What Will Be Covered in this Review?
In this annuity review, we will be discussing the following information regarding the Sammons LiveWell 10 Year Fixed Index Annuity:
- Product type and features
- Current rates
- Realistic long-term return expectations
- How it is best 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 have been pondering over whether or not you should move forward with the purchase of an annuity – especially because you are seeking a nice rate of tax-deferred growth, along with guaranteed income in retirement – then the Sammons LiveWell 10 Year Fixed Index annuity could be a viable option for you.
However, that being said, before you run out and immediately purchase this product, it is important that you get a more in-depth idea regarding just exactly how this annuity works, and how it could help – or hinder – your short and long-term financial goals.
Throughout the past several years, with a large number of Baby Boomers that are planning for and reaching retirement, annuities have become quite popular. One reason is due to the guaranteed stream of lifetime income that they can provide.
Because of the appeal of annuity products to a large segment of the population, there are more financial advisors who are offering them to their clients. However, this may not necessarily be a good thing – primarily because, even if a financial advisor is working to do the best thing for their client, they may not always be giving you the entire picture about annuities.
On top of that, because of the growing desire for annuities now, insurance companies are constantly putting new and “improved” annuity products into the marketplace. Many of these feature a long list of bells and whistles, riders, and features, which also means that they will include pages of “small print” that is necessary to inform annuity buyers of how they work. Unfortunately, though, this fine print can oftentimes make it even more confusing – and is about as much fun to read as having a tooth pulled!
Given all of this, it is really important that you have a full understanding of how an annuity works, especially because an annuity could require you to commit a large chunk of your overall savings. And, if you decide later on that the annuity you bought is not going to perform the way you expected it to, it could be very costly for you to get out of it.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information that You Can Trust
If you have never visited our website before, then we would like to personally welcome you here. At AnnuityGator.com, we make up a team of experienced financial pros who have a primary focus on providing you with both comprehensive, and unbiased, annuity product reviews.
We have been doing this for quite a few years now – and for much longer than our competitors have – and because of that, we have become well known as a fair and trusted source of annuity information.
In your own personal search for information about annuities, you may have come across many details about annuities online, and you may even find that much of the information you find about these products is conflicting. This is not completely surprising, though, as there are many annuities out there in the marketplace today, along with almost an equal number of differing opinions.
It’s possible that you may have also just recently attended a seminar about annuities. There, the presenter may have launched into a discussion of how and why the Sammons LiveWell 10 Year Fixed Index Annuity – or some other similar financial product – may be the ideal solution for all of your financial woes. It may even have been your attendance at that event that has ultimately led you right here to our website.
It’s also possible that before coming across the site you are on right now, that you visited other websites that have a mission of selling you an annuity. Many of these sites will make some pretty darn bold claims, with the sole purpose of getting you to give up your contact information. For instance, you may have seen some or all of the following claims being hailed:
- Guaranteed lifetime income
- Lowest fees
- Top-Rated Annuity Companies
- Highest Income Payouts
- Fast, Easy Annuity Quotes
Does this look familiar?
However, while these claims can easily make people think that annuities can solve all of their retirement planning needs, the reality is that they may not necessarily be all true. Given that, it is essential that you first verify these claims before you move forward with buying an annuity, just like you would do if you were considering any other “high dollar” product.
If you’re here now for the purpose of learning more about the LiveWell Ten Year annuity from Sammons, then you are definitely in the right place. In fact, we dare state that our site is really the only place online where you will find all of the in-depth details about this product (as well as a long list of other annuity reviews).
This means that we won’t just be stating the sun-shiny advantages, but also the areas of the annuity that can be drawbacks. In doing so, though, our feeling is that knowing the entire picture is really the only way to make a well-informed decision about whether or not you should move forward.
If you have already been presented with the Sammons LiveWell 10-year annuity by a financial or insurance advisor who will earn a nice big commission from the sale, it is probable that he or she put a full court press on stressing the good points, and possibly only glossed over all the rest.
Just so that we are perfectly clear here, though, we do want to stress that we believe that annuities can offer many great features – as long as they are a good fit for your overall financial goals. Given that, this annuity review is here to provide you with a more in-depth look at all of the details about this financial vehicle.
So, if you’re ready to move forward, let’s dive in!
Sammons LiveWell 10 Year Fixed Index Annuity
|Product Name||LiveWell (Ten Year)|
|Issuer||Sammons Financial Group|
|Type of Product||Fixed Index Annuity|
|S&P Rating||A+ (Strong)|
|Phone Number||(855) 624-0201|
Opening Thoughts on the Sammons Financial LiveWell Ten Year Fixed Index Annuity
Sammons – aka Sammons Retirement Solutions – is a wholesale division of Sammons Institutional Group, Inc., which is a distributor of mutual fund IRAs and annuities for individual investors.
Headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa, this company works with a nationwide network of broker/dealers and banks in order to provide retirement solutions that meet the needs of financial professionals and their clients. The company is affiliated with Sammons Financial Group – a financially strong and stable conglomerate.
As a whole, the Sammons Financial Group Member companies (as of December 31, 2017) had:
- $82.1 billion in total assets
- Nearly 1.1 million life insurance policies in force
- Over $276 billion of life insurance in force
- More than 610,000 annuity contracts
The company had also paid our more than $922 million in life insurance claims.
Due in large part to the continued volatility in the market today, fixed indexed annuities have become very popular products for those who are seeking the safety of their principal, along with the opportunity to earn a higher rate of return than with a regular fixed annuity. Plus, due to the fear of running out of money in retirement, these products can help to ease concern with their guaranteed lifetime income feature.
But, even though this can at first sound like a best of all worlds scenario, it is still vitally important that you first determine exactly what a fixed indexed annuity can and cannot do – and how it may or may not be in your best interest when considering your overall financial goals. One of the biggest reasons for this is because, once you have committed to an annuity, it can be quite difficult – as well as expensive – to get out of it.
Before we get into the gritty details, here are some legal disclosures…
This is an independent product review, not a recommendation to buy or sell an annuity. Sammons Financial Group has not endorsed this review in any way, nor do we receive any type of compensation for providing this review. This review is meant to be an independent review at the request of readers so that they may see our perspective when breaking down the positives and negatives of this particular annuity. Prior to purchasing any type of investment or insurance product, it is important that you do your own due diligence and that you consult a properly licensed professional if you should have any specific questions that relate to your individual circumstances. All names, marks, and materials that were used for this review are the property of their respective owners.
For more information on how to compare annuities in order to determine which one may be right for you, click here to obtain our free annuity report.
How Sammons Financial Group Describes the LiveWell 10 Year Fixed Index Annuity
According to the Sammons website, the LiveWell Fixed Index Annuity is a flexible premium deferred annuity that offers a guaranteed amount of retirement income. This annuity also provides the following benefits:
- Tax-deferred growth of principal
- No loss of premium due to market downturns or fluctuations
- Long-term growth potential for interest credits
- The optional minimum death benefit that offers that option for legacy protection
- The optional guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit that provides guaranteed income for life, and that allows you to retain control of your money
There are three accounts to choose from for earning a return with this annuity. One is a fixed account. The others include tracking of the S&P 500 and/or the S&P 500 Low Volatility Daily Risk Control 5% Index.
At the time of this writing (August 2018), the cap rate is 7% – which is the highest S&P cap rate offered in the market right now.
There are also some additional “bells and whistles” such as a nursing home confinement waiver, as well as a standard death benefit, which will pay out the accumulated value of the contract if the owner dies before income is paid out. (Alternatively, if the owner of the annuity contract dies and the sole beneficiary is his or her spouse, the spouse/beneficiary may instead elect to continue the contract as the new owner.)
To view the full list of facts at-a-glance regarding the Sammons LiveWell Fixed Index Annuity, you can check out the information HERE.
There is also an overview about this annuity HERE.
How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” this Annuity
If you’ve been approached by an insurance or financial advisor who has shown you this annuity, it is likely that he or she has focused in on the highlights of the product, such as its ability to provide higher index-linked returns, while at the same time keeping your principal safe from negative market movements.
Unfortunately, they may also have left out some of the other elements of this annuity that could be considered drawbacks. (This is especially the case if they are a commissioned sales person and stand to make a nice commission on the sale of this annuity).
As an educated consumer, you have probably noticed that insurance and financial services firms do a very good job of ensuring that their products sound very attractive. For instance, based on the above points regarding the LiveWell Ten Year annuity from Sammons, you may have felt that this is the perfect product for you.
One area to be aware of is the cap rate. This means that the annuity’s return will be “capped” at a certain percentage – even if the underlying index has an absolutely stellar performance in a given year.
There is, however, a trade-off for this though in that, if the underlying index has a horrible performance in a given year, the worst that your account can do is 0%. So, while it won’t have a gain in that time frame, it also won’t incur a loss.
What About the Fees on the Sammons LiveWell Fixed Index Annuity?
For many years, annuities have had the reputation of charging high fees to their owners. One reason for that is because some annuities do! In the case of the LiveWell 10-Year Fixed Index Annuity from Sammons, you will find that if you choose to add the optional guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit, there is an additional fee involved. Likewise, there is also a fee to add the optional guaranteed minimum death benefit. The annual charges for these are 0.85% and 0.35% respectively.
In addition, even though you are allowed to withdraw up to 10% each year of the contract’s value, if you withdraw more than that during the surrender period, you will be charged a surrender penalty.
The surrender charge schedule on the Sammons LiveWell annuity is as follows:
|Surrender Charge %||8||8||8||7||6||5||4||3||0|
On top of the surrender penalty, if you make such withdrawals before you are age 59 ½, then you could also be faced with an additional 10% “early withdrawal” penalty from the IRS.
Even though you could incur a fee with this annuity, though, it is important to keep in mind that annuities should always be considered long-term financial commitments, meaning
that the money you set aside in this vehicle should be money that you won’t need for possible emergencies or other commitments.
And, given that this annuity currently offers the highest S&P cap rate in the industry, leaving your funds in this annuity for at least several years could yield you a substantial account value over time.
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Sammons LiveWell Ten Year Fixed Index Annuity
Where it works best:
This particular annuity will usually work the best for those who are looking for:
- The opportunity to obtain a higher rate of growth (especially as compared to “safer” products like CDs and regular fixed annuities)
- Safety of principal
- Guaranteed lifetime income
Where it works worst:
Conversely, this annuity may not fare so well for those who:
- Want to fully participate in market gains – especially in years where the index performs very well
- Want or need to access their funds penalty-free within the surrender period
- Do not intend to use the guaranteed lifetime income feature
There are numerous key criteria that need to be considered when you are trying to determine whether or not a particular annuity – or any annuity, for that matter – will be right for you – or even if any annuity is the best option for your retirement funds.
If you are considering a fixed indexed annuity, you can be secure in knowing that your principal will be safe from the ups and downs of the stock market, as well as in that you will have a future retirement income that you can count on.
The only way to truly know if this annuity may be right for you is to have it tested. We can do that for you, free of charge and with no obligation. In fact, we can even provide you with a much more detailed and personalized peek at how this annuity may perform, based upon your specific parameters. And, once we have run these numbers for you, we will provide you with a personalized spreadsheet with your information.
What you may find after that is, even though this annuity has a number of nice benefits, it could still fall a tad bit short – and that there may also be some better options out there for you.
If you do have any additional questions or concerns regarding this – or any other – annuity, please feel free to reach out to us via our secure contact form here.
Have Any Additional Questions? Did You Happen to Notice Any Mistakes?
While we realize that this annuity review was a bit long in nature, we believe that it is far better to provide you with more details that not enough. That way, you can make a well-informed decision about this, and whether or not it may be right for you.
With that in mind, if you did find this annuity review to be beneficial, then please feel free to forward it on to anyone else that you think might also benefit from it, as well. Also, we know just how quickly information about annuities and other financial products can change. Therefore, if you happened to notice any mistakes in this annuity review, please let us know that, too so that our team can get on the updates and any revisions.
Are there any other annuities that you would like to see reviewed in our annuity review database? If so, just simply send us the name of the annuity (or annuities) that you want to know more about, and our team of annuity “geeks” will get on the case – so be sure to check back soon for additional reviews.
The Annuity Gator