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Independent Review of the Security Benefit Total Value Annuity

What’s Covered in this Review?

In this review I’ll be covering the following information on the Security Benefit Total Value Annuity:

  • Product typeSecurity-Benefit-Logo
  • Fees
  • Current rates
  • Realistic long term investment expectations
  • How it is best used
  • How it is most poorly used

What you’ll find is that like all annuities, the Total Value Annuity does some things really well.  However, there are things some agents might say about its performance that is not entirely true.  It’s important you understand the differences, so you can determine if it really is a good fit as part of your financial plan.

For readers who have found my website for the first time and don’t know much about us, here at Annuity Gator we publish the most thorough and objective annuity reviews out there and have been doing so for longer than many of the copycats out there. After reading our reviews, we hope you can decide for yourself if you think it’s a good deal.

Let’s dig in!

Security Benefit Total Value Annuity at a Glance

Product NameTotal Value Annuity
IssuerSecurity Benefit Life Insurance Company
Type of ProductFixed Index Annuity
Standard & Poor's Rating"A-" (Strong)
Phone Number800-888-2461

Opening Thoughts on the Total Value Annuity

Over the past year, the #1 most requested annuity review from site visitors has been for the Total Value Annuity.  Thousands of investors are recommended this product every month as a safe way to grow their money, then turn it into a future income stream for retirement.  Most of the questions have to do with the 5 Year Annuity Linked TVI Index account – as it is exclusive to this single annuity contract.

For those not familiar, the TVI (Trader Vic Index) is a crediting method that links annuity returns to the 5-year return of the index.  The index itself is comprised of 24 different futures contracts based on commodities, US interest rates, and global currencies.  In theory, it’s supposed to be non-correlated to the stock market (i.e., they don’t both go up or down at the same time), and in back-testing provide higher overall returns.

I tested this and my findings are in this review.

In a nutshell, it is different, but it’s not necessarily much better than other alternatives.  There are still a lot of uncertainties; namely, since the index has actually only been around since March of 2012, nobody knows how the index will actually perform.  Unlike other indexes (S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, etc), the TVI has a very limited history.  Even the backtested returns only go back to 1990, rather than 60+ years for most other indexes.

Since many people who are considering this annuity are either in retirement or close to it – the Guaranteed Lifetime Withdraw Benefit is another feature of interest.  This is an optional rider, and when selected allows for either a guaranteed income for life to be taken immediately or deferred to a future date based on a “roll up” value.  The way this works is quite a bit different in reality than the way many agents explain it.  To be clear, it’s a nice benefit – but some people suggest it will allow for 5%-7% (or higher) returns – and it most certainly will not.  You’ll see why later in this review, most specifically in the 1 hour plus video we created that shows exactly how it really works.

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.  Security Benefit Life has not endorsed this review in any way nor do I receive any compensation for this review.  This review is meant to be an independent review at the request of readers so they could see my perspective when breaking down the positives and negatives of this particular model annuity.  Before purchasing any investment product be sure to do your own due diligence and consult a properly licensed professional should you have specific questions as they relate to your individual circumstances.  All names, marks, and materials used for this review are the property of their respective owners.

How Security Benefit Life Describes The Total Value Annuity

Per the Total Value Annuity brochure, here are some key points as to how it’s marketed:

  • Accumulation potential with minimal risk
  • A unique interest crediting option – the Annuity Linked TVI Index Account and now the Transparent Value Blended Index
  • Guaranteed income for life
  • Optional death benefit rider to enhance assets passed down to beneficiaries

There’s a few more bells and whistles, but those are the basics.  If you’re looking for the full brochure, you can download it here.

How Financial Advisors Might “Pitch” This Annuity

Since this is a “hybrid annuity” – there are a few different ways it might be pitched.  My experience, however, is that most sales agents will cling to two main components:

  1. The safety combined with return potential of the Annuity Linked TVI Index or Transparent Value Blended Index
  2. The guaranteed income for life rider

After all, that’s what a “hybrid annuity” is – an annuity that gives you a form of growth, access to capital, and guaranteed income – all rolled into one.

While those are true statements, this annuity is not all roses.  It works well when used correctly, but has shortcomings just like any other financial strategy.  One of the biggest issues I’ve run into is that many agents misrepresent how this annuity will actually perform.  That’s a problem.

From the many people I’ve talked to personally about their experience with agents, most seem to have been told this annuity will perform “better” than other annuities.  I’ve even heard from potential buyers this annuity has a minimum return of 4% per year but would have produced nearly 10% per year the past 20 years.

Is any of that true?  Not exactly.

If your agent/advisor explains this annuity correctly, you should never get the impression you’ll earn more than 6%.  If that’s part of your agent’s sales pitch – run, don’t walk, to find a more honest financial advisor.

Complete Video Review of the Security Benefit Total Value Annuity

Warning: We tend to get pretty in-depth and a little geeky with video reviews.  This particular video is very thorough and will show you exactly how to determine Total Value Annuity performance.  Enjoy, but consider yourself warned ;).

As you can see from the video review there are some major flaws in the sales pitch vs. reality going on here.

Yes, this annuity could produce some nice years.  Yes, it really does stack the market-linked gains to a fixed return for the two riders.  But no, it doesn’t really kick out any better returns than other index annuities I’ve reviewed.  In fact, it’s actually lower than some others.

Since there is very limited history, or Security benefit income annuity reviews, on the brand new ALTVI Index – who knows how it will really perform in the future?  That’s problematic in my view.

**Product Update**

Since the Total Value Annuity originally came out Security Benefit has added another index crediting method tied to the Transparent Value Blended Index. This is a big improvement over the original product in the Annuity Gator’s opinion. You still need to be careful though, as we’ve gotten a lot of emails and comments from website visitors about agents suggesting this change makes 10%+ returns possible. Before you buy into their sales pitch, be sure to get the facts on the new index by reading our review of the Transparent Value Blended Index (TVBI) here.

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Total Value Annuity

Where it works best:

  • For producing a reliable,pension-like” guaranteed income stream (so long as GWLB rider is elected, and used shortly after purchase)
  • For producing an income for life that cannot be outlived by a surviving spouse
  • For investors who have a family history of life longevity
  • For producing additional income for home health care needs (subject to state approvals and annuity holder qualification)
  • For investors that have no need for their money or generating large returns, but want it to grow safely until transferred to their beneficiaries

Where it works worst:

  • For those who need to have liquidity and flexibility with their financial assets
  • For those seeking maximum long term growth
  • For those expecting real returns of greater than 6% per year on average

The Security Benefit Total Value Annuity (TVI) does best what its name implies – provides numerous potential benefits, rolled up into one product.  Think of it like a swiss army knife – it can do a whole bunch of things, it just doesn’t do any one thing really well if you try to use all the features simultaneously.

In Summary

One of the most important things for investors to understand is that the “roll-up rate” is not the actual return, nor is the “lifetime withdraw rate” the actual return.  In no way will it produce the 8%+ return numbers a lot of uneducated advisors toss around when trying to sell it.

For someone strictly looking for guaranteed income with no market risk, there are better options available.  For someone looking for an investment that cannot go down, and won’t need their money for 10 or more years – this might be a good fit. In fact, it actually does have more “growth” potential than most other annuities on the market today.

I’m still convinced, though, that most agents don’t realize what the real return potential is, and significantly over-promise what’s realistic – so be especially wary of anyone who suggests this annuity will work better than how I illustrated it here.  If the agents are being upfront and honest, you’ll notice their explanations match very closely (if not exactly) as described in this review.  When that happens, you have an agent you can trust.

As a recap to the video (for those that don’t have 60+ minutes to watch it), the Security Benefit Total Value Annuity will not actually return 8%.  Nor will it likely return 6% (though that is possible with the Security Benefit Transparent Value Blended Index and current participation rate).  When financial advisors use those numbers they are referring to percentages used to calculate the income guarantee, and they are entirely hypothetical (i.e., non-guaranteed).  But, it does have the potential to grow more than other index annuities thanks to the potential of the Annuity Linked Trader Vic Index.  That said, there’s also the potential to make nothing other than your bonus, especially since there’s less than 1 year of actual, real data on this new index.

The only way to know if this annuity is a good fit for you is to have it tested.  We do this free at, so just get in touch with me and I’ll use the calculator from the video to illustrate for you what returns for your situation are likely to be.  If your agent was honest with you the numbers will match up – if not, well then you might want to reconsider who your agent is. Follow our Security benefit reviews,  Security benefit index annuity and Security benefit fixed index annuity reviews.

Have Questions on the Security Benefit Total Value Annuity?  See any Mistakes?

If you have questions please let me know. You can reach the Annuity Gator via the Free Annuity Help form Here.

I know annuities can be confusing and a lot of people are pushing investors very hard to buy them.  But you need to know the real facts to make sure if you go that route you don’t end up regretting it later.  After all, annuities are long term investments with contracts, surrender penalties, etc.  For some people, they won’t make sense at all, but for some, they might.

If you know anyone who has an annuity or is thinking of buying one, please share this post with them.  I know a lot of people are getting very conflicting information and my goal in writing this review and making the video was to educate in an objective way.  If you have a Facebook account you can click on the little “Facebook” icon and share this article.  That way more people will be able to find it and hopefully, more people will benefit.

Thanks for bearing with me on this rather long post, I hope you found it beneficial in your research on the Security Benefit Total Value Annuity.

Lastly, like all humans – I do make mistakes.  If you see one on this review please reach out and let me know.  I’m always more than happy to make corrections and give credit where it is due.  If you’re an investor and this review causes confusion and creates questions feel free to reach out as well.  I can’t always get back right away but usually, I can clear up those questions within a few days.

Have an Annuity You’d Like to See Reviewed?

No problem, our team of highly trained annuity geeks can jump to it! Click here to get started and we’ll do our best to get it online as soon as possible.

Ask Us a Question

If you ever need to ask specific questions or need some one-on-one guidance (for free and with no pressure, of course), feel welcome to reach out by clicking here. We’d love to hear from you.


The Annuity Gator

Here are some other independent annuity reviews we’ve recently done:

Is the Security Benefit Total Value Annuity the right annuity for you?

  • Bob K
    5:14 AM, 15 March 2013

    THANK YOU!!! Great review. Very helpful and a big eye opener for us retired folks that don’t know where to get good info on the TVA annuity.

    • Annuity Gator
      5:15 AM, 15 March 2013

      Thanks Bob. Glad you found the review helpful.



  • Steve L
    8:37 PM, 26 March 2013

    Thank you for this review! I have been searching for two days to find some independent review of this investment type.
    Recently, I was presented with the TVA option by a Financial Advisor. The main sales pitch revolved around the following:
    1. The 0% floor – You cant lose your principal.
    2. That the annuity is uncapped, meaning we could make more than our current annuity (capped currently at 6.5%)
    3. Diversification through the commodities market.
    4. The belief that the overvauled stock market will decline, taxes will go up significantly, and we may experience hyperinflation, all of which would drive gains in the commodity market.

    Ive seen it stated that 18 out of the last 20 years would have resulted in gains through this index based on backtesting, however, the index has declined in recent years. Im not sure what to believe yet but this review is a good start!

    Thanks again.

    • Annuity Gator
      4:28 PM, 3 May 2013

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for visiting the site and asking a few questions. I’ll try to clear those up.

      1) You are correct
      2) Maybe, but not for sure and not highly likely in my opinion
      3) Correct, for better or worse
      4) Maybe, but most people don’t use annuities for speculation – and consider that commodities did NOT go up when we had double digit inflation in the late 1970’s through early 1980’s.

      Backtesting can be dangerous. Yes, backtesting has been good – but real world, live investing has been very bad. If buying an annuity for consistency, dependability, and predictability – then this wouldn’t be a great fit. For those willing to take a few chances though in search of potentially larger gains – it might work (or might not).


      -AnnuityGator Team

  • Brian Morris
    1:46 PM, 29 April 2013

    ok, good video…still somewhat confusing….if, I invest a lump sum, hold for 15 years then take annual income for life, the annual income will not be fixed?….then they take a 1% fee for the lifetime rider ?… I have know way of planning on how much income I’ll get each year??…

    • Annuity Gator
      4:24 PM, 3 May 2013

      Hi Brian,

      Thanks for visiting the site and your comment/questions?

      The income would be fixed after 15 years, there’s just no way of knowing what that income will be though as it’s based on the combined roll up value of 4% + whatever the index credits are. The fee is charged throughout the contract, not just after income is taken, and is based on the roll up value of the contract (so it most likely will be higher than 0.95% per year). And yes, you are correct, there’s no way of knowing what the income will be for sure – other than the minimum guarantee.

      Hope this helps – and thanks again.

      -AnnuityGator Team

  • Barry Snider
    11:36 PM, 11 May 2013

    I HAVE NOT (to my knowledge) received your E-BOOK> IF wrong, how do i locate same.

    THANK YOU Barry Snider

    • Annuity Gator
      3:21 AM, 13 May 2013

      Hi Barry,

      I just sent a fresh link for you. Let us know if you still cannot get the e-book to download.



  • Joe Jones
    2:45 PM, 17 May 2013

    You state that you, “don’t know exactly how it will work” (meaning the volatility control, which is basically the entire product). You then continue to say that this is the “best test” we can do with available information. I fail to see how this could be the best test when you don’t do any research to find out what the volatility control practices are that Security Benefit executes. This review trashes the annuity without even understanding how it works.

    • Annuity Gator
      6:39 AM, 20 May 2013

      Hi Joe,

      Thanks for finding the site and offering some feedback. I’m afraid, however, your assertions are pretty unfounded.

      You see, the volatility control is not the “basic product” as you point out. The volatility control is a way Security Benefit is changing the Annuity Linked Trader Vic Index to calculate their returns. In other words, the returns aren’t linked exactly to the index. Rather, they are linked to the index after Security Benefit applies their volatility controls.

      Nobody knows how that will work out, as it’s never been done before! The index is very new, and there is no published data anywhere about how the volatility controls will impact the index returns. So, the best anyone can do is illustrate how the index works without the volatility controls. That’s what we did in this review. And just so you know, I did call Security Benefit to find out exactly what their volatility controls are, and could not be provided a specific formula. I suspect they are keeping that information proprietary, but that’s just my guess.

      Either way, this review wasn’t meant to trash anything. It was designed to help people that are thinking about buying it understand how it really works. It may come across rather complicated – but hey – it is pretty complicated. The product has an option to use a relatively new index, and do it in a way no other annuity has before. People should be doing research, and hopefully this little blog post really helps people out. Some may love it, others might shy away. That should be more than okay, as I’m pretty sure no annuity company would ever asset that any one product is right for everyone.

      In the end, The Total Value Annuity isn’t bad. It’s not perfect either. What’s important is that people have a really good idea of how something works BEFORE putting their life savings into it. If it’s too difficult to understand, or if agents to explain it properly, then it’s probably not the best fit.

      Hope this helps. Thanks again for reaching out. We don’t mind one bit if people challenge the data – that’s exactly why we ask for feedback!


      -The Annuity Gator Team

  • G Higgins
    3:49 PM, 3 June 2013

    Good fair review. On caps and the possibility of a carrier raising them I would say a few things. Does it happen? Yeah, sometimes, but not in any substantial way. To a very large extent the pricing on your annuity contract is locked in the day you purchase a contract, just because rates may go up 5 years from now doesn’t mean rates on the bonds backing your annuity will go up as well. That is a very real danger of purchasing a long term contract with rates at an all time low, since your long term annuity contract is backed with long term bonds you are going to be married to low rates for a long term…. Secondly the insurance doesn’t really have an incentive to raise those rates in a substantial way either, like I said you may see a cap go from 3% to 4% but you are never going to see a cap go from 3% to 7% I don’t care how high rates go.

    • Annuity Gator
      1:12 AM, 4 June 2013

      Thanks G Higgins – couldn’t agree more. If interest rates go up, initially insurance company bond portfolios (where they invest annuity holders money) will go down. After a few years (or more), they might raise caps a bit, but they will make more profits for themselves if they do it slowly and modestly. It’s easy to forget who the insurance companies are responsible to first: the company shareholders; not the annuity policy owners.


      – Annuity Gator Team

  • john di bartolo
    6:55 PM, 21 June 2013

    Hi Jason let me ask…. in general with these idex linked annuities looking back on testings what would be the best choice in linking an annuity to ? And if one invests in a few what would be a good mix of Index links for future investments, i Thank you and appreciate your response J. D.

    • Annuity Gator
      4:41 AM, 27 June 2013

      Hi John,

      Thanks for finding the site and reaching out.

      The best thing to link to greatly depends on a combination of the quality of the issuer (their rating) and the size of the caps. The index is pretty meaningless in my opinion. A lot of the new indexes that are coming out for annuities have only been around a few years, so trusting the future returns will be good just because a agent says they will is pretty dangerous.

      And, in the end, what matters most is whether or not the annuity truly helps as part of your personal financial plan.

      Hope that helps and thanks again!



  • John
    9:28 PM, 22 June 2013

    Jason, a few things about your review:

    1) Although this may be state dependent, you can only select one rider. You can’t select both the income rider and death benefit rider, so obviously you can’t be hit for a fee of 0.95% annually for both.

    2) I believe the 1.25% is charged on the TVI index and is “baked in” to the ALTVI index calculations. I’m not sure if the calculations in your stress test take this out again after ALTVI returns, essentially double charging this fee.

    3) In the brochure it shows how using research from 2000 that 50% of couples who have both spouses alive at age 65 will still have at least one spouse alive at age 92. I’m sure life expectancies have increased since 2000 as well. You base your stress test to age 85 as a “life expectancy” which in my opinion is far too conservative. You should be using age 92 for any average illustration for a joint life expectancy stress test.

    4) Lastly, it’d be kind of silly to invest in this product if you’re going to be contributing half of the assets to an index that’s capped at 3%. The power of this investment is in the (albeit unproven) upside of the ALTVI. This again just shows how your stress test is conservative using a 50/50 allocation, and that a 75/25 or 100% allocation to the ALTVI will show a much higher expectation.

    I did enjoy your analysis though. I didn’t know the actual index has only been around for a few years and that the returns were backtested. Now it makes sense why I couldn’t find a history of more than 5 years anywhere!

    • Annuity Gator
      4:38 AM, 27 June 2013

      Hi John,

      Thanks for finding the site and the nicely written comment.

      1) You are correct, you can only select one rider – and it is state dependent. Some states don’t allow the death benefit rider.
      2) I did not take out the 1.25% fee in the stress test as it is included in the index data. There are a few unpublished differences though in the way Security Benefit uses the index, which have an unknown impact on the returns. I suspect those are not good differences, but again, that just a guess. I called Security Benefit and could not get an representative to share any details on their customized use.
      3) Per current Society of Actuaries data the odds of a 65 year old couple having at least one spouse live to age 92 are 33%. The median life expectancy is 23.7 years.
      4) There’s not much power in using an index with no real returns other than losses. As of today, the ALTVI index is down 18% since it’s live (real) inception date of July 2008. Even with the financial crisis of 2008 the S&P 500 is still up more than 25%. In about 1 week the ALTVI will complete it’s first 5 year period and the return will almost certainly be negative. I don’t consider that to be all too impressive. On the flip side, the S&P 500 with no dividends and a very low cap will be positive, producing substantially higher returns than the ALTVI.

      I think it’s really important people understand all the numbers in the brochure are fictional. This is a new(ish) product and the ALTVI has only been around a few years. When it was created, of course the returns would look good the past 1o years – ALL commodities have roared since the late 90’s! It’s really easy to build a product based on the benefit of hindsight and then say “hey, look how good this would’ve done.” Realistically this annuity (and all annuities for that matter) are not likely to produce the returns people see in brochures. Annuities are transfer of risk products that should have very modest expected return with a high degree of safety.

      If after doing diligent financial planning the annuity fits – great. If not, I hope agents learn at some point that misleading investors into thinking they’ll make market like returns with no risk is not the solution.

      Thanks again for the great comment and very good structure. I think a lot of people will benefit from it.



      • John
        5:18 PM, 30 June 2013

        Recently I came across an estimate that an equity indexed annuity should give you roughly 2% better than the return of the 10-year treasury over the surrender term of the product. The better ones should outperform this by a bit, and vice versa, but it sounds like a pretty good ballpark. That’s not all that bad when you consider you don’t have any market risk in the product, but obviously like you said it’s situation appropriate.

        • Annuity Gator
          12:45 AM, 1 July 2013

          Hi John,

          Thanks for finding the site and posting your comment.

          Care to share where you heard that statistic? I ask because I’ve tested index annuities significantly and based on current structure would say that is definitely not true. Index annuities at best will typically yield at best the same as a 10 year treasury bond, but almost never more. In fact, every single one I’ve tested would yield less, and based on actual data of past index annuities they have averaged about 1% less than a 10 year treasury per year. For example, the past 10 years most actual index annuities have returned about 5%. The last 10 years 10 year treasury bonds have returned slightly more than 6%.

          Always remember that when you give an insurance company money for an annuity, they invest that money. They can only afford to give the annuity holders less than they earn. The investments they buy are typically very diversified, mostly conservative bonds. So it’s fairly obvious that they cannot earn a whole lot more than 10 year treasury’s as that’s one of the main investments they end up using with annuity holder monies.

          Hope that helps – and thanks again for the comment.

          – Annuity Gator

  • Patrick
    10:23 AM, 9 July 2013

    Just to add….your principle is not 100% protected. Maybe from market volitilty, but the fees come out regardless. When you combine that with a 5 year reset, it can be very devastating to a clients cash value if there is no growth and .95 bps coming out. I realize other products work in a similar fashion with fees and charges…but none on a 5 year reset.

    Imagine getting that statement, 5 years down the road, and having to explain to a client why their account value is down 95k (assuming a million dollar policy)?? Regardless of their goal to take income, at the very least it makes them question their decision and it’s a tough conversation to have.

    Something to think about. Great analysis!

    • Annuity Gator
      4:45 PM, 1 August 2013

      Hi Patrick,

      Thanks for the comment and the additional info for readers. You are correct, the fees are based on the roll up value so they could be quite a bit more than the actual account growth. Compounded for enough years and the actual surrender value can go down to zero rather fast once distributions start. All the more reason many annuities like this should be planned on as more of an income vehicle than a growth vehicle.


      Annuity Gator

  • vadim
    11:31 PM, 18 July 2013

    So whats the primary difference between Security Benefits TVA and Security Benefits SIA? They seem pretty similar in what the provide, that is tying growth rate to one or combination of Indexes, cups, Lifetime Income options, etc.

    • Annuity Gator
      4:42 PM, 1 August 2013

      The big difference is the SIA has a fixed (and higher) roll up rate on the income guarantee. The TVA “stacks” index credits on top of 4% so the income guarantee could either be quite a bit lower, the same, or a bit higher.

      Hope that helps!!

      -Annuity Gator

  • Kathy
    10:31 AM, 19 July 2013

    So glad I found this site – thank you. A few questions…

    1. Why 5 years for the TVI point to point? What is the rationale of the 5 year period? It seems that one must wait a long time before learning about a gain, and for the the first 5 years of the contract, you can count on no return or gain at all. Am I understanding this correctly?

    2. The spread is currently .50% and the participation rate is 100%. The Statement of Understanding says these can be changed in the future. When and how? During the surrender period?

    It says the spread could go as high as 5.0% and the participation rate could decrease to 50%. That would be a substantial change. I see that the income rider fee of .95% can change but only on the 10th contract anniversary and could go as high as 1.80%, but at least you’d be out of the surrender period and could leave.

    3. The contract allows for 10% free withdrawals. Can those occur any time, or only on the contract anniversary after the first year? What is the impact if free withdrawals are done? Have you done a stress test when free withdrawals are taken, to show the impact?

    4. When my planner recommended this recently, I learned that the AM Best rating is B++, a little lower than what I’d want ideally, but I see their S&P rating is A-. Can you explain the significance or difference in these two ratings? Is one a more appropriate measure specifically for annuities?

    5. My state’s annuity insurance guaranty is based on a maximum of $250,000 per insurance company. I understand it is rare for a company to go under where the state guaranty would take effect and that likely another insurance company would instead buy them out. However, is it a good idea in this case to not put more than $250,000 in an annuity with one insurance company? The limit I believe is based on per insurance company and not per contract, right?

    6. Security Benefit recently started offering another type of index – the Transparent Value Blended Index. Will you be doing a stress test on it? What comments can you offer about this option?

    Thanks again.

    • Annuity Gator
      11:15 AM, 6 August 2017

      Hi Kathy – Thank you for checking out our annuity reviews. In the case of the Total Value Annuity from Security Benefit, if you are seeking to earn a higher return while keeping your principal safe, and / or securing a long term income down the road, then my best guess is that there are better options available to you, or even a better strategy. If you’d like to get some additional feedback about your situation, then please feel free to reach out to us directly by calling us at (888) 440-2468, or reply to this email with a good number to reach you and a good time. (We wouldn’t want to ask you in-depth financial questions over email or in the comments here – and usually a short 5-minute phone call can take you further than a handful of emails. You can also email us directly by going to: Best. – Annuity Gator Team

  • Patrick Marshall
    3:50 PM, 1 August 2013

    My wife and I purchased one of these last year with 1 million dollars. We were both 60 years old when you bought the investment. Our goal is to start taking money out as lifetime income when we turn 70 basically 10 years after we opened the account. So here’s the way I crunched the numbers. My account got a bonus of 7% or $70,000 the day it opened. The guaranteed income rider grows my income base at a minimum of 4% annually until withdrawals are started. My agent who sold this explained that this is monopoly money, not real but the income it will generate is real. 10 years from now the income value is guaranteed to be $1,583,861 and my wife and I can start taking a withdrawal rate of 5.5% based on our age 70. That’s an income of $87,112 annually. I am expecting my account value to still be somewhere in the $1,000,000 range that I deposited because the fee and low index returns. At that withdrawal amount I will be through my $1,000,000 in 11.5 years and then I will be in the insurance companies pocket so to speak. If the indexes can produce a 2% return annually on average (I think that is reasonable) then that 2% is added to my guaranteed 4% according to my agent and Security Benefit (I checked, they called it stacking) Based on that possibility my $1,000,000 will grow to $1,916,207 and produce an annually income for myself and my wife of $105,391. So I am in the insurance company pocket in 9.4 years. Both my wife and I’s 4 parents are still alive in there late 80’s early 90’s so we have longevity on our side. Have I missed something?
    Now I compared this to having my money invested the more normal way. For us to produce $87,112 in annual income 10 years from now I would need to grow our account from $1,000,000 to $2,200,000 and then withdraw 4% annually + inflation. I would then have about the same income $88,000 (Why 4% well that the magic number that everyone seems to think is a safe withdrawal so we don’t run out of’ money) We figure we stomach having 50% in stocks and 50% in bonds, but no more risk then that. If I purchased $500,000 of 10 year treasuries paying 2.5% I would have earned interest and had a total value in that part of my account of $640,000 after 10 years. That means my stock portion need to earn 10.54% annual to give us the dollars we need. Can that happen I think you said it best a snow balls chance in Ecuador. On the upper side of my number crunch my stocks would have to earn 14.6%. Do I think this annuity indexes can make 2% after fees yes, do I think my portfolio could make 10.5% or 14.5% after fees, no. So for us it was a no brainer which way to invest. As you can see I’m a numbers guy. And I really could care less how it works. Heck I don’t know how the stock market works and I doubt anyone else does either really. We wouldn’t know if this was a good choice until 10 years from now. But I do know that 10 years from now I will be cashing $87,000 checks and that I will get those every year that my wife or I are alive. And hopefully they will be bigger. That make us feel pretty good especially when I look at how the stock market has performed over the last 15 years. I think the stress would kill us if we had to go thru that again.

    PS since the S&P 500 index is over a year since we started our return on that 1/2 of the investment (the other half went into the 5 year index) was up 1% even after fees so this year out income base increased 5% not 4% so we are already ahead of the guaranteed amount.

    • Annuity Gator
      4:36 PM, 1 August 2013

      Hi Patrick,

      Thanks for the great comment and feedback.

      You are correct that worst case scenario (so long as Security Benefit is in business, which I think they will be) you’ll get $87,112 per year. And more than likely it will be more, probably about what you calculated with the stacked growth. The only thing you didn’t consider in your comparison was that you really wouldn’t need to grow your money to $2.2 million in order to take 4% distributions. In the annuity, most likely there will be no value left when you pass. So to compare apples to apples you’d need to just make enough on your investment to pay back your original investment and get income until death.

      Or course, since we don’t know how long we’ll live, that can be tricky. Assuming either you or your wife live until 100, here’s the real numbers you’d need to achieve to get at least the same results as the annuity using both the minimum guarantee of the annuity and the optimistic case (the 6% via stacked roll up).

      Example #1 – Only guaranteed annuity returns:

      Return 4.04%
      Age Year Account Value Distribution
      60 0 $1,000,000.00 $-
      61 1 $1,110,407.27 $-
      62 2 $1,155,275.79 $-
      63 3 $1,201,957.33 $-
      64 4 $1,250,525.14 $-
      65 5 $1,301,055.44 $-
      66 6 $1,353,627.53 $-
      67 7 $1,408,323.92 $-
      68 8 $1,465,230.44 $-
      69 9 $1,524,436.40 $-
      70 10 $1,498,922.71 $87,112.00
      71 11 $1,472,378.08 $87,112.00
      72 12 $1,444,760.85 $87,112.00
      73 13 $1,416,027.69 $87,112.00
      74 14 $1,386,133.50 $87,112.00
      75 15 $1,355,031.37 $87,112.00
      76 16 $1,322,672.48 $87,112.00
      77 17 $1,289,006.06 $87,112.00
      78 18 $1,253,979.27 $87,112.00
      79 19 $1,217,537.15 $87,112.00
      80 20 $1,179,622.50 $87,112.00
      81 21 $1,140,175.82 $87,112.00
      82 22 $1,099,135.20 $87,112.00
      83 23 $1,056,436.25 $87,112.00
      84 24 $1,012,011.96 $87,112.00
      85 25 $965,792.59 $87,112.00
      86 26 $917,705.63 $87,112.00
      87 27 $867,675.61 $87,112.00
      88 28 $815,624.01 $87,112.00
      89 29 $761,469.15 $87,112.00
      90 30 $705,126.03 $87,112.00
      91 31 $646,506.25 $87,112.00
      92 32 $585,517.80 $87,112.00
      93 33 $522,064.97 $87,112.00
      94 34 $456,048.19 $87,112.00
      95 35 $387,363.85 $87,112.00
      96 36 $315,904.17 $87,112.00
      97 37 $241,556.99 $87,112.00
      98 38 $164,205.65 $87,112.00
      99 39 $83,728.75 $87,112.00
      100 40 $(0.00) $87,112.00

      Example #2 – Using 6% roll up (4% base + 2% stacked growth):

      Return 4.97%
      Age Year Account Value Distribution
      60 0 $1,000,000.00 $-
      61 1 $1,119,657.21 $-
      62 2 $1,175,256.26 $-
      63 3 $1,233,616.21 $-
      64 4 $1,294,874.14 $-
      65 5 $1,359,173.98 $-
      66 6 $1,426,666.77 $-
      67 7 $1,497,511.06 $-
      68 8 $1,571,873.27 $-
      69 9 $1,649,928.11 $-
      70 10 $1,626,467.94 $105,391.00
      71 11 $1,601,842.80 $105,391.00
      72 12 $1,575,994.84 $105,391.00
      73 13 $1,548,863.34 $105,391.00
      74 14 $1,520,384.57 $105,391.00
      75 15 $1,490,491.63 $105,391.00
      76 16 $1,459,114.28 $105,391.00
      77 17 $1,426,178.82 $105,391.00
      78 18 $1,391,607.88 $105,391.00
      79 19 $1,355,320.25 $105,391.00
      80 20 $1,317,230.67 $105,391.00
      81 21 $1,277,249.67 $105,391.00
      82 22 $1,235,283.32 $105,391.00
      83 23 $1,191,233.04 $105,391.00
      84 24 $1,144,995.35 $105,391.00
      85 25 $1,096,461.62 $105,391.00
      86 26 $1,045,517.85 $105,391.00
      87 27 $992,044.34 $105,391.00
      88 28 $935,915.50 $105,391.00
      89 29 $876,999.45 $105,391.00
      90 30 $815,157.79 $105,391.00
      91 31 $750,245.26 $105,391.00
      92 32 $682,109.34 $105,391.00
      93 33 $610,589.99 $105,391.00
      94 34 $535,519.18 $105,391.00
      95 35 $456,720.57 $105,391.00
      96 36 $374,009.04 $105,391.00
      97 37 $287,190.28 $105,391.00
      98 38 $196,060.35 $105,391.00
      99 39 $100,405.16 $105,391.00
      100 40 $(0.00) $105,391.00

      As you can see, in order to match the guaranteed rates your investments would need to grow at an average rate of 4.04% over a 40 year time period. For them to match the returns of the optimistic annuity returns you would need to average 4.97% over a 40 year time period.

      For comparisons sake, just using the worst ever 480 consecutive months (40 year time period) of the last 90 years a conservative portfolio invested 80% in fixed income and 20% in growth investments would have returned 4.44% (source: years 1930 to 1970 IFA P10). The average would be 7.87%.

      So it’s possible that the worst ever 40 months in history would be slightly worse than an optimistic comparison of the annuity, but only if either you or your wife lives to age 100. If the life expectancy is age 95 than even in the worst ever non annuity scenario you are better off than the optimistic annuity scenario. Keep in mind too that a conservative portfolio like I’m comparing the annuity to would never have produced a loss over any 4 year period, something the annuity cannot claim as the surrender penalties technically make the annuity a loser for the first few years.

      Statistics aside, the annuity sounds like a good fit for you. You don’t need to worry about much and know what you’ll get in return. A better plan might have been being more diversified or using a different annuity/combination of annuities (there are annuities that have better “worst case scenario” incomes). Everyone is different, though the saying “don’t put all your eggs into once basket” apply to all of us.

      The most important thing is to have your money invested where it meets all your needs and you truly feel very comfortable. It sounds like you’ve found something that does that for you, which is great.

      Thanks again and best to you and yours,

      -Annuity Gator

  • David Scott Nichols
    2:42 PM, 8 September 2013

    I have been told that these annuities are extremely safe because if and because of the following:
    1. Choose an insurance company that is AA rated or better
    2. Even if that insurance company that offers the annuity (ex. Allianz or Guggenheim) goes bankrupt, since the annuity is considered a “form of life insurance”, other insurance companies must come to their rescue (or the state if in Florida). Therefore, it is virtually inconceivable that a person would not at least get the guarantee back plus the initial bonus if that person allows the annuity to go its entire length of, say, 10 years.

    Is this true or baloney? Thanks,
    D. Scott Nichols

    • Annuity Gator
      12:30 PM, 5 May 2017

      Hi David – Thank you for your message. In the state of Florida (as with other states) there is an insurance guaranty association. This association provides coverage to owners of covered policies – including annuities (as they are an insurance product). There are different maximum limits, depending on the product(s) that you own. For instance, the association will pay up to $300,000 in life insurance death benefit, or up to $100,000 in life insurance cash surrender value. In addition, for annuities, the dollar amount of protection will differ, depending on whether the annuity is still in its accumulation phase, or you are taking income from it. For example, up to $250,000 is paid in annuity cash surrender for deferred annuity contracts, or up to $300,000 for an annuity that is already paying out its income stream. Note that these amount are “per contract owner.” Also, the insurance company that you have purchased the annuity through would also have to be covered by the state’s insurance guaranty association. Please let us know if we can answer any additional questions. Best. – Annuity Gator Team

  • dan abbott
    8:58 AM, 3 November 2013

    With Transparent Value Website and other sources showing the transparent blend is up about 10% for the year and knowing the annuity has a .5% spread, and if an income rider is selected there is another .95% fee. Do you still agree with your former comments such as the bond portfolio etc makes insurance companies only 5-6% so the returns to client will be less.

    Please educate me on why not to think the annuity is up about 9.5% for the year. If rider is added take a fee off of .95 but add 4% after the 10% bonus, What am I missing?


    • Annuity Gator
      10:39 AM, 3 November 2013

      Hi Dan,

      Thanks for finding the site and adding the comment.

      The Transparent Value Blended Index’s live inception date for inclusion in the Total Value Annuity was late June, 2013. So it doesn’t have a YTD return of 10% just yet. Since being an actual option on the annuity it is up a touch more than 3%.

      That said, if it were around all year it would be up about 11% YTD in 2013.

      The really, really important thing to remember, though, is this crediting method requires 5 years to “lock in” the gain. So what it does in the first year is rather inconsequential. If it goes down 10% next year then all of the first year gains would be wiped out and the only returns for annuity holders (on this index, anyways) would be the returns in years 3-5. Those could be great, average, or poor. Nobody really knows. It’s also important to note annuity holders will not use the TVBI for 100% of the index credit allocation (I’ve seen most blended with the ALTVI and S&P 500 options).

      I actually really like the index and the return potential of the annuity. Being uncapped provides much better upside potential than many other fixed index annuities. The problem is when people assume it has 10% annual return potential. This is highly unlikely, and if it were to happen could actually be difficult for the insurance company to actually payout and remain profitable long term. The reason is the very reason I’ve pointed out in the post (and you bring up in your comment): An insurance company will have a hard time getting a 10% return on the money in today’s low interest rate environment. Obviously, if they have to pay out to annuity holders more than they can earn investing the money – the insurance company goes backwards. They can’t do that perpetually and stay in business.

      So, as said, I do like the index and the potential for annuity holders. I just cringe when I hear stories from investors that they are led to believe they can make 10% or greater returns with this (or any) annuity. Annuities are designed to be “safe money” investments and should not be compared to aggressive growth-type investments. If used correctly they do a great job of being part of the fixed, or income producing (now or deferred for later) pieces of a well diversified financial plan.

      Hope that helps and thanks again for adding to the discussion.

      – Annuity Gator

      • Dan Abbott
        10:57 AM, 4 November 2013

        It is my understanding that fixed indexed annuities are buying an option that if the stock market goes up they can cash in the option? In this case a 5 yr option tied to the growth of the “Blend” index. Therefore they then are not paying the potential high returns from their operating or investment funds but get the funds from cashing in their options?

        • Annuity Gator
          11:34 PM, 5 November 2013

          Hi Dan,

          This is only partially true. If you look at most insurance company websites, they’ll actually report what is in their investment portfolio (the funds of annuity holders). The vast majority of the money is invested in high quality bonds (in many cases, mostly government bonds). Some of the return from those bonds is used to buy options on various equity markets as a means to hedge risk against equity index annuity participation rates. This doesn’t work entirely, however, which is why many companies substantially reduced participation rates for index annuities as interest rates dropped from the early 2000’s to 2013. The cost of the options also has increased, which is one of the reasons some companies are using 5 year options in lieu of 1 year options for interest crediting.

          Hope that helps!

          – Annuity Gator

  • Malcolm
    11:04 PM, 10 November 2013

    Thanks for the detailed post and video, and for the subsequent follow ups to comments.

    A few questions/comments:

    1. You mention not knowing the effects of the volatility overlay, but a brochure I have called “ALTVI Explained” ( has in small print on the back “The cost for the volatility control overlay and maintaining the ALTVI is 1.25% per annum.” There is other verbiage that also indicates that both the RBS fee and the results of the volatility overlay are already baked into the ALTVI index and its backtested data ( Am I missing something?

    2. Can I get a copy of your spreadsheet?

    3. With the TVBI now available, the trend seems to be recommending equal allocations between the S&P, ALTVI, and TVBI options (1/3rd each). There is a least, median, best evaluation using that allocation back to 1994 with the income rider located here: Regardless of the details entered, you get a 10 year effective rate of return. My advisor indicated if you just want to look at the performance, you could subtract 3% from the 10 year numbers across the very bottom (+4% is there for income rider rollup, but -0.95% is there for rider fee). That seems to indicate that worst 10 years back tested to 1994 was ~5%…best was ~7.7% (again…assuming no income rider…just trying to look at it compared to other mutual funds, as I am young and can’t enact the riders yet). It’s not clear to me if the spread is taken into account in those numbers, or even if the whole idea of crediting over 5 years pt to pt is taken into account in their least/best calcs. Maybe the better way to look at it is via your spreadsheet and setting the rider fee to 0%? Thoughts/comments (other than take back tested data with many grains of salt…understood)?

    Thanks again for your time…I appreciate your efforts at educating us on these complicated topics.

    • Annuity Gator
      6:02 PM, 11 November 2013

      Hi Malcolm,

      Thanks for the positive feedback! I’m happy to answer your questions.

      1) The fees of the volatility overlay are clear. What’s not disclosed is the formula used to determine the use of the volatility overlay. If you look at the same brochure you linked to – you’ll see that Security Benefit will adjust the percentage allocation to the ALTVI based on volatility. Some times it will be 100% the same as the index, other times a much lesser %, and other times as high as 150% of the index. This makes it tough to know exactly how the actual annuity returns are linked to the ALTVI.

      2) Sorry, but we don’t give our our spreadsheets. If you’re good with MS Excel, however, you could recreate it without too much trouble.

      3) With the TVBI this is definitely a better product than it was before that crediting method arrived. It’s still too early to tell, however, if the backtested results will be anything like the actual results. That’s not a TVBI think – it’s the case with any backtest (past performance is never a guarantee of future results). So long as the spread and cap stays where it is today, I do feel this will do better than most other annuities. That’s just my opinion though ;).

      Hope that helps – and thanks again for the great comments added to this post!

      -Annuity Gator

      • Malcolm
        10:36 PM, 11 November 2013

        Thanks for the quick reply Jason.

        2. Interested in why you don’t share spreadsheets…if you’re willing to disclose. I am good at Excel, but I’d rather not have to take the time to start from scratch. As you mentioned…you have an advanced degree in math and it took you a while to figure out how to run the calcs.

        3. Can you address interpretations of the returns posted at the link Can we just subtract 3% to get a comparison to mutual fund returns (no riders)? Does it look to you like they take the spread and 5 year crediting method into account? Would you be willing to make a modified version of your spreadsheet that tries to mimic their calcs to compare results..then set rider fee to 0% to see if the 3% subtraction works out?

        • Malcolm
          1:20 PM, 19 November 2013

          Talked to a guy that helped create the TVA for Security Benefit & found out some more info about the calculator that might be useful to others:

          1. If you just want to look at accumulation (no riders), make the appropriate selection on the inputs of the calculator.
          2. All results are net of the spread (fees), and have to be updated if the spread changes. I think this holds true for participation rate too (which is currently 100%).
          3. All results take the 5 year pt-pt nature of the ALTVI and TVBI into account.
          4. All results include the deposit bonus.

          Looking at my particular situation, the most recent 10 years would have returned about 4.5% in a 1/3rd blended TVA account. My current portfolio (2 IRAs and 2 Roths) has done about 6%-7% in the same time period, so it would have cost me ~1.5%-2.5% in opportunity cost lost due to the more conservative nature of the TVA and the spread. That being said, if you look at the least (~4%) and best (~6.5%), the last 10 years is on the low end of what the product could do, and I expect there to be some cost associated with the downside protection involved in this product.

  • Rich
    10:58 PM, 1 January 2014

    Sorry for the mistake. The company is Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, not Alliance as stated in my previous question. In I read a lot of complaints about this company and the service they provide. Why is the Financial Adviser recommending I put money into this annuity?

    • Annuity Gator
      12:14 AM, 19 May 2017

      Hi Rich – Thank you for your message. There could be any number of reasons why the advisor is recommending the Allianz annuity. However, if you are not comfortable with that particular product, it can be helpful to review other options. Please feel free to view our expanded list of annuity reviews on our side. Also, if you have any additional questions, we would be happy to walk you through these via phone. You can contact us directly, toll-free, at (888) 440-2468. Best. – Annuity Gator Team

  • Vivian Bellini
    2:37 PM, 28 February 2014

    Hi there great info and liked reading the comments and answers. I am not very educated on all of this at all, some of it is so difficult to understand, I am not very savy on investment strategies! However went to a retirement workshop lately and was almost convinced to put my $85,000. that was in 401a and 403b from working into an EIA with Security Benefit, (rollover) I only work parttime and do not get any matching and don’t contribute any longer. I hope to retire totally by the end of the year. I am 68 years old. I get SS and have a two 1031TIC’s that hopefully are planning to sell by years end and will hopefully each result in approx $300,000. each.

    Not sure if I should put money into this investment. The financial advisor seems to think it would be good for me and has almost convinced me to start with funds from 401a and 403b, Rollover, and later the TIC’s. He told me I would make 7% guarantee! What exactly does he mean, because I’m sure there are other fee’s associated, and I’m sure he makes a commission from the company, (he did tell how he made his money). I’m just not sure this is for me and if it is not, where can I put this money, I would like some liquidity? I am considering my age, however, I’m quite healthy and expect at least another 10 years to live! Thank You, you seem to be extremely knowledgeable! Can I hire You???

    • Annuity Gator
      2:38 PM, 23 May 2017

      Hi Vivian – Thank you for your message. We would be happy to discuss some potential options with you. In order to provide you with the best advice, we would need to get a bit more information from you. Rather than emailing sensitive details back and forth, though, it would be best to chat via phone. Please feel free to reach out to us directly, toll-free, at (888) 440-2468. We look forward to speaking with you. Best. -AnnuityGator Team

  • Jack
    5:11 PM, 1 April 2014

    You mentioned this Total Value Annuity might not be good for someone that does not want to take the income rider. My wife and I are 60 years old with no children and looking for something that might produce a bit bigger bang for our annuity dollar. We have other money that can sustain us for a number of years.

    Can you pls suggest an annuity that may be more suitable for us?

    Thank you

    • Annuity Gator
      12:38 AM, 19 May 2017

      Hi Jack – Thank you for your message. We would be happy to provide you with some suggestions. In order to provide the best solutions, though, we would need to get a bit more information from you. However, rather than emailing back and forth sensitive personal data, it would be best to discuss via phone. Please feel free to reach out to us directly, at your convenience, at (888) 440-2468. Thanks we look forward to hearing from you. Best. – Annuity Gator Team

    • Annuity Gator
      2:36 PM, 23 May 2017

      Hi Jack – Thank you for your message. We would be happy to discuss some potential options with you. In order to provide you with the best advice, we would need to get a bit more information from you. Rather than emailing sensitive details back and forth, though, it would be best to chat via phone. Please feel free to reach out to us directly, toll-free, at (888) 440-2468. We look forward to speaking with you. Best. -AnnuityGator Team

  • Carol
    6:54 PM, 21 April 2014

    I have really enjoyed reading your take on the Security Benefit Total Value Annuity as well as the questions posed and your responses. Would this annuity be beneficial for an IRA. I am considering moving my IRA from a Mutual Fund Conservative Mix to the Security Benefit Total Value Annuity at the advise of my financial advisor. I am in my late seventies.

    • Annuity Gator
      2:34 PM, 23 May 2017

      Hi Carol – Thank you for your message. We would be happy to discuss some potential options with you. In order to provide you with the best advice, we would need to get a bit more information from you. Rather than emailing sensitive details back and forth, though, it would be best to chat via phone. Please feel free to reach out to us directly, toll-free, at (888) 440-2468. We look forward to speaking with you. Best. -AnnuityGator Team

  • Rob Stoddard
    11:50 AM, 29 April 2014

    In your summary
    you stated:
    “..someone strictly looking for guarenteed income with no market risk, there are better options”

    What are they?

    • Annuity Gator
      9:07 AM, 28 April 2017

      Hi Rob – Thank you for your message. The options will depend on your specific situation, and on what you want the annuity to do in terms of potential return, future income, death benefit, etc. We would be happy to discuss some alternatives with you. However, we would first need to get some additional information from you in order to provide you with the best advice. Rather than emailing sensitive personal details back and forth, though, it would be best to chat via phone. Please feel free to call us directly, toll-free, at (888) 440-2468. We look forward to speaking with you. Best. – Annuity Gator Team

    • Annuity Gator
      2:31 PM, 23 May 2017

      Hi Rob – Thank you for your message. We would be happy to discuss some potential options with you. In order to provide you with the best advice, we would need to get a bit more information from you. Rather than emailing sensitive details back and forth, though, it would be best to chat via phone. Please feel free to reach out to us directly, toll-free, at (888) 440-2468. We look forward to speaking with you. Best. -AnnuityGator Team

  • Wilfried Gerolstein
    8:32 PM, 29 May 2014

    Hi Jason,
    I saw my Adviser this morning and he suggested this Annuity.
    I watched your Video and read all your responses.
    In the Video you compared 2 choices of return, S&P and ALTVI .
    He showed me 3 choices, the 3rd. being TVBI also with a 5 Year Point to Point, but suggested not to use the S&P for returns, only the ALTVI & TVBI both 5 Year Pt.
    Is there a Stress test for the TVBI ?
    Also is there a better Annuity out there with lesser Fees?
    Thank you very much for making researching this Product and sharing it.
    Best regards
    Willy G.

    • Annuity Gator
      2:28 PM, 23 May 2017

      Hi Willy – Thank you for your message. We would be happy to discuss some potential options with you. In order to provide you with the best advice, we would need to get a bit more information from you. Rather than emailing sensitive details back and forth, though, it would be best to chat via phone. Please feel free to reach out to us directly, toll-free, at (888) 440-2468. We look forward to speaking with you. Best. -AnnuityGator Team

  • rich baldwin
    4:59 PM, 7 June 2014


    I have a 1.5M portfolio. Currenlty, I have two annuities – Security Total Value Annuity and Avia Balanced Choce Annuity 12 each with income ridres. I invested 300K in each earlier this year. I also have industry pensions (53K/yr). As a percentage of my portfolio value, what do you think about the amount of money I have in annuities? Should I add to that percentage? (I want to sleep at night and not constatnly worry about the market).

    I just watched both your reviews on line of the above two annuities – thay were very well done!


    • Annuity Gator
      1:15 AM, 10 May 2017

      Hi Rich – Thank you for your message. As a considerable amount of time has passed since your initial email, it would likely be best to chat directly via phone (rather than emailing sensitive personal information back and forth via email). With the updated information, we can then advise you on how much – if any – amount would work in an annuity (and if an annuity may be right for you, we could also help to point you in the direction of one that be a better fit for you). Please call us directly at (888) 440-2468. We look forward to speaking with you. Best. – Annuity Gator Team

  • Don K.
    8:18 AM, 12 August 2014

    Thanks for the insight. I have been reading the available literature regarding this product and needless to say, it can be confusing, but you boiled it down pretty well.
    I am thinking of investing about $ 500k + signing bonus for a 5 or 10 year term, and not taking any withdrawal/distributions for that entire period. At a minimum, after expenses, what would the value of this investment be when I would cash out the account when the term expired.

    • Annuity Gator
      1:05 AM, 10 May 2017

      Hi Don – Thank you for your message. This may be a good option for you. However, in order to truly be able to offer you the best advice, we would need to get a bit more information from you. Rather than emailing sensitive personal information back and forth, it would be best if we discussed via phone. Please contact us at your convenience at (888) 440-2468. We look forward to speaking with you. Best. – Annuity Gator Team

  • clouwho
    10:50 AM, 18 September 2014

    We were just presented with the TVA as an annuity option last night. The current spread is a whopping 1.5%. The income rider is still .95%.
    What we clarified last night is that if you elect the income rider, the fees are calculated on the “imaginary” income side of the column (the one with the 4% “guarantee” but are deducted out of your REAL balance of what you deposited. I’m wondering if Mr. Marshall’s advisor explained how the fees are calculated because it affects that real life balance pretty significantly.
    With the combined 2.45% deducted annually from the account combined with the gains/losses being calculated at the end of year 5 and year 10 (making it likely that you would see little to no real gain), as well as the new/unproven factor for this annuity; and even modest inflation, we are very doubtful that this annuity is worth the many downside risks.
    Thoughts based on current spread/fees market performance?
    Thanks much for taking the time to be an annuity geek :>).

    • Annuity Gator
      10:37 AM, 3 July 2017

      Hello and thank you for your message. We would be happy to help you in determining which option may be best for you. In order to do so, though, we would need more information. Rather than emailing personal details back and forth, it would be best to communicate via phone. Please contact us directly, at your convenience, at (888) 440-2468. We look forward to hearing from you. Best. – Annuity Gator Team

  • Deborah Falco
    10:50 PM, 1 October 2014

    I’d like to get your opinion on 2 annuities my mom has with Security Benefit. She knows nothing about the company and each experienced broker she asks says they have never heard of Security Benefit. Kindly give me some insight thank you!

    • Annuity Gator
      12:12 AM, 20 April 2017

      Hi Deborah – Thank you for your message. We would be happy to give you insight on the Security Benefit annuities that your mom owns. In order to do so, though, we would need to obtain a bit more information from you and / or her. Rather than send sensitive details back and forth via email, it would be best to discuss via phone. Please feel free to contact us directly, toll-free, at (888) 440-2468. We look forward to speaking with you. Best. – Annuity Gator Team

    • Annuity Gator
      2:19 PM, 23 May 2017

      Hi Deborah – Thank you for your message. We would be happy to discuss some potential options with you. In order to provide you with the best advice, we would need to get a bit more information from you. Rather than emailing sensitive details back and forth, though, it would be best to chat via phone. Please feel free to reach out to us directly, toll-free, at (888) 440-2468. We look forward to speaking with you. Best. -AnnuityGator Team

  • Gray Church
    8:44 AM, 18 October 2014

    I am 57 years old and our financial consultant is suggesting that I roll over my 401(k) me into this program. I know nothing about investing, and I’m wondering if the fees for this Annuity are considered reasonable.

    • Annuity Gator
      8:39 AM, 28 April 2017

      Hi Gray – Thank you for your message. The fees in the Security Benefit Total Value annuity are in line with many of the other similar products. Whether or not this particular annuity is best for your rollover funds, however, will really depend on your specific situation, such as your income needs, time horizon, and other goals that you might have (such as the potential for a death benefit, funds for long-term care, etc). In order to give you the best advice, we would need a bit more information from you. Rather than emailing sensitive personal details back and forth, though, it would be best to discuss via phone. You can reach us directly, toll-free, by calling (888) 440-2468. We look forward to chatting with you. Best. – Annuity Gator Team

  • Ted Johnston
    12:34 AM, 22 October 2014

    How does the Security Benefit Foundation Annuity fit into this picture? I am still working and I can buy into this using my 403B moneys, which up to this point has not been possible at my institution (higher ed). I have always been impressed with Security Benefit Life annuity products, and I am excited about its now being available.

    • Annuity Gator
      3:59 PM, 11 April 2017

      Hi Ted – Thank you for your message. The Security Benefit annuity could be a good fit for you. However, it really depends on exactly what you are looking for the annuity to do, as well as your retirement time horizon. We would be happy to walk you through some possible scenarios. But first, we would need to get some additional information in order to provide you with the best advice. Rather than emailing sensitive information back and forth, please contact us via phone at (888) 440-2468. We look forward to talking with you. Best. – Annuity Gator Team

    • Annuity Gator
      2:19 PM, 23 May 2017

      Hi Ted – Thank you for your message. We would be happy to discuss some potential options with you. In order to provide you with the best advice, we would need to get a bit more information from you. Rather than emailing sensitive details back and forth, though, it would be best to chat via phone. Please feel free to reach out to us directly, toll-free, at (888) 440-2468. We look forward to speaking with you. Best. -AnnuityGator Team

  • Tom Lathrop
    2:18 PM, 19 November 2014

    Jason, Thanks for the very detailed analysis. Very complex and I do not make any claim of real understanding of it. Our adviser introduced the TVA to us yesterday. We are currently in an annuity with him and he has been our adviser for about 15 years.

    I am 83 and my wife is 78. We are interested in taking a regular income amount instead of irregular withdrawals. My question is: is the TVA with Death Benefit Rider a good deal for us at our age? We would start the income immediately. Since I am past the age of acceptance in the program, we would shift the joint account to my wife first. This account is a bit over $91,000. Our adviser says that we would receive approx $6,000 annually minimum for life if we so elect. At our age, there are other ways to draw out the money, possibly in greater amount, and still preserve some principal.

    While our health is generally pretty good, we know that time is limited.



    • Annuity Gator
      2:19 PM, 23 May 2017

      Hi Tom – Thank you for your message. We would be happy to discuss some potential options with you. In order to provide you with the best advice, we would need to get a bit more information from you. Rather than emailing sensitive details back and forth, though, it would be best to chat via phone. Please feel free to reach out to us directly, toll-free, at (888) 440-2468. We look forward to speaking with you. Best. -AnnuityGator Team

  • Michael A. Webber
    5:26 PM, 20 March 2015

    Hi, Jason.

    Security Benefit just added two new interest crediting options to its Total Value Annuity contract:
    BNP Paribus High Dividend Plus Annual Point to Point Index Account; and
    BNP Paribus High Dividend Plus 2-Year Point to Point Index Account.

    Have you had a chance to review these options yet? Comments, please.

    Thank you.

    • Annuity Gator
      6:31 PM, 28 March 2017

      Hi Michael – Thank you for your comment. As annuity information can – and often does – change, we are always thankful for updates from our readers. We will go back in and add this information to the Security benefit Total Value Annuity review that is currently on our site. Thanks again, and please let us know if we can help further. Best. Annuity Gator Team

    • Annuity Gator
      2:15 PM, 23 May 2017

      Hi Michael – Thank you for your message. We are always looking for additional information and reviews to put on our side. We will add this to our list, so please check back soon in order to access the information on the BNP accounts. Best. – Annuity Gator Team

  • steve
    10:41 AM, 10 March 2016

    Have you updated your review on this annuity to include the newer BNP Paribas uncapped index strategy?

    • Annuity Gator
      12:54 PM, 16 June 2017

      Hi Steve – Thank you for your comment, and for inquiring about the Security Benefit Total Value annuity. In keeping our site as up to date as possible, it always helps to have comments and suggestions from our visitors. We will add this annuity to our list to update. So, please be sure to check back soon for the new review. Best. – Annuity Gator Team

  • Robert Wegnerowski
    12:17 PM, 20 July 2016

    Hi Jason,I found your review very helpful.I offer this product and you are 100% right in saying a lot of agents out there propose the product in the wrong way.I ALWAYS make sure my clients understand the difference between the guaranteed income account and their actual base account.many times I have come across clients who were told that they were guaranteed 6% to 8% when in fact the 6% or 8% increase guarantee turns out to be for the income account only.It was great to see that the way the product should be offered (in your opinion)is EXACTLY the way I propose all my annuities.I wish every agent out there would do the same.

    • Annuity Gator
      5:33 PM, 20 March 2017

      Hi Robert – Thank you for your comment. Appreciate the kind words. If there are any other annuities that you’d like to see reviewed, please let us know that, too via email or by contacting us directly at (888) 440-2468. Best. -AnnuityGator Team

  • Brian
    10:23 PM, 28 July 2016

    I am thinking about getting the Security Benefit total value annuity with GLWB rider with my 401K. I’m 56 and want to buy a $200,000 annuity. I want to start drawing a income of $1000 per month starting age 60 and don’t want to worry about the money running out for the rest of my life, If I can draw more its great but at least 1K monthly to supplement my retirement income. I have a retirement pension and disability pension. Is this a good fit and anything I should worry about. I see people talking about 5 year or 10 year before
    drawing money. Is there a problem drawing it at age 60???
    Thanks for any advise.
    oh both parents are in their early 80s

    • Annuity Gator
      5:23 PM, 20 March 2017

      Hi Brian – Thank you for your comment. In order to give you the best info and recommendation, we would need some additional information from you. However, rather than emailing personal details back and forth, it would likely be best if you contact us at your convenience at (888) 440-2468. We can then provide you with additional, more specific, details. Best. -AnnuityGator Team

    • Annuity Gator
      1:57 PM, 23 May 2017

      Hi Brian – Thank you for your message. We would be happy to discuss some potential options with you. In order to provide you with the best advice, we would need to get a bit more information from you. Rather than emailing sensitive details back and forth, though, it would be best to chat via phone. Please feel free to reach out to us directly, toll-free, at (888) 440-2468. We look forward to speaking with you. Best. -AnnuityGator Team

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