What’s Covered in this Review?
In this review we’ll cover the following information on the Foresters Financial Plus Deferred Fixed 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’ve been thinking about purchasing an annuity because you want to be sure that you will have a reliable income stream in retirement, then the Foresters Financial Annuity Plus fixed annuity could be a good option for you. One reason for this is because the Annuity Plus from Foresters has several guarantees that are built right into the contract.
But, before you run out and commit to this annuity – or to any annuity, for that matter – it is an extremely good idea to first get a more in-depth understanding of how it may or may not align with your specific short- and long-term financial goals. Then, once you have taken a deeper dive into this financial vehicle, you can feel more comfortable with your decision to either move ahead and purchase it or to check out other viable alternatives.
Over the past decade or so – and particularly since the market crash of 2008 – fixed annuities have become rather popular as a way for people to keep their money safe, and to convert their funds into a lifetime income stream when ready to retire.
But, while these types of guarantees can be reassuring for you, it is also important to understand that any annuity is considered a long-term financial commitment that will typically come with surrender penalties if you want to get out of it. With that in mind, you really need to know what you are getting into.
Sadly, wading through all of an annuity’s “fine print” can be about as exciting as getting a root canal – and often just as painful! This is because these products come with page after page of technical jargon that can be quite tedious and confusing to get through. This is where we can help, though.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information that You Can Trust
If this is your first visit to the AnnuityGator.com website, we’d like to personally welcome you here. We are a team of experienced financial professionals who are focused on offering the most comprehensive – and unbiased – annuity reviews. We have been at this for many years – longer than our competitors – and because of that, we’ve become known as a go-to source of annuity information.
There may be any number of reasons why you’ve been seeking more details about annuities online. For example, you may have heard friends or family members discussing these financial products. You may also have recently attended an annuity seminar or workshop, where the presenter showed you information about fixed annuities. Attending that presentation may even be the catalyst that has led you here to our site, in search of additional details.
If you’ve spent any amount of time at all on the Internet researching fixed annuities, it is likely that you have come across some highly conflicting details about these products. This, however, isn’t at all surprising, as there is a wide range of opinions about annuities out there – from consumers and financial advisors alike.
Although there are many very good websites on the Internet today that are devoted to marketing annuities, some of these sites may try to “lure” you in with great and wonderful claims about the products they offer, such as:
- High annuity income payouts
- Low fees
- Top-rated annuity companies
- Guaranteed lifetime income
- Fast annuity quotes
Certainly, these bold claims sound quite appealing. But, it is absolutely essential that you first determine if they are really true. We can help you to do just that. So, if you’re seeking additional details about the Foresters Financial Annuity Plus deferred fixed annuity, keep reading and you’ll get all of the nitty gritty details right here.
In doing so, though, you will find that we don’t just highlight the good points about the annuity, but rather we also point out the key considerations that you need to know. That way, you will be in a much better position to decide if this is the annuity you want to go with, or if you should stay away from this particular product and check out some other potential options that could be better for you.
Unfortunately, insurance and financial representatives who offer fixed annuities to their clients will often do their very best to paint you a nice rosy picture of how safe these products can be, as well as the steady growth that they can produce. However, they may neglect to also give you the “other side of the coin,” which you may only find out after you’ve made a commitment to purchase the product, at which point it can be too late.
Before moving on to the meat of the review, we do want to make it clear that we think annuities can be a good option for many people. But just as with any other financial product, all annuities are not exactly the same, so you need to make sure that you’re going with one that fits your needs and goals the best.
So, if you are ready to move forward, let’s get started!
Foresters Financial Annuity Plus Deferred Fixed Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||Annuity Plus|
|Type of Product||Fixed Annuity|
|A.M. Best Rating||A (Excellent)|
|Phone Number||(800) 828-1540|
Opening Thoughts on the Foresters Financial Annuity Plus Deferred Fixed Annuity
Foresters Financial is an international financial services company that was initially founded back in 1874. So, with more than 140 years of history under its belt, this company has thrived, even though recessions and depressions. The company offers retirement annuities, as well as a long list of other financial and insurance products, including life insurance and investments.
This insurer, as of year-end 2015, held in excess of $13 billion in total assets, and nearly $2.3 billion in surplus – so it has strong financials, which can be reassuring in terms of its ability to pay out future policyholder claims. Foresters has more than 3 million customers and members who reside in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Due in large part to the continued market volatility over the past decade or so, the demand for fixed annuities have grown significantly – mainly as a way for retirees, and those who are saving for retirement, to keep their money safe.
But on the other hand, due to the low-interest-rate environment that we’ve been living in for nearly the past ten years, the “cost” of this safety is the fact that the return is extremely low. In fact, in most cases, the return that is earned on fixed annuities today cannot even meet or beat inflation. This can be a sizeable problem, though, as it can negatively impact the amount of money that you accumulate in the annuity and, in turn, the amount of retirement income that you’ll receive from it.
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. Foresters 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.
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 Foresters Financial Describes the Annuity Plus Deferred Fixed Annuity
If you check the Foresters website, you’ll notice that the company describes the Annuity Plus deferred fixed annuity as a product that will provide a “stable income stream during your retirement years.”
The product is touted as being able to help plan for financial security during retirement, and to accumulate value as you make deposits, and as interest is credited to the account. In addition, purchasers of the Annuity Plus can “customize” it to suit more specific needs.
This particular annuity allows you to pick from six different guaranteed interest accounts, as it allows you to have multiple guaranteed interest accounts all within the same annuity. Then, when ready to convert the annuity over into an income stream, you can also choose from several different options.
There are other features that are also included on the Annuity Plus, such as a death benefit, which will pay out unused funds upon the annuitant’s death, and that can also help to avoid probate, as the money will pass directly to a named individual (or individuals).
How a Financial Advisor May “Pitch” This Annuity
There are definitely some nice features that you can access if you go with the Foresters Financial Annuity Plus annuity – starting with its guaranteed interest rate, and the ability to pay out a lifetime income stream to you, regardless of how long you live. In addition, your principal will be protected, regardless of what happens in the stock market. This can help to eliminate the worry of loss, which in turn could help you to sleep more soundly at night.
Also, as with other annuities, while your funds are in the “accumulation” phase of the annuity, you’ll get the benefit of tax-deferred growth. So, these are some of the items that an insurance or financial advisor will typically highlight. With that in mind, you may feel that the Annuity Plus from Foresters is an ideal offering.
But keep in mind that, if you are being offered this annuity by a commissioned insurance or financial sales rep, then he or she is likely to point out all of the benefits and guarantees, while possibly leaving out any of the features that may be drawbacks.
Because of that, you will definitely want to take a closer look at the small print for this fixed annuity – particularly because the purchase of this annuity could quite possibly require a sizeable chunk of your hard-earned retirement savings. And, if you decide later that there is another financial vehicle that would be better for you, it could cost you a hefty surrender penalty if you change your mind.
In fact, if you take a closer look at the Foresters Financial Annuity Plus product, you’ll find that there are few items that may dim its highlights.
First, for instance, this annuity will offer you a guaranteed rate – which is more, the more money you deposit. However, this rate is currently very low. And, with the rate guarantee, given the low-interest rate environment we’ve been experiencing for the past decade, your money won’t likely even meet ongoing inflation, much less beat it. This could have a significant impact on the amount of income you will receive from the annuity, and in turn, your retirement lifestyle.
What About the Fees on the Foresters Financial Annuity Plus Deferred Fixed Annuity?
If you looked far and wide, you would be hard pressed to find any financial product that didn’t charge at least some type of fee (although at times, insurance and financial companies can be good at hiding the information about their charges).
With regard to the Foresters Financial Annuity Plus Deferred Fixed Annuity, taking out more than 10% of your annuity contract value while you are still within the surrender period will result in a surrender fee. (This is in addition to a 10% early withdrawal fee that you would also incur if you are below age 59 1/2 when you make the withdrawal).
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Foresters Financial Annuity Plus Deferred Fixed Annuity
Where it works best:
This annuity will generally work best for those who are looking for:
- A guaranteed lifetime income in retirement
- Safety of principal
- A guaranteed minimum interest rate
Where it works the worst:
This fixed annuity may not be an ideal fit if you:
- Need or want access to your money penalty-free within the first several contract years
- Are seeking a high rate of return on your money
- Do not intend on using the guaranteed lifetime income feature
When you are in the process of considering the purchase of an annuity, there are several key criteria that you should ideally consider. As an example, any and all annuities should always be considered as a long-term financial commitment – and because of that, fixed annuities will typically appeal to those who are seeking future retirement income, as well as a safe place to put their money.
But unfortunately, even though the Annuity Plus product from Foresters does, in fact, provide some nice guarantees like protection of principal and a lifetime income guarantee, it can still end up falling somewhat short – especially when compared to some of the other options that may be available to you.
So, if you are still wondering whether this fixed annuity is right for you, or if you still have any additional questions or concerns regarding annuities in general, then please feel free to reach out to us through our secure contact form here.
Do You Have Any Additional Questions on Forester’s Annuity Plus Annuity? Did You Happen to Notice Any Mistakes Here?
Thank you for bearing with us on this review. We realize that it was somewhat long. However, we would much rather give you more information than not enough. If you did find it to be helpful, then please feel free to spread the word and share it with others as they, too, might also find the information to be useful.
In addition, as humans sometimes do, we all make mistakes. So, if you happened to notice any while going through this review, please let us know that, too, by sending us a note via our secure contact form and we’ll get the updates done right away.
Are there any annuities that you’d like to know more about?
If so, we’ll review them and put our findings here on our website. Just let us know which annuity (or annuities) you are interested in – including fixed, fixed indexed, and/or variable – and our annuity geeks team will start working on them.
The Annuity Gator