comprehensive – yet non-biased – annuity reviews online. Our primary mission here at Annuity Gator is to help you find the best annuities available, and to guide you towards the one (or ones) that fit your specific needs, and away from the ones that don’t. With all of the media hype today – which includes countless numbers of financial “gurus” telling you what to do – it can be difficult at best to cut through all of the clutter. This is where the Annuity Gator comes in. We investigate and compare annuities, and in turn, provide our website visitors with the in-depth information that they may not receive from their insurance or financial advisor. You can find these reviews in our massive annuity review database that is located on our website. We’ve been creating annuity reviews for quite some time now – far longer than our competitors have – although many of them would like to have you think otherwise. Due to our experience and longevity in this arena, we have become very good at what we do, and we’ve actually come to be known as a highly trusted source of annuity information online. If you’ve been reviewing annuities on the Internet, it is possible that you have come across some highly conflicting information about these products. This, however, isn’t really all that uncommon, as there are many different annuities, and there many different thoughts about them. It could also be that you have recently attended an annuity seminar where, in return for a free dinner or lunch, the presenter had your attention while he or she described the Athene Agility 7-year fixed indexed annuity. It may even have been your attendance at that event that has led you online, on a quest for more information. When doing your annuity research, you may have run across some of the other websites out there that discuss annuities – but are more interested in simply obtaining your contact information so that they can bombard you with a deluge of emails and marketing materials. In order to lure you into giving your information, they will often make some pretty outrageous claims about the annuities that they offer, such as:
- High Annuity Income Payouts
- Guaranteed Income for Life
- Top-Rated Annuity Carriers
- Low Fees
Athene Agility 7-year Fixed Indexed Annuity at a Glance
|Type of Product
|Fixed Indexed Annuity
Opening Thoughts on the Athene Agility 7-Year Fixed Indexed AnnuityAthene USA is a somewhat newer name for an acquisition of a long-established life insurance carrier that has a century-old track record in the insurance and financial services industry. This company’s life insurance offices are based out of Delaware, Iowa, and New York. Athene USA services customers in all 50 of the United States. Athene is a leading retirement services company that is dedicated to helping individuals and institutions fund retirement needs. As of mid-2020, Athene held nearly $147 billion in total GAAP assets. This insurer is rated as the number two carrier in fixed indexed annuity sales, and has been consistently for the past three years. The company’s investment portfolio is well-diversified with 94% of its fixed maturity securities rated 1 or 2 – the highest categories by the NAIC’s Securities Valuation Office. Throughout the past decade or so, the volatility in the market has really made investors think twice about putting their hard-earned savings into an area that could wipe away years of planning within a very short time if experiencing a market correction. Yet at the same time, historically low interest rates in the U.S. over the past ten years or so have not provided investors anywhere near the returns they need in order to beat – or even meet – future inflation. This is where the fixed indexed annuity can come in. These financial vehicles allow you the opportunity to attain index-linked returns as well as the safety of principal, regardless of what occurs in the market. Just like other types of annuities, these products also offer tax-deferred earnings within the account – and, there is the option to receive a lifetime income in retirement, regardless of how long you may need it. However, even though this “best of all worlds” scenario initially seems very appealing, these benefits can also come at a cost. So, before you move forward with the purchase of the Athene Agility fixed indexed annuity (or, for that matter, any annuity), you need to be sure that you check out all of the details as, once you have purchased an annuity, it could be quite an ordeal to get yourself out of it.
Before getting into the nitty-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. Athene 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 our perspective when breaking down the positives and the negatives of this particular annuity. Prior to committing to the purchase of any type of insurance and/or investment vehicle, it is critical that you do your own due diligence, and that you also talk with a properly licensed professional if you have any questions that relate to your specific situation. All of the names, materials, and marks that have been used in compiling this annuity review are the property of their respective owners. For additional information on how to compare fixed annuities so that you can decide which may be the best one for you, click here in order to obtain our free annuity report.
How Athene Describes the Agility 7-Year FIAAthene describes the Agility 7 annuity as a “fixed indexed annuity for income with agility.” This annuity is designed for delivering strong income and growth potential, plus liquidity. It also offers a built-in death benefit rider at no additional charge. During the annuity’s accumulation period (prior to converting over to an income stream), the Agility 7 offers an initial 20% bonus that can help to boost the income rider’s benefit base. Athene also offers 175% “stacked” growth to the annuity’s benefit base – which means that the annuity’s return shares in 175% of what the underlying index returns. Increases are locked in and cannot be lost, regardless of future index performance. This versatile annuity also includes a built-in income and death benefit rider at no added premium charge. There is also a terminal illness waiver that allows you to withdraw up to 100% of the annuity’s accumulated value if you (or the annuitant) is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Likewise, after the first contract year, the annuitant could qualify to access up to 100% of the accumulated value if he or she is confined to a nursing home for at least 60 consecutive days. When income is needed, the Agility shines in this area, too, as income payments may increase, based on the performance of the underlying index. This can be beneficial in helping to keep incoming cash flow at, or even ahead of, the rate of future inflation. The income payment from this annuity is guaranteed for the annuitant’s life. (And, unlike many fixed indexed annuities, the income rider on the Athene Agility 7 is added at no extra charge). While the Agility annuity is often compared with the Allianz 222 fixed indexed annuity, there are several areas where the Athene product comes out on top. First, the Athene Agility guarantees a higher amount of lifetime income if we had an extended time of poor performance in the market indexes. Granted we don’t know what the markets will do, but if we did have an extended period where they did not perform, then Athene would give you a higher lifetime income. In addition, the Athene Agility allows free withdrawals of 10% per year based on either the initial premium or the account value, whereas the 222 annuity from Allianz only allows you to take out up to 10% based on the initial premium. Over time, there can be a significant difference between these two figures. Where the Athene Agility 7 year really shines in comparison to the Allianz 222 annuity is the Agility offers a better participation rate for the income benefit. (175% versus 150% with Allianz) this can make a very big difference when calculating the lifetime income. And maybe the biggest difference is that the Athene Agility 7 can have its lifetime income turned on after the 7th year. That is a big difference, the Allianz 222 income is to be turned on after 10 years. We have heard many advisors say that you could take the free withdrawal from the Allianz 222 for years 8, 9, and 10. But that is not what the product was built for and we believe that would lead to less than optimal results. The guaranteed lifetime income for both the Athene Agility and the Allianz 222 have the ability to increase each year based on their market index gains. To check out more of the in-depth details about this annuity directly from the company’s product guide, you can go HERE. For a direct comparison of the Allianz 222 annuity versus the Athene Agility 10 annuity, go HERE.
Athene and the Better Business BureauOver the past few years, Athene has received a number of customer complaints through the Better Business Bureau (BBB). These complaints have centered primarily around administrative issues related to one of the company’s third-party subcontractors. This in no way affects the quality, stability, or the strength of the Athene annuity products. In order to read the company’s press releases in full regarding this matter, go HERE and HERE.
How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” this AnnuityFixed indexed annuities can offer some very nice advantages – starting with the fact that they provide you with the opportunity to attain a higher return than a regular fixed annuity, yet the FIA will still protect your principal in any type of market environment. As with other annuities, your earnings can compound tax-deferred, so you can continue to build the funds in the account without the need to pay Uncle Sam each year (until the time of withdrawal). The FIA products also allow you to get income for life, so you can alleviate any worry about running out of income in retirement. With that in mind, a financial advisor is likely to focus on this “best of all worlds” scenario when presenting this product to you. However, because there are so many “moving parts” on fixed indexed annuities, you really need to take a deeper look into how the components of these annuities work, because typically, they aren’t always a walk in the park when it comes to generating the returns you are anticipating. In addition to possible surrender charges, there can also be some other fees involved if you own the Athene Agility fixed indexed annuity.
Fees Associated with the Athene Agility 7-Year Fixed Indexed AnnuityWhen you have a financial product that offers any type of guarantee on it, it’s likely that there will also be tradeoffs to consider somewhere along the line. This holds true (somewhat) with the Athene Agility 7 fixed indexed annuity. In this case, for instance, there is no added cost for the income rider. However, there are a few areas to keep in mind that could cost you, if you’re not careful. This annuity would not be a good fit if you planned to start the lifetime income before 7 years. Technically you could withdraw your free 10% each year but that would not be using this contract to its full advantage. This is an excellent annuity but it is really designed for income later. Meaning you want your lifetime income to start at least 7 years or more down the road. If you want your income to start before that then there are better annuities to meet that goal. Just contact us and we will help you review what annuities would be better for income starting earlier. Also, as with most other annuities, if more than 10% of the contract’s value is withdrawn during the surrender charge period, a withdrawal charge penalty will be incurred. These charges are set up as follows:
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Athene Agility 7-Year Fixed Indexed AnnuityWhere it works the best: This annuity could work for you if you are looking for:
- Safety of your principal – regardless of what occurs in the market
- The opportunity for index-linked growth
- Guaranteed lifetime income in retirement
- Want penalty-free access to most or all of your money within the first seven full years of purchasing the annuity
- Do not intend to use the lifetime income feature of the annuity
In SummaryThere are many different factors that you should consider prior to making a long-term commitment to purchasing an annuity. For example, in addition to knowing that it can be costly to change your mind, 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. Especially in light of the fact that the Allianz 222 is oftentimes directly compared to this Athene annuity. When considering the Athene Agility 7-Year Fixed Indexed Annuity, though, you can be confident that the principal you have in the account is safe, regardless of what happens in the market – or even in the economy overall. 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 if you needed the income to start before 7 years. If this is the case, there are better alternative annuities. Just check with us. But even so, the only way to really know if this annuity is right for you is to have it tested. We can assist you with that 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.
Do You Have Any More Questions About this Annuity? Did You Notice Any Mistakes in this Review?We realize that this annuity review ran a tad bit on the long side, however, we feel that providing you with “too much” information is far better than not giving you enough. So, if you felt that this review was helpful, please feel free to pass it along and share it with anyone else whom you think could also benefit from it. In addition, we also realize that the information about annuities can – and often does – change. Therefore, if you happened to notice if there were any details within this review that should be revised, please let us know that too, and we will be glad to make the necessary updates to it. Are there any other annuities that you would like to know more about? If so, just let us know the name (or names) of the annuity(ies) and our Annuity Gator annuity “geeks” will get on it. So, be sure to check back soon and regularly to see all of our new and updated annuity reviews. Best, The Annuity Gator P.S If you would like to read more of our Athene annuity reviews here are some links to check out:
- Athene Balanced Choice Annuity (BCA) Elevate Fixed Indexed Annuity
- Athene Ascent Fixed Indexed Annuity
- Athene Ascent 10 Bonus Fixed Index Annuity
- Athene Income Select Bonus Fixed Index Annuity
- Athene Ascent 10 Bonus 2.0 Fixed Indexed Annuity with Ascent Income Rider Option 1
- Athene MYG 5 Fixed Annuity
- Athene MaxRate 7 Multi-Year Guarantee Annuity
- Athene Ascent Accumulator 10 Fixed Indexed Annuity
- Athene Balanced Choice Level 10 Annuity
- Athene Agility 10-Year Fixed Indexed Annuity