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Independent Review of the Symetra Custom 7 Fixed Annuity

What’s Covered in this Symetra Edge Plus Fixed Indexed Annuity Review?

In this review, we’ll cover the following information on the Symetra Custom 7 Fixed Annuity:

  • Product Type
  • Fees
  • Current Rates
  • Realistic long-term return expectations
  • How it is used
  • How it is most poorly used

Annuities can be complex. That’s where having an Annuity Investigator who loves math comes in.
We make the complex, simple.

If you’re considering the purchase of an annuity to help you with increasing your nest egg, while at the same time keeping your money safe from market volatility, then the Symetra Custom 7 fixed annuity could be a good fit for you. One of the biggest reasons for this is because this annuity comes with some nice guarantees that are built directly into the contract.

However, before you move forward with purchasing this – or any other annuity, for that matter – it can be extremely beneficial for you to first get a much more in-depth understanding of exactly how the annuity works, and how it may or may not necessarily work for you and your specific financial goals.

Over the past several years, fixed annuities have become quite popular. This is particularly the case with those who lost some (or all) of their retirement savings in the market downturn of 2008 and are now seeking safety for their principal.

These products can also provide you with a guaranteed lifetime income stream, which is nice because people are living longer these days, and it can be difficult to make your savings stretch for a multitude of years.

But, because annuities have grown so much in popularity, there has also been an increase in the number of insurance and financial advisors who are offering them. Unfortunately, these agents may not always be giving you the very best answers to the questions that you may have, but that you need to know in order to make a well-informed decision.

Also, due in large part to the increased desire for annuities, the selection of annuity products has also grown significantly. Yet, while this can help you to “customize” the products to better fit your specific needs, it can also make annuities even more confusing, even for well-informed consumers.

Given that, there are some recommended steps that you should consider that can help you in truly understanding what it is that you might be purchasing – especially as an annuity could realistically make up a large portion of your overall retirement income down the road. Also, since annuities can be pretty hard to get out of once you have gotten into one, it is important that you know why you are going with one an annuity over another, as well as why you are even going with an annuity at all.

Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information That You Can Trust

If this is the very first time that you’ve visited our website, we’d personally like to welcome you to We are a team of experienced financial pros who are dedicated to providing you with comprehensive and nonbiased annuity reviews.

We have been offering these in-depth reviews for quite a few years now – much longer than our competitors have been – and because of this, we have come to be a highly trusted source of annuity information.

If your search for annuities has been conducted via the Internet, it is likely that you have come across a lot of conflicting details about these products. This isn’t really all that surprising though, as there is a multitude of different annuities in the market today, and there are numerous opinions about them.

Although there are a number of very good websites that are focused on marketing their annuities online, the reality is that some of these sites will work hard at luring you in by touting some pretty impressive claims, such as:

  • Highest income payouts
  • Top rated annuity companies
  • Guaranteed income for life
  • Lowest annuity fees

Does this look familiar?

Yet, as enticing as these claims may be, you really should treat them as you would when considering any other high-dollar purchase. In other words, you really need to make sure that these claims are backed up before you move forward. This can oftentimes require that you look a bit deeper into the “fine print” about the annuity you are considering. That’s where we come in.

If you really want to learn more about the Symetra Custom 7 fixed annuity, then you have certainly landed in the right place. In fact, we dare say that this website is the only place where you can find all of the key details that you need – including both the advantages and the drawbacks – which can be advantageous in helping you to make the right decision as to whether or not this annuity is best for you.

Oftentimes, when an insurance or financial sales person is trying to sell fixed annuities, they will provide a nice and rosy picture of how these products can provide protection of principal, as well as a set rate of return. However, in doing so, they can also tend to leave out some of the other important facts, which could be considered as drawbacks. So, before you move a potentially sizeable chunk of your hard earned retirement savings into this (or any) fixed annuity, you need to ensure that you first have the whole story.

In order to be clear here, we will say that fixed annuities do offer some great benefits – provided that they coincide with your specific financial goals. So, it is essential that you know what you may be getting into, as well as why you are choosing one particular annuity over a myriad of other alternatives that may also be available to you.

So, if you’re ready to begin, let’s go ahead and dive in!

Symetra Custom 7 Fixed Annuity at a Glance

Product NameCustom 7
Type of ProductFixed Annuity
S&P RatingA
Phone Number(800) 796-3872

Opening Thoughts on the Symetra Custom 7 Fixed Annuity

Symetra has been in the insurance and wealth protection business for more than 60 years. The company today holds in excess of $42 billion in assets and is highly rated by the insurer rating agencies for its strong financial footing, and its timely payment of policy holder claims.

The company serves over 2 million customers through a nationwide network of financial institutions, broker-dealers, independent agents, advisors, and benefits consultants. In addition to being a pioneer in the area of medical stop loss insurance, Symetra is also a leader in the fixed deferred annuity arena, particularly through the banking channel.

With so much volatility and unpredictability in the stock market over the past several years, the demand for fixed annuities has grown quite a bit, particularly as a way for retirees (and those who are preparing for retirement in the near future) to keep assets safe, and to ensure that they have a stable and reliable income going forward.

Unfortunately, though, due to the historically low-interest rate environment that we’ve been stuck in for nearly a decade now, the return that has been offered by fixed annuities has been very low.

In fact, in many instances, the returns that are obtained on fixed annuities have not even been enough to outpace the inflation rate over time. Because of these low rates, your future purchasing power could be affected – especially if you plan to use the income from a fixed annuity as a primary source of your retirement income down the road.

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. Symetra 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 Symetra Describes the Custom 7 Fixed Annuity

Symetra describes the Custom 7 fixed annuity as an individual modified single premium deferred annuity. This means that you can grow your savings tax-deferred with just one, single purchase payment, with no additional payments required. (Although you are allowed to add purchase payments of $1,000 or more throughout the first year of your contract).

With the Custom 7 fixed annuity, your interest rate will be guaranteed for seven years. And, because the earnings are tax-deferred, there is no tax due on the gain until the time of withdrawal.

In this annuity, your funds won’t be invested in the stock market. Rather, you will receive a set, guaranteed rate for seven years – and, the interest rate that you receive will never be less than a guaranteed minimum interest rate that is stated in your contract.

How a Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” This Annuity

Given its fairly lengthy guarantee period, it is likely that if you’ve been presented this annuity by an insurance or financial advisor, that they keyed in heavily on the 7 years of locked-in interest rate. Plus, because you can also receive a lifetime income stream from the Symetra Custom 7 – regardless of how long you may live – this is another feature that is often times touted heavily.

But, while these guarantees may help you to sleep a bit better at night, the reality is that such benefits can often times come at a cost – this being the low rate that is offered, and in turn, the inability to beat, or even meet, future inflation. This could equate to a step backward in future lifestyle, as it could hinder your ability to keep up with the rising cost of the goods and services you need in retirement.

In fact, the guaranteed minimum interest rate of 0.50%  is at or below the rate that is offered on most bank savings accounts today…and these accounts won’t lock up your money and charge you a surrender fee if you want to take it out.

What About the Fees on the Symetra Custom 7 Fixed Annuity?

And speaking of fees, the Symetra Custom 7 fixed annuity has some – especially if you need to withdraw more than 10% of your annuity’s contract value during the first full seven years after purchasing it. These surrender fees start at 8% and continue until Year 8:

Contract Year12345678+
Charge %88776540

As a side note, the surrender charges are waived after 30 days of confinement in a nursing home or hospital – and up to 90 days after release. However, if you are confined to a nursing home or a hospital on the contract date, you are not eligible for this waiver of surrender charges until after the first contract year.

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Symetra Custom 7 Fixed Annuity

Where it works best:

This particular annuity will usually work the best for those who are looking for:

  • Guaranteed lifetime income
  • Safety of principal
  • Interest rate guarantee – at least for a certain period of time

Where it works the worst:

The Symetra Custom 7 fixed annuity may not be an ideal fit if you:          

  • Want access to most or all of your funds within the first several years
  • Are seeking a high rate of return on your money
  • Do not anticipate using the funds for a long-term care need

In order to know how to really compare the best annuity options for you, click here so that you can download our free annuity report.

In Summary

There are a multitude of factors that should be considered when you are trying to determine which annuity is right for you – or even if any annuity will fit into your overall financial picture. In any case, though, annuities should always be considered as long-term financial endeavors, and because of that, you should feel comfortable that the one you ultimately go with can help you to reach your goals.

If you are still leaning towards the purchase of a fixed annuity, you can certainly be assured that your principal will be safe, and in this case, that you will have a certain rate of return to count on for the first seven years.

However, even with these nice benefits, this annuity could still fall somewhat short – and quite frankly, there very well could be a better option out there for you – particularly if you are focused on getting a guaranteed lifetime income in retirement AND the opportunity to earn a higher rate of return.

If you still have any questions with regard to whether or not this annuity is right for you – or, even if you just simply need some additional guidance about annuities in general, then please feel free to reach out to us directly via our secure contact form here.

Do You Have Any Additional Questions About the Symetra Custom 7 Fixed Annuity? Did You Notice Any Mistakes in this Review?

Although this review of the Symetra Custom 7 Fixed Annuity was a bit lengthy, we would much rather provide you with too many details as versus not nearly enough. Therefore, if you did find this review helpful to you, then please feel free to share it with others that you think might benefit, too.

We also understand that annuity product information can change frequently. Therefore, if you happened to notice that any of the information in this annuity review was incorrect, then please let us know and we will do our best to get that updated as soon as possible.

Also, if this annuity review made this product even more confusing – and/or if it happened to spark any additional questions or concerns – please let us know that too and we will work to make the information more clear.

Are there any other annuity reviews that you would like to see posted on our website?

If so, we’ll get on it! Just simply tell us the name of the annuity (or annuities, if more than one) and our highly trained team of annuity “geeks” will start working on those – so be sure to check back soon for updates, as well as a whole host of new annuity reviews!


The Annuity Gator

Independent Review of the Symetra Custom 7 Fixed Annuity


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