What We Will Cover in this Annuity Review
In this review, we will be discussing the following information regarding the MassMutual Stable 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 are considering the purchase of an annuity because you want assurance that you’ll have a guaranteed stream of income in retirement and that your money will be safe up until that time, then the MassMutual Stable Voyage Fixed Deferred Annuity could be a viable option for you.
This is because the Stable Voyage offers a fixed rate of return for a set period of time that you choose – and when the time comes to convert the annuity over into an income stream, you can also count on incoming cash flow for the remainder of your lifetime (regardless of how long that may be).
However, before you run out and make a long-term financial commitment to purchasing this (or any other) annuity, it is essential that you first get a good idea of how it works, and how it may or may not work for you.
Throughout the years, annuities have become more popular – especially with retirees and those who are approaching retirement. One reason for this is because they provide a guaranteed income stream, and they (deferred annuities) offer tax-deferred growth of your principal. With a fixed annuity, you also have the added bonus of assurance that your money will be safe – no matter what occurs in the stock market. This can help to alleviate the worry of a market correction impacting your future savings.
Prior to signing on the dotted line, though, it’s a good idea to take a close look at an annuity’s fine print. That’s because these products can oftentimes have hidden charges and fees. And, while most insurance and financial companies do a great job of giving you all of the nice, rosy benefits that annuities offer, there can also be a few downfalls. With that in mind, it is much better to know these drawbacks now, as versus after you have already committed a large chunk of your savings to it.
That’s where the Annuity Gator comes in.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Advice that You Can Trust
If this is your very first visit to our website, please allow us to officially welcome you here to Annuity Gator. We are a team of annuity professionals who are focused on providing in-depth (and unbiased) annuity reviews. We’ve been at this for quite a while not – far longer than our competitors – and because of that, we have come to be known as a highly trusted source of annuity information online.
Our success has also spurred a number of “copycat” websites out there on the Internet – many of which are not nearly as interested in educating you as they are about luring you in and obtaining your contact information
They will oftentimes do so by offering some pretty bold claims about the annuities, they offer, such as:
- Lowest Fees
- Highest income payouts
- Guaranteed lifetime income
- Top-rated companies
While these claims might sound enticing, it is absolutely essential that you first check out all of the information you can about these annuities in order to determine whether or not they are actually true.
If you are in search of more in-depth details regarding the MassMutual Stable Voyage Fixed Deferred Annuity, then you are definitely in the right place. In fact, we dare say that our website is the only place where you will be able to find all of the details that you need – which includes both the good and the not-so-good. This, however, is really the only way to make a well-informed decision regarding whether this annuity is right for you.
In order to be perfectly clear, here, we do want to state that we believe that annuities can offer you some very nice benefits – as long as the product fits in well with your other financial needs and goals.
That being said, if you are ready to begin this review, then let’s go ahead and jump in!
The MassMutual Stable Voyage Fixed Deferred Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||Stable Voyage|
|Type of Product||Fixed Deferred Annuity|
|S&P Rating||AA+ (Very Strong)|
|Phone Number||(800) 272-2216|
Opening Thoughts on the MassMutual Stable Voyage Fixed Deferred Annuity
MassMutual was initially founded in the early 1850s, and today is considered to be one of the leading mutual life insurance companies in the world. The company is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyholders, as versus for a group of stockholders. MassMutual has a long history of financial strength and stability, and it has a positive reputation for paying out its policyholder claims in a timely manner. And, while dividends are not ever guaranteed, this company has paid out dividends to its eligible policyholders each year since the 1860s.
The company is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts, and it offers a long list of insurance and financial products, including life insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance, retirement plan services, and annuities. There are numerous MassMutual affiliates, including:
- Babson Capital Management, LLC
- Baring Asset Management Limited
- Cornerstone Real Estate Advisors LLC
- The First Mercantile Trust Company
- MassMutual International LLC
- MML Investors Services, LLC
- Oppenheimer Funds, Inc.
- The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB
Back in the early 1900s, average life expectancy was only in the neighborhood of 41 years old. Over the past 110 years, though, things have changed. In fact today, many people are living well into their 80s, 90s, and beyond. But, while this can allow you to spend more time enjoying your retirement years, it can be quite difficult to do without enough income.
A fixed deferred annuity can, however, help you to solve for this problem because this type of annuity will continue to pay out an income stream for the remainder of your lifetime, as well as that of a loved one if you choose. Yet, even with these nice features, you really need to know more about how the annuity actually works, and what you may need to give up in return for attaining these guarantees.
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. MassMutual 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 more details 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 MassMutual Describes the Stable Voyage Fixed Deferred Annuity
MassMutual describes the Stable Voyage Fixed Deferred Annuity as a conservative way to grow your savings and to also provide steady income when you retire. This single premium deferred fixed annuity provides a fixed rate of interest that is locked in for a period that you choose – in this case, for five, seven or nine years.
At the end of the initial interest rate guarantee period, you can then renew the annuity contract for a period of one, five, seven, or nine years – provided that the period you wish is available at that time. Alternatively, you could opt to take a partial or a full withdrawal, with no surrender charges incurred. You may also decide to either partially or to fully annuitize the contract value (i.e., convert the annuity over into an income stream), also with no surrender charges incurred.
There some other “bells and whistles” that are also included on this annuity. For instance, with the death benefit, a named beneficiary can receive the amount of the contract value, should the annuitant die during the accumulation period. (Any available death benefit during the income phase of the annuity will be dependent upon the annuity income payout option that has been chosen).
There is also a nursing home and hospital waiver available. Here, you may be able to withdraw some or all of the annuity’s contract value – without incurring a surrender charge – if you are confined to a licensed nursing home or an accredited hospital.
For more of the in-depth details about the MassMutual Stable Voyage Fixed Deferred Annuity, you can take a look at the product highlights HERE.
How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might Pitch This Annuity
Given that life is filled with so many uncertainties, when you have the opportunity to receive a guarantee, it can be a nice benefit – particularly when they have to do with your financial options. With that in mind, when it comes to the MassMutual Stable Voyage Fixed Deferred Annuity, it is likely that an insurance or financial advisor would key in on the fact that you can obtain a guaranteed rate of interest for a set period of time, and that you can also count on a set amount of income from this annuity in retirement.
However, whenever you have a guarantee presented to you, you could also find that there are certain “tradeoffs” that you need to accept in order to attain those benefits. This can be the case with the MassMutual Stable Voyage Fixed Deferred Annuity.
Here, for instance, the longer your interest rate guarantee period, the longer you will also be subject to surrender charges on the annuity. So, for instance, a five-year rate guarantee will also have five years of surrender charges. Likewise, nine years of interest rate guarantee will equate to nine years of surrender charges if you should take more than 10% of your contract value out of the annuity.
Also, when it comes to the nursing home and hospital waiver benefit(s), there are some guidelines that you must first meet in order to qualify for the surrender charge-free withdrawals. In this case, you would have to be in a licensed nursing home or accredited hospital for at least 90 days.
One of the biggest drawbacks, though, is that should you decide to renew your annuity – following its initial guarantee period – and you opt to go with another period of guaranteed interest rate lock-in, then your surrender period will start all over again. In other words, if you renew for a period of 5, 7, or 9 years, then you will start all over with a 5, 7 or 9 year surrender period.
That can be a long time to have your money locked up!
Fees Associated with the MassMutual Stable Voyage Fixed Deferred Annuity
You may also need to watch out for various fees that are associated with the MassMutual Stable Voyage Fixed Deferred Annuity. Here, you could incur an annual contract maintenance fee of $50. Plus, if you withdraw any more than 10% of your annuity’s contract value during the surrender period, you will also be hit with a fee on the amount withdrawn. This is the case both during the initial rate guarantee period, as well as if you choose to renew.
Initial Surrender and Guarantee Period
Renewal Surrender and Guarantee Period
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the MassMutual Stable Voyage Deferred Annuity
Where it works the best:
The MassMutual Stable Voyage Fixed Deferred Annuity, while not for everyone, could be a good option if you are seeking:
- A guaranteed rate of interest for a set period of time
- Safety of principal, regardless of what happens in the market
- A lifetime income that you can count on
Where it works the worst:
On the other hand, this annuity might not be a viable option if you:
- Want the potential for higher growth
- Need to access your money during the annuity’s surrender period
- Do not plan to use the lifetime income feature
There is a long list of criteria that should be considered when you are thinking about the purchase of an annuity. These should include but are certainly not limited to, how the annuity produces its return, how safe your money will be while inside of the contract, how the income will pay out, and whether or not there are any other features that will be beneficial to you now and/or in the future.
If you’ve been considering the purchase of a deferred fixed annuity such as the MassMutual Stable Voyage, then you can certainly be assured that your money will be safe, and that you will also be able to count on a steady stream of income for the rest of your life – regardless of how long that may be.
However, there may also be some additional items that you have not considered – and the only way to really know if a particular annuity is going to be right for you is to have it tested. We can provide this testing for you and can offer you a free, no obligation, spreadsheet with the results. So, if this is something that is of interest to you, then all you need to do is simply reach out to us here via our secure online contact form.
Still Have Questions? Notice Any Mistakes in this Annuity Review?
We know that this annuity review went a bit on the lengthy side, and for that, we do appreciate you sticking with us through it thus far. That being said, though, we feel like it is much more beneficial to provide readers with “too much” information than with not enough.
So, if you found that this annuity review was beneficial to you, then please do feel free to forward it on and to share the review with anyone else that you think could also benefit from it. Also, we realize that details about annuities – and other financial products, too – can and do change somewhat quickly. With that in mind, if you happened to notice anything in this review that needs to be corrected and/or updated, please let us know and we will get to the revisions right away.
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