What’s covered in this Review?In this review, we will be going over more in-depth information on the ProStrategies variable annuity from Guardian Life, 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.You might have noticed that, while researching annuities, the Guardian Life Pro Strategies Variable Annuity can perform well in some areas, where there are other circumstances where this particular product may not be the best alternative. When searching for the right annuity for you, it is always important to first consider the goals that you have – both short and long-term – for the product. Due in large part to the constant ups and downs of the market, variable annuities have fallen somewhat out of favor with some investors. This makes it all that much more important to read the fine print before you move forward with making a purchase. In doing so, you can determine just exactly how your money may be invested. You can also see where you will be charged, either up-front or ongoing, fees – which can make a big impact on your overall return. Unfortunately, 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 TrustIf 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 been spending any amount of time at all online looking for annuity info, then it’s likely that you’ve come across some highly conflicting details about these financial vehicles. This, however, is not entirely surprising, because there are a lot of annuities out there, along with a wide range of differing opinions. Plus, even though there are many good websites on the Internet today which 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
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- Guaranteed lifetime income
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Guardian Life ProStrategies Variable Annuity
|Issuer||Guardian Life Insurance Company|
|Type of Product||Variable Annuity|
|S&P Rating||AA+ (Very Strong)|
|Phone Number||(888) 482-7342|
Opening Thoughts on the Guardian Life ProStrategies Variable AnnuityGuardian Life has been in the insurance and financial protection arena for more than 150 years. As a mutual company, Guardian is owned by its policy holders, who share in the company’s financial results via annual dividends. As of year-end 2016, Guardian held in excess of $66 billion in assets under management and had $600 billion of life insurance in force. During that year, the company paid out nearly $5.9 billion in benefits to its policy holders, while holding roughly $7.4 billion in capital, and taking in nearly $12 billion in premiums and deposits. So, suffice it to say that Guardian is strong and stable financially. The rating agencies are responsible for gauging the financial strength of companies so that investors, policy holders, and partners can work with the facts. Guardian has received high ratings from the four primary rating companies, including:
- A++ from A.M. Best Company
- AA+ from Fitch
- Aa2 from Moody’s Investor Service
- AA+ from Standard & Poor’s
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. Guardian Life 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 Guardian Describes the ProStrategies Variable AnnuityGuardian Life describes its ProSeries line of variable annuities as offering a broad array of investment strategies so that you can build an optimal portfolio in order to meet your needs. These annuities offer 30 variable investment options across four different investment strategies, such as traditional investment options, risk managed options, sector focused options, and alternative investment options. For example, the ProStrategies annuity, you can choose from These annuities offer tax-deferred growth, along with the ability to secure future lifetime income via the Guardian SecureFuture Income rider – at no additional premium cost. There are also several death benefit options that you can choose from in order to protect your beneficiaries financially.
How a Financial Advisor Might Pitch this AnnuityGiven the numerous different investment options with the ProStrategies annuity from Guardian, it is likely that a financial or insurance advisor would pitch the diversification that can be garnered from this annuity in order to meet a variety of different needs. You can also make transfers among the variable investment options at any time. There are also some additional features that an advisor might highlight, such as the death benefit. Here you have the choice of either a standard death benefit or an enhanced death benefit rider that could provide even more funds for your beneficiaries. But, if your primary purpose for purchasing this annuity is to count on the lifetime income benefit, we recommend that you first consider the fact that the projected income could be even less than that of a fixed annuity alternative – yet without all of the potential sleepless nights due to market downturns. Overall, because there is no “perfect” product or investment, it is important to know clearly what your priorities are right from the beginning. This is especially the case before you move forward with signing an annuity contract because once you are in, it can be difficult – and costly – to get out. It can be difficult to know which annuity will be the best one for you and your specific circumstances. But it can be helpful to know some key tips when shopping for this type of product click here in order to obtain our free annuity shopper’s guide so that you can feel more confident in your decision going forward.
What About the Fees on the ProStrategies Annuity from Guardian Life?In general, variable annuities have a pretty bad rap for a number of fees that they charge. This is because you not only have to be cognizant of the charges from the annuity itself but also those that are charged from the investments that are inside of the annuity. According to the Guardian Life ProStrategies Variable Annuity prospectus, the expenses that are incurred in this annuity include:
- Contract Charges – There is an administrative charge and a daily mortality and expense risk charge. These are calculated at an annual rate of 0.60% of the accumulation value in the variable investment options.
- Operating Expenses for Mutual Funds – The management fees, 12b-1 fees, and other expenses associated with the funds that you may pay while owning the contract can range between 0.50% to 9.38%. (These, however, could change at any time).
- Death benefit rider charge
- Return of premium death benefit rider expense
- Return of premium plus death benefit rider expense
- Combination of death benefit riders expense
- Premium taxes (in some areas)
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Guardian Life ProStrategies Variable AnnuityWhere it works the best:
- If you’re seeking the opportunity for a higher, market-related return
- If you are looking for more control and diversification for what your annuity funds are invested in
- If you want to have a set income stream in retirement
- If you have a low tolerance for risk
- If you want your principal to be protected
- If you do not plan on using the lifetime income feature