What We Will Be Covering in this Annuity ReviewIn this annuity review, we will be going over the details regarding the Athene Ascent Accumulator 10 fixed indexed annuity, such as:
- 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 considering the idea of purchasing an annuity because you are seeking additional tax-deferred growth, protection of principal (in any market environment), and a lifetime income stream, then the Athene Ascent Accumulator 10 fixed indexed annuity could be a good option for you. However, prior to making a long-term commitment to this – or to any – financial vehicle, there are some things that you should know about that could have a big impact on whether or not it is the right choice for you and your specific needs. Over the past several years, fixed indexed 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. Although this may not necessarily be bad in all cases, it is still highly important that you at least know how the product works and what it will cost – and then you will be in a better position to determine whether or not you want to move forward with it.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information You Can TrustIf this is the first time that you have been to our website, then please allow us to formally welcome you to Annuity Gator. We make up a team of annuity pros who have a key focus on offering very comprehensive – yet unbiased – annuity reviews. We’ve been at this for quite some time now – much longer than most of our competitors have – and because of that, we’ve come to be known as a trusted source of annuity information online (as versus the many “copycat” websites that are also vying for your attention). If you have been doing any amount of research about annuities via the Internet, it is likely that you have come across some highly conflicting details about these financial vehicles. This really is not all that surprising, though, as there are a lot of annuities available in the market today, and there are many opinions, both positive and negative, about them. It could also be that you have recently attended an annuity seminar where the presenter gave you a free lunch or dinner, and during your mean, he or she provided information about the Athene Ascent Accumulator 10 or some other similar annuity product. It could even be that, as a result of your attending that seminar, you have found your way here to our website in search of additional details. During your annuity research, you may have seen other annuity-related sites. But, while there are a number of other websites out there that are focused on providing annuity details, many of these are much more interested in “luring” you in by stating some pretty bold claims, such as having the lowest fees, and/or providing the highest annuity income payouts. Yet, as truly enticing as these claims might be, the reality is that prior to you making a commitment on any annuity, it is important for you to find out whether or not these claims are really true, just as you would do prior to purchasing any other high-dollar item. This is where the Annuity Gator comes in! If your intent is to learn more about the Ascent Accumulator 10 fixed indexed annuity from Athene, then you are definitely in the right place In fact, we dare state that our website is the only place online where you can find all of the in-depth details about this annuity – which includes the good, and the bad. That’s because we feel that knowing the whole story about an annuity is the only way for consumers to make a truly well-informed decision about whether or not it is the right product for them. Oftentimes, when a financial or insurance advisor is presenting a fixed indexed annuity to his or her clients, they will provide a nice rosy picture of how the annuity can offer the best of all world, meaning that the product has the ability to offer a nice return, along with safety of principal – as well as income for life. But in doing so, the advisor may neglect to provide details about areas that could be considered drawbacks. With that in mind, if you are seriously thinking about purchasing the Athene Ascent Accumulator 10 annuity, you need to know exactly what you could be getting int. One of the primary reasons for this is because getting yourself out of an annuity can be a bit difficult, as well as quite expensive, as you can run into early withdrawal fees and penalties. In order to be perfectly clear here, we do want it to be known that we believe annuities are good financial tools for many investors – but this is the case only if the annuity fits in well with your short- and long-term financial goals. So, if you are ready to begin this review, let’s dive in!
The Athene Ascent Accumulator 10 Fixed Indexed Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||Ascent Accumulator 10|
|Type of Product||Fixed Indexed Annuity|
|Phone Number||(888) 266-8489|
Opening Thoughts on the Athene Ascent Accumulator 10 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 one of the fastest growing providers of indexed annuities. As of year-end 2017, Athene held nearly $100 billion in total GAAP assets. The company also held approximately 815,000 insurance policies in force, and it has earned high ratings from the top insurer rating agencies. These include an A- (Strong) from S&P, an A (Excellent) from A.M. Best, and an A- (Strong) from Fitch. Throughout the past decade or so, the volatility in the market has 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 correction. Yet at the same time, historically low-interest rates 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 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 Ascent Accumulator 10 annuity, you really should be sure that you know all of the details about how it works, and what it will – and will not – be able to do for you.
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 Ascent Accumulator 10 Fixed Indexed AnnuityAthene describes the Ascent Accumulator fixed indexed annuity as a product that offers a variety of index crediting strategies, and exclusive index options that can deliver strong growth potential. This annuity has a focus on accumulation – and the multiple index crediting methods can help you to do just that – based on the performance of the underlying index (or indices), of course. There is also a minimum interest credit, which provides the opportunity for a one-time automatic interest credit. With this feature, if at the end of the withdrawal charge period the total interest that has been credited to the annuity’s accumulation value is less than the minimum interest credit, then you will automatically receive a one-time credit equal to the difference. The Athene Ascent Accumulator 10 annuity also offers some other bells and whistles on it, such as a death benefit rider, a terminal illness waiver, and a nursing home confinement waiver. For example, with the optional Athene Ascent Legacy rider, beneficiaries can choose from two different payout options – either a single lump sum or a 5-year payout. There is also guaranteed growth attained to the rider benefit base, which is currently (April 2018) 8% simple for up to ten years. (The death benefit amount with this rider will be the greater of the base contract death benefit and the death benefit that is provided under the rider). With the terminal illness rider, you can withdraw up to 100% of the annuity’s accumulated value if diagnosed with a terminal illness that is anticipated to render a life expectancy of one year or less. This waiver is available after the first contract anniversary. Likewise, after the first contract year, you may be able to withdraw up to 100% of the annuity’s accumulated value if you are confined to a qualified care facility for at least 60 consecutive days, and you meet the other eligibility requirements. Here, too, the confinement must not begin until after the first annuity contract year. For more of the in-depth details about the Athene Ascent Accumulator 10 fixed indexed annuity, you can view the entire product guide HERE.
How an Insurance Agent Might Pitch this Annuity to Clients and ProspectsGiven that those who are approaching retirement are concerned with both growing and protecting their savings, an insurance or financial services professional who is presenting the Athene Ascent Accumulator 10 fixed indexed annuity to a client or a prospect will likely highlight this product’s “best of all worlds” capabilities. As an extra added bonus, this product can also help to ensure an ongoing income in retirement. But if you are considering moving forward with the Ascent Accumulator 10 from Athene, you need to be sure that you take a close look at all of this annuity’s fine print so that you know what some of the “tradeoffs” are that you may have to make. In addition, while the additional death benefit rider, terminal illness waiver, and confinement waiver can add an additional element of flexibility to this annuity, they also come with a cost. For instance, both the terminal illness and confinement waivers will require you to first own the annuity for at least one year prior to a diagnosis and/or confinement. And, according to the company’s literature, “additional limitations, state variations, and exclusions may apply.” There is also some small print as it pertains to the optional death benefit. In this case, if a death benefit becomes payable before the two-year waiting period has elapsed, then only the base contract death benefit will be paid. (Although in this instance, Athene will refund the charges paid for the optional rider). Also, even though Athene (and most other annuity carriers) touts that their annuity is “liquid,” the reality is that you are only really allowed to withdraw up to 10% of the contract’s value penalty-free during the first ten years of purchasing the annuity. Otherwise, you could incur a surrender charge – and, if you make such withdrawals before you turn age 59 1/2, you could also run into an additional 10% “early withdrawal” penalty from the IRS. With that in mind, it is really important to understand that the purchase of an annuity should always be considered as a long-term financial commitment and that the dollars you put into an annuity should not also be earmarked for emergencies or other short-term needs.
What About the Fees on this AnnuityAs with other annuities, there are some fees that you will need to be mindful of with regard to the Athene Ascent Accumulator 10 annuity. Here, for instance, if you choose to go with the optional death benefit rider, you will incur an annual charge of 0.95% of the annuity’s benefit base. This charge will be deducted each month from the annuity’s accumulated value until the benefit base stops accumulating. Then there are the surrender charges. As mentioned previously, if you withdraw more than 10% of the annuity’s value within the surrender period – which in this case is an entire decade – then you will be hit with a surrender penalty. These start at 9% in Year 1, and gradually grade downward as follows:
Athene Ascent Accumulator 10 Fixed Indexed Annuity Surrender Charge Schedule
|Charge Percent California||9||8.2||7||5.9||4.8||3.6||2.5||1.3||0.1||0||0|
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Athene Ascent Accumulator 10 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 stock market
- The opportunity for index-linked growth, as versus just a set (low) rate of return
- Guaranteed lifetime income in retirement
- Want penalty-free access to most or all of your money within the first ten 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 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. When considering the Athene Ascent Accumulator 10 Fixed Indexed Annuity, you can be sure 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 – 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.
Do You Have Any More Questions About this Annuity? Did You Notice Any Mistakes in this Review?We understand that this Athene annuity review was somewhat lengthy. So, we do appreciate you 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 AnnuityGator.com to view the new (and updated) 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