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Independent Review of the Brighthouse Income Annuity

What Will Be Covered in this Annuity Review?

In this review, we will cover the following information about the Brighthouse Income Annuity:
  • Product typeIndependent Review of the Brighthouse Financial Shield Level Selector Annuity
  • Fees
  • 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.

Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information You Can Trust If this is your first visit to our website, please allow us to officially welcome you to We are a team of experienced financial professionals who provide highly comprehensive, and non-biased, annuity reviews. We have been doing this for many years now – much longer than some of the other annuity websites that you may have run across in your search for annuity information. In fact, there are a number of copycat sites out there that will make bold claims about their annuity offerings but are really just looking for your name and contact information. Due to our longevity, and our detailed annuity reviews, we have become known over the years as a highly trusted source of annuity information. So, if you’re seeking additional, and more in-depth, details regarding the Brighthouse Income Annuity, then you are definitely in the right place! So, let’s dive right in!

The Brighthouse Income Annuity at a Glance

Product NameBrighthouse Income Annuity
IssuerBrighthouse Financial
Type of ProductSingle Premium Immediate Annuity (SPIA)
S&P RatingA+
Phone Number(800) 638-5433

Opening Thoughts on the Brighthouse Income Annuity

Brighthouse Financial is one of the largest providers of annuities and life insurance in the United States. This company specializes in products that are designed to help protect what investors have earned, and then to ensure that it lasts. As of early 2019, Brighthouse held approximately $217 billion in total assets, and roughly $83 billion in its general investment accounts. With more than 2 million customers, Brighthouse holds in excess of 2.5 million life insurance policies and annuity contracts. Due in large part to its financial strength and stability, Brighthouse has earned high ratings from the insurer rating agencies. These include a(n):
  • A from A.M. Best
  • A from Fitch Ratings
  • A3 from Moody’s Investor Service
  • A+ from Standard & Poor’s
Today, with so many employers getting rid of their defined benefit pension plans, it has really become the responsibility of individuals to make sure that they convert their savings over into an income stream – and that the income continues to last throughout the remainder of their lifetime. An immediate annuity like the Income Annuity from Brighthouse Financial could fit the bill for solving these issues. However, it is also important to remember that, just like any other financial product, not all annuities are the same. So, it is highly recommended that you take a good, close look at this – or any other annuity that you are considering – before you commit to it.

Before we get into the in-depth details, we have some legal disclosures to present…

This is an independent annuity product review. It is not a recommendation to purchase or to sell an annuity. Brighthouse Financial 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. Want to more about how annuities really work? Click here to receive our updated annuity report.

How Brighthouse Financial Describes the Income Annuity

According to its product literature, Brighthouse describes its Income Annuity as a single premium income product that provides immediate and predictable income that can help you to cover both daily and discretionary expenses, while at the same time protecting you from market risk. The income payments that are generated from the Brighthouse Income Annuity can continue for the remainder of your life, or the remainder of both your life and someone else’s, such as a spouse or partner. There are a couple of different options available on the Income Annuity that allow you to essentially “customize” how you obtain your funds. For example, you can opt for the highest amount of regular income possible, or you can instead allow for a legacy to be left for loved ones. In addition, the increasing income option provides a hedge against future inflation by providing a yearly increase in the amount of income that you receive. Also, while most immediate income annuities won’t allow you to make a withdrawal of your funds once the income stream has begun, the Brighthouse Income Annuity has an Early Access Option that allows you to have access to a portion of your future income, which can be taken as a partial withdrawal – even after you have started the income stream. To check out the full Brighthouse Income Annuity product information sheet, go HERE.

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

If an insurance or financial salesperson has presented you with the Brighthouse Income Annuity, then there are likely a few key items that he or she touched on in order to entice you to purchase it. First, the Brighthouse Income Annuity can indeed offer you a guarantee when it comes to income in retirement. This includes providing you with an income stream that will last throughout the remainder of your lifetime, as well as the life of another individual if you so choose. Plus, you have the opportunity to increase the amount of your income over time. But, while these features can allow you to worry less about running out of income in retirement, there are some things to be careful of. For instance, just like most other annuities, there can be charges, termination provisions, and various terms for keeping the product in force.

What About Any Fees and/or Taxes with the Brighthouse Income Annuity?

In terms of up-front fees, there are no purchasing charges that are deducted from your contribution, nor are there any annual charges with this product. However, you could run into some tax-related issues. For instance, if you purchase an immediate annuity with after-tax dollars, then each of your annuity income payments that are made will consist of both a taxable income portion and a return of premium portion (which is non-taxable). However, if you have used money from a traditional IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan (such as a 401k) where the money you contributed to the annuity has not yet been taxed, then you will owe taxes on 100% of the income distributions you receive. This, in turn, can make a big difference in the amount of income you are actually able to spend.

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Brighthouse Income Annuity

While an immediate annuity may not be right for everyone, the Brighthouse Income Annuity could be a good option for you if you are seeking the following benefits:
  • >A reliable income stream right away (or one that starts relatively soon after purchasing the annuity)
  • A place to move funds from an IRA, 401(k), or other type of retirement plan so that you can convert it from a lump sum of savings into income
  • A solution to the worry about running out of income in retirement
Where it works the worst: However, even though the Income Annuity from Brighthouse Financial offers some nice benefits, this particular annuity may not be for you if you:
  • Feel that you may need access to all of your funds for other needs or emergencies
  • Do not plan to use the annuity for income

In Summary

If you’ve been considering the purchase of an immediate annuity, but you are still not 100% sure about moving forward with it because you just don’t know if this is the right financial vehicle for you, then it is imperative that you further your understanding of this product, and that you get all of your questions answered. We can assist you with any of the questions or concerns that you may have. So, please feel free to reach out to us directly via our secure online contact form here. With regard to this particular annuity, the good news is that you (as well as another individual) can be assured that you will have income for as long as you need it, based upon the income payout option that you choose. Even so, though, the only way to really know whether or not the Brighthouse Income Annuity will work well for you and your situation is to have it tested. We can perform this testing for you, using our annuity calculator, and we will provide you the results at no charge or obligation. If you are interested in this information, just simply let us know here through our secure online contact form.

Have Any Additional Questions? Notice Any Mistakes in this Annuity Review?

We know that this review may have been somewhat lengthy. So, with that in mind, we truly thank you for sticking with us through thus far. However, we would much prefer to give you “too much” information in these annuity reviews that not to give you enough. Therefore, if you felt that this annuity review was beneficial, please feel free to share it and forward it on to anybody else that you think may also be helped by it. let us know that, too, so that we can get it revised as soon as possible. Are there any other annuities that you would like to also see reviewed? If you have been shopping for annuities, it is possible that you’ve been presented with several different options. So, if you’ve come across any other annuities that are not included in our review database, please let us know that, too so that we can do our research and analysis and add it to our site. Best, The Annuity Gator P.S If you would like to read more of our Brighthouse Financial annuity reviews here are some links to check out: Independent Review of the Brighthouse Financial Fixed Annuity MVA

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