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Independent Review of the Sentinel Security Life Personal Choice Annuity

What We Will Cover in this Annuity Review

In this review, we will be discussing the following details on the Sentinel Security Life Personal Choice MYGA annuity:
  • Product type
  • FeesIndependent Review of the Sentinel Security Life Personal Choice 5 Annuity
  • Current rates
  • Realistic long-term return expectations
  • How this annuity 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 thinking about purchasing an annuity so that your money can grow tax-deferred, and you want to be able to count on the security of guaranteed income in retirement, then the Sentinel Security Life Personal Choice MYGA (Multi-Year Guarantee) annuity could be a viable option for you. This product offers a set rate of interest for a specified number of years, and it can also alleviate the worry about outliving your income in retirement – regardless of how long you may live. However, prior to going out and making a commitment to buying this product – or for that matter, any financial vehicle that could require a large chunk of your savings – it is important that you have a good understanding of how this particular annuity works, and how it may – or may not – work for you and your specific financial goals. Throughout the past ten years or so, fixed annuities have become quite popular with individuals and couples who are interested in protecting their hard-earned savings from a market correction. These products can also help with alleviating the worry about running out of income in retirement. But there is always, as they say, “another side to the story,” and it is essential to know both sides, as there could be some aspects of this annuity that are considered to be drawbacks. And, once you have jumped into an annuity with both feet, it can be difficult, and costly, to try and get back out. This annuity review is here to help you with better understanding the benefits and the considerations regarding the Personal Choice annuity from Sentinel Security Life so that you can make a much more informed determination regarding whether or not it is the product for you.

Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information that Can Be Trusted

If you’ve never been to our website, please allow us to personally welcome you to Annuity Gator. We make up a team of annuity experts who focus on providing comprehensive and unbiased annuity reviews. We’ve been at this for quite some time now – longer than our competitors – and because of that, we have come to be known as a trusted source of annuity information. But, just like anything that works well, there have also been a number of “copycat” websites that have popped up over the years. There are some websites out there that will make some pretty serious claims about the annuities they offer, with the primary intent of luring you in so that you part with your contact information. If you run across sites like this, be sure that what they are stating is actually true before you part with your hard-earned life savings. One big reason for this is because annuities can be difficult – and expensive – to get out of if you determine that the product you purchase isn’t really performing the way you expected it to. In order to be perfectly clear here, we want to say that we feel annuities can, in fact, be good products for some people – provided that they are in line with your overall financial goals and needs. That being said, let’s dive into this review!

Sentinel Security Life’s Personal Choice Annuity at a Glance

Product NamePersonal Choice
IssuerSentinel Security Life
Type of ProductMYGA (Multi-Year Guarantee Annuity)
A.M. Best RatingB++
Phone Number(800) 247-1423

Opening Thoughts on the Sentinel Security Life Personal Choice Annuity

Sentinel Life was initially established in 1948 when a group of Utah funeral directors saw families in need of insurance coverage that was designed to help with paying for final expenses. So, Sentinel Mutual Insurance Company was begun. Throughout the years, a number of additional coverage products were added. Today, the company offers a strong senior market portfolio, which focuses on final expense life insurance coverage and health insurance, as well as fixed annuities. With consistent and solid growth, Sentinel remains well-positioned to continue creating and rolling out new and innovative product solutions. As of year-end 2017, total assets were in excess of $800 million, with a gross annual premium for the year exceeding $350 million. In 2011, Sentinel introduced the Personal Choice Annuity. Here, with a fixed rate annuity, you can be sure that your principal is protected, and that it is growing at a set and steady interest rate. This growth is also tax-deferred, meaning that there is no tax due on the gain until the time of withdrawal. This, in turn, can allow your funds to grow and compound exponentially over time. But even with these cool guarantees, and the protection of your savings, because of the low interest rate environment that we’ve been living in for the better part of the past decade, it can be pretty tough for your money that is sitting in a fixed annuity to beat – or even to meet – future inflation. Because of this, you could have a difficult time keeping up with your current standard of living, and in turn, be required to cut pack on purchasing the goods and the services that you need in retirement.

Before we get into the gritty details, here are some necessary legal disclosures…

This is an independent annuity product review. It is not a recommendation to purchase or to sell an annuity. Sentinel Security 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 additional information on how to compare fixed annuities so that you can decide which may be the best one for you, click here> in order to obtain our free annuity report.

How Sentinel Security Life Describes the Personal Choice Annuity

Sentinel Security’s Personal Choice annuity brochure describes this annuity as a premier annuity that is fully customizable and offers a great deal of flexibility. This product offers you the opportunity to select which features you want to be added onto the base policy – so that you do not have to pay for the ones that you won’t use. The Personal Choice annuity has options for either a five year, seven year, or ten-year rate lock. The riders that are available for this annuity include the following:
  • Required Minimum Distribution rider – This rider waives the surrender charge and the market value adjustment on any required minimum distributions from tax-qualified plans.
  • Terminal Illness / Nursing Home Care rider – This rider waives the surrender charge on the annuity if the owner is diagnosed with a qualifying illness, such as stroke, heart attack, life-threatening cancer, or various other terminal conditions. In addition, the rider also waives any surrender charge when the annuitant requires skilled nursing care for more than 90 consecutive days.
  • 72(t) Free Withdrawal rider – This rider waives the surrender charge and the Market Value Adjustment that is associated with withdrawals made in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code Section 72(t).
  • Accumulated Interest Withdrawal rider – This rider waives the surrender charge and the Market Value Adjustment associated with accumulated interest withdrawals, starting with the first contract year.
  • Preferred 10% Free Withdrawal rider – This rider will waive the surrender charges and the Market Value Adjustment for the first withdrawal per year starting in the second contract year. The owner may withdraw up to the greater of 10% of the account value or the required minimum distribution. (There are, however, some exceptions).
  • Death Benefit Feature – In case of the death of the annuitant or the owner, the death benefit will be equal to the total contract value. Any surrender charges and Market Value Adjustment will be waived. (This is required for issue ages 86 to 90).
To take a look at the updated product brochure, go HERE.

How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” this Annuity

Because there are many people, and particularly those who are getting close to retirement, who want to ensure that their money is safe, it could be that an insurance or financial advisor who presents this annuity to you will key in on the principal protection that it can offer. They may also focus heavily on the guarantees – including the 5-, 7-, or even 10 years of locked-in rate (regardless of what happens with rates in the marketplace). However, this annuity is not all chocolate and roses – and it is important that you know the full picture, rather than only part of it. As an example, one of the little “quirks” with this annuity that your insurance or financial advisor may or may not have mentioned to you is that if interest rates should rise over time, you could be stuck with a low return – possibly for many years. To check up updated interest rates for the five year, seven year, and ten-year options, go HERE. So, you need to be careful here because lower return means that your money may not even meet, much less beat, inflation – and that can equate to a loss of purchasing power down the road.

What About the Fees on this Annuity?

In addition to a possible low rate of return, you also need to be mindful of any fees that you may incur. In the case of the Personal Choice annuity from Sentinel Security Life, this may mean a long surrender charge. Here, for instance, the length of the surrender charge will correlate with the length of the rate guarantee period. So, for instance, if you have chosen to lock in your rate for ten years, you could also incur a surrender charge for ten years, if you withdraw more than 10% of the contract’s value during this time (unless you have purchased one of the available riders that eliminate the surrender charge).

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Sentinel Security Life’s Personal Choice Annuity

Where it works best:
  • For those who are seeking the safety of principal
  • For those who want a set rate of growth (at least during the guarantee period)
  • For those who are seeking a set, ongoing income stream in retirement
Where it works the worst: The Sentinel Security Life Personal Choice Annuity may not work so well for those who:
  • Are seeking the opportunity for a higher return
  • Want or need to access some or all of their money within the first several years (i.e., during the surrender period)
  • Do not plan to use the lifetime income feature of this annuity

In Summary

Annuities have become more in demand over the past several years – and when you are considering a fixed MYGA annuity, it can be comforting to know that you will have a set rate of return and safety of principal – regardless of what occurs in the stock market. Yet, even with these guarantees, along with a lifetime income stream, it is still important that you factor in all of the information about the annuity. Because annuities are long-term commitments, you need to be sure that the one you go with is right for you. Otherwise, it could end up costing you dearly. Even with the available information about the Sentinel Security Life’s Personal Choice Annuity, it can still be somewhat difficult to determine whether or not this annuity is the right one for you. In fact, really, the only viable way to know this is to have the annuity tested. We can provide this for you with our annuity calculator and by plugging in figures that are more specific to your personal situation. If you would like to obtain more details, just simply contact us here through our secure online contact form. You can also get more details regarding how you can compare the best annuity options for you. Just simply click here so that you can immediately download our free report on how to compare annuities.

Has This Annuity Review Sparked Any Additional Questions? Did You See Any Mistakes?

Annuities can be complex financial vehicles – even the fixed version of these products that may not have quite as many “moving parts” as some of the other annuity options that are available in today’s marketplace. So, even after reading over our lengthy review here, if you still have any additional questions or concerns, then please feel free to reach out and contact us, and we will be more than happy to help answer them. If you found that this annuity review was helpful to you, you can also feel free to forward it on and share it with others who you think would also benefit from it. Because the information about annuities is changing all the time, if you happened to notice any details in this annuity review that should be updated or corrected, then please also let us know that and we will get on the revisions asap. Are there any other annuities that you would like to see reviewed on our website? If so, please provide us with the name of the annuity (or annuities), and our team of annuity “geeks” will get on the case and begin adding this information. So, be sure to check back into again soon. Best, The Annuity Gator P.S If you would like to read more of our Sentinel Security Life annuity reviews here are some links to check out: Independent Review of the Sentinel Security Life Personal Choice Annuity      

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