What Will Be Covered in this Review?In this review, we will be discussing the following information regarding the Minnesota Life SecureOption Focus 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 considering the purchase of an annuity because you want to ensure that you won’t run out of income in the future – especially if you live a nice, long life – then purchasing the Minnesota Life SecureOption Focus Fixed Deferred Annuity could be a great way to accomplish that. That’s because this annuity allows you to avoid market ups and downs, and also offers a fixed interest rate for a set period of time. In addition, when the time comes to convert the annuity over into an income stream, that income can last throughout the remainder of your lifetime, regardless of how long that may be. However, before you go out an purchase this – or any annuity, for that matter – it is important that you first have a thorough understanding of the benefits that it may provide, as well as any possible drawbacks, as annuities can be very difficult to get out of once you get in. Over the past decade or so, fixed annuities have become much more popular with people who are retired, as well as those who are approaching that time in their lives, as they can help to alleviate the concern about running out of money in retirement. But, due in large part to this increased demand, many insurance carriers have been introducing new products – and unfortunately, this can make a product that is already somewhat confusing even more so. This can be the case for well-informed consumers, as well as many insurance and financial advisors! With that in mind, unless the advisor that you work with has a primary focus on selling annuity products, you really should do some additional research on these products, as they will oftentimes require that you deposit a large chunk of your savings into them. That’s where the Annuity Gator can come in!
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information You Can TrustIf this is your first visit to our website, then please allow us to officially welcome you here to AnnuityGator.com. We are a team of annuity pros who focus on offering very comprehensive – and unbiased – annuity reviews. We have been at this for quite a few years now – longer than our competitors. And, because of the in-depth reviews that we provide, we have become a highly trusted source of annuity information online. Throughout the years, however, there have been a number of “copycat” websites that have popped up on the Internet. While some of these can give you information about annuities, what you are likely to find is that they are oftentimes just simply reiterating what our information already shows. If you have been spending any amount of time researching annuity information online, then it is likely that you have run across some very conflicting details about these products. This is not entirely surprising, however, because there are a lot of annuities out there to choose from now, and everyone seems to have a different opinion of them. In your quest for more information about annuities via the Internet, you may also have seen some annuity marketing websites that focus on luring visitors in for the purpose of obtaining their contact details. These sites will oftentimes do so by making some fairly bold claims about the annuities they offer, such as:
- High Annuity Income Payouts
- Guaranteed Income for Life
- Top-Rated Annuity Carriers
- Low Fees
Minnesota Life SecureOption Focus Fixed Deferred Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||SecureOption Focus|
|Type of Product||Fixed Deferred Annuity|
|S&P Rating (Minnesota Life / Securian Life)||A+ (Strong)|
|Phone Number||(800) 362-3141|
Opening Thoughts on the Minnesota Life SecureOption Focus AnnuityMinnesota Life Insurance Company has a long history of providing financial protection and security to its clients. Initially started back in the year 1880, this company offers its products in 49 of the 50 U.S. states (all except for New York). Its parent company, Securian Financial Group, is also the parent company of Securian Life Insurance Company. Considered to be strong and stable financially, Minnesota Life and Securian have received high ratings from all of the major insurer rating agencies, including an A+ from A.M. Best, an A+ from Standard & Poor’s, an AA from Fitch Ratings, and an Aa3 from Moody’s Investors Service. Securian has also received a Comdex Ranking of 92 (out of a possible 100). This puts the parent company of Minnesota Life in the top 8% of companies that receive this rating. Because so many people are living longer these days, it is essential to ensure that you have income during your early stages of retirement, as well as many years down the road. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to live for 20, 30 or more years past their retirement date. These longer life spans call for savings – and in turn, income – to last a whole lot longer than it used to, which can be concerning for many retirees. But a fixed deferred annuity can certainly help you to solve these concerns. However, it is also important to note that not all of these products are exactly the same. That’s why it can be extremely beneficial to do some research on the annuity itself, as well as the company that’s offering it before you commit what will likely be a significant sum of your retirement savings.
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. Minnesota 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 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 Minnesota Life Describes the SecureOption Focus Fixed Deferred AnnuityMinnesota Life describes the SecureOption Focus as a fixed deferred annuity that offers the following key benefits:
- Guaranteed protection of your purchase payments against loss
- Penalty-free access to part of your annuity in an emergency
- Tax-deferred compounding to enhance long-term earnings
- A stream of income that can be guaranteed to last for your lifetime (as well as a second individual, such as your spouse, if you choose to add a second recipient)
- Confined to a health care facility (with a minimum of 90 days of confinement), or
- Diagnosed with a terminal illness or condition with a life expectancy of 12 months or less
How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” this AnnuityGiven that it can be rare to find long-term guarantees with many financial products, it may be that if you’ve been presented this annuity by an insurance or financial advisor, he or she likely keyed in on the interest rate guarantees. In this case, there is the option to lock in a set rate of interest for one, three, five, or seven full years – no matter what happens out in the marketplace, or even with interest rates overall. But just like most other things in life, there is always another side to the story – and this is the case here with the Minnesota Life SecureOption Focus Fixed Deferred Annuity. First, the longer your interest rate guarantee, the longer your surrender period will be. This means that if you withdraw more than 10% of the contract value during the surrender period, you will be charged a fee for the withdrawal. (And, if you make such a withdrawal before you turn age 59 1/2, you can also incur an additional 10% “early withdrawal” penalty from the IRS). Also, because we have been living in a historically low-interest rate environment for roughly the past ten years, even though your rate will be locked in, it is likely that you really won’t even meet – much less beat – inflation. Unfortunately, this is the “price” we often have to pay for safety – at least when it comes to financial products.
Fees Associated with the SecureOption Focus Annuity from Minnesota LifeWith regard to any fees associated with the SecureOption Focus Deferred Fixed Annuity from Minnesota Life / Securian, there are no front-end or annual charges. But don’t let that lull you into believing that there are no fees at all. Here, you will still run into surrender charges if you happen to withdraw more than 10% of the contract value during the surrender period – and, as previously discussed, the longer your interest rate guarantee period, the longer your surrender period will be.
Deferred Sales Charge on Withdrawals
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Minnesota Life SecureOption Focus Deferred Fixed AnnuityWhere it works the best:
- If you want to lock into a set interest rate (for a set period of time)
- If you want to ensure that your principal is safe
- If you plan to use the lifetime income feature
- If you want the opportunity for a higher rate of return
- If you may need to withdraw funds from the annuity during the surrender period
- If you do not plan to use the lifetime income feature