What’s Covered In This Review
In this review, we’ll cover the following information on the Massachusetts Mutual Life’s Stable Voyage 5 Year Single Premium Fixed Deferred 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 seriously considering the purchase of an annuity because you want your money to grow tax deferred, and you want the security of a set, ongoing income stream in retirement, then the Mass Mutual Life Stable Voyage 5-Year Single Premium Fixed Deferred Annuity could be a good option for you. One reason for this is because this product can allow you to keep your money safe while earning a fixed rate of interest. It can also provide you with an ongoing stream of income in retirement – regardless of how long you may need it.
However, before you go out and make a long-term commitment to purchasing this annuity, it is important that you have a good understanding of how this particular annuity works, and how it may – or may not – work for you and your specific financial goals.
Throughout the past ten years or so, fixed annuities have become quite popular with individuals and couples who are interested in protecting their hard earned savings from a market correction. These products can also help with alleviating the worry about running out of income in retirement.
But, there is always, as they say, “another side to the story,” and it is essential to know both sides, as there could be some aspects of this annuity that are considered to be drawbacks. And, once you have jumped into an annuity with both feet, it can be difficult, and costly, to try and get back out.
This annuity review is here to help you with better understanding the benefits and the considerations regarding the Mass Mutual Stable Voyage 5-Year Single Premium Deferred Fixed Annuity so that you can make a much more informed determination regarding whether or not it is the product for you.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information that Can Be Trusted
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We’ve been at this for quite some time now – longer than our competitors – and because of that, we have come to be known as a trusted source of annuity information. But, just like anything that works well, there have also been a number of “copycat” websites that have popped up over the years.
Some of these websites will make some pretty bold claims in order to “lure” you in. These may include:
Does this look familiar?
If so, you need to beware – and to ensure that what these websites are saying is actually true. Because annuities are difficult to get out of, it is essential that you know just exactly how the product works, and whether or not it is the right one for you and your specific needs.
Just to be clear, we want to state that we feel annuities can be really great products…but only if they fit in well with your short- and long-term financial objectives and goals. With that being said, if you are ready to get started with this review, let’s go ahead and dive in!
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Massachusetts Mutual Stable Voyage 5-Year Single Premium Fixed Deferred Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||Stable Voyage 5-Year
|Type of Product||Single Premium Fixed Deferred Annuity
|S&P Rating||AA+ (Very Strong)
|Phone Number||(800) 272-2216
Opening Thoughts on the Stable Voyage 5-Year Annuity from Mass Mutual
Massachusetts Life (or Mass Mutual) has been in the business of helping customers to build and protect wealth since 1851. The company offers a long list of financial and insurance products, including life insurance and retirement annuities, which are distributed via more than 9,500 advisors.
As of year-end 2016, Mass Mutual had approximately $560 billion of life insurance in force. The insurer delivered $5 billion in benefits to its customers just in 2016.
The company has earned very high ratings from the insurer rating agencies, including a(n):
Given these figures, suffice it to say that Mass Mutual is financially strong and stable and that it has a good reputation for paying out its policy holders’ claims. The company will likely continue to do so, particularly in the area of fixed and fixed indexed annuities, as these products have become much more popular over the past decade or so.
With fixed annuities, for instance, you know that your funds will be safe while growing at a set rate of interest, as well as in a tax deferred manner. This means that there is no tax due on the gain until the time of withdrawal.
Unfortunately, due in large part to the historically low-interest rate environment we’ve been stuck in for roughly ten years, it may be difficult for your money that it is a fixed annuity to meet – much less beat – future inflation. This, in turn, can have a negative impact on your future purchasing power, especially if you plan to use the income from this annuity as a prominent portion of your retirement income.
- A++ (Superior) from A.M. Best Company (#1 out of a total of 15 rating categories)
- AA+ (Very Strong) from Fitch (#2 out of a total of 21 categories)
- Aa2 (Excellent) from Moody’s Investor Services (#3 out of a total of 21 categories)
- AA+ (Very Strong) from Standard & Poor’s (#2 out of a total of 21 rating categories)
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. Mass Mutual 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 Massachusetts Mutual Describes the Stable Voyage 5-Year Single Premium Annuity
Mass Mutual describes the Stable Voyage 5-Year Single Premium Annuity as a “single premium, fixed deferred annuity that is designed to help you accumulate assets for retirement and turn those assets into future guaranteed income.”
This single premium annuity allows a lump sum deposit of between $10,000 and $1.5 million (possibly more with approval). The Stable Voyage annuity product comes in a 5-year, 7-year, and 9-year version. These products have an initial fixed interest rate guarantee that will start when you purchase the contract and continue for the allotted number of years. (In the case of the 5-year annuity, the rate period lasts for five years). At the end of the initial guarantee period, you can then renew the contract for a period of one, five, seven, or nine years.
This annuity has a couple of other features, such as a death benefit, as well as a nursing home and hospital waiver, and a terminal illness waiver. These waivers can allow the withdrawal of all or a portion of the contract value without having to pay a surrender penalty, provided that certain conditions are met.
How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” This Annuity
For those who are concerned about keeping their money safe, hearing the word “guarantee” can provide at least some amount of comfort. The Massachusetts Mutual Stable Voyage 5-Year single premium annuity product offers a set rate of interest for the first five years. This can help you to lock in a rate, and know what the annuity will return, regardless of what occurs in the market.
If you’ve been presented this annuity by an insurance or financial advisor, then, it is likely that he or she will key in on the safety and the guarantee features. They are also likely to discuss in detail the fact that you can count on a certain amount of income in retirement with this annuity. Here, worries can be put to rest about running out of income in the future.
But even though this annuity can keep your money safe, there are some other items to consider before you move forward with making a commitment. One key item is the fact that the low-interest rate that you’ll receive is not likely to grow your money very much – in fact, it may even be that you can get a similar or better rate by simply putting your money into a savings or money market account, where you won’t have to worry about several years of surrender charges if you need to take your funds out.
The annuity also falls short somewhat on flexibility in a couple of areas. For example, because it is a single premium product, once you’ve made a lump sum payment into the contract, no further deposits are allowed.
Also, once the initial guarantee period has elapsed, it is necessary to go back into a new guarantee period. The problem with this is that the new interest rate that is available to you could be even lower than your initial rate.
Also, the annuity stipulates a maximum age by which the income from the annuity must begin. In this case, it is either ten years after contract issue, or by the 90th birthday of the oldest owner of the annuity (if there is more than one owner), joint owner, annuitant, or joint annuitant. So for some people who would rather wait and take their income stream at a point later in life, this annuity may not be the ideal option for you.
What About the Fees on the Stable Voyage 5 Year Annuity from Mass Mutual?
As with other annuities, you will also run into some fees if you go with the Stable Voyage 5 Year single premium annuity from Mass Mutual. In this case, you can expect up to a $50 annual contract maintenance fee.
Also, if you withdraw more than 10% of the annuity’s contract value within the first five years of owning this annuity, you will incur a surrender charge. In this case, you will have an initial surrender period that follows after making your initial lump sum premium. There is also a new surrender period that will begin at your renewal period.
Surrender Charge – Initial Period
Surrender Charge – Renewal Period
|Contract Year (After Renewal Period)||1||2||3||4||5||6
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Mass Mutual Stable Voyage 5-Year Single Premium Annuity
Where it works best:
Where it works the worst:
The Mass Mutual Life Stable Voyage 5 Year Single Premium Fixed Deferred Annuity may not work so well for those who:
- For those who have a lump sum – such as from an IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan – that they want to continue growing tax deferred
- For those who are seeking safety of principal and a set rate of growth (at least during the guarantee period)
- For those who are seeking a set, ongoing income stream in retirement
- Are seeking the opportunity for a higher return
- Want or need to access some or all of their money within the first five years (and again during the next surrender period after the renewal date)
- Do not plan to use the lifetime income feature of this annuity
Annuities have become more in demand over the past several years – and when you are considering a fixed annuity, it can be comforting to know that you will have a set rate of return and safety of principal – regardless of what occurs in the stock market.
But even with these guaranteed, along with a lifetime income stream, it is still important that you factor in all of the information. Because annuities are long-term commitments, you need to be sure that the one you go with is right for you.
Even with the available information about the Mass Mutual Stable Voyage 5 annuity, it can still be somewhat difficult to determine whether or not this annuity is the right one for you. In fact, really, the only viable way to know this is to have the annuity tested. We can do this for you by using our annuity calculator and plugging in figures that are more specific to your particular situation. If you would like to obtain more details, just simply contact us here through our secure online contact form.
You can also get more details on how you can compare the best annuity options for you. Just simply click here so that you can immediately download our free report on how to compare annuities.
Has This Annuity Review Sparked Any Additional Questions? Did You See Any Mistakes?
Annuities can be complex financial vehicles – even the fixed version of these products that may not have quite as many moving parts as some of the other annuity options that are available in today’s market place.
So, even after reading over our lengthy review here, if you still have any additional questions or concerns, then please contact us and we will be happy to help answer them. If you found that this annuity review was helpful to you, feel free to share it with others who may also benefit from it.
Because the information about annuities is changing all the time, if you happened to notice any details in this annuity review that should be updated, please also let us know and we will get on the revisions asap.
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