What Will We Cover in this Annuity Review?In this annuity review of the Symetra Flexible Premium Fixed Deferred Annuity, we will discuss the following information:
- Product type
- Current rates
- Realistic long-term return expectations
- How it is used
- How it is most poorly used
Annuities can be complex. That’s where having an Annuity Investigator who loves math comes in. We make the complex, simple.For anyone who is thinking about purchasing an annuity so as to assure that income will continue flowing in (regardless of how long you need it), as well as knowing that principal will be safe, then the Symetra Flexible Premium Fixed Deferred Annuity may be a viable option for you. One reason for this is because no matter what happens in the volatile stock market – or even in the economy overall – your money will be safe inside this product. In addition, when the time comes to convert the annuity funds over into an income stream, those payments will keep coming in, alleviating the worry of running out of income before you “run out of time.” But, before you go out and make a long-term commitment to the Flexible Premium Deferred Annuity from Symetra, it is important that you understand the benefits that it can provide you, as well as any of the features that could be a drawback. For instance, even though fixed deferred annuities can offer a long list of nice guarantees, they can be quite difficult to get out of once you’ve gotten in. So, it is best to know all that you can before you do so. Over the past several years, fixed annuities have risen in popularity – particularly with people who are retired and those who are approaching that time in their lives. However, due in part to this increase in demand, there are many insurance companies that have been coming out with new products. And, while it can provide you with many more options, doing so has also ended up making an already confusing product even more so. Because of that, unless the insurance or financial advisor that you work with really know the ins and outs of annuities, it may be necessary for you to do some additional research, as annuities can typically require a substantial amount of your overall savings. This is where we come in.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information You Can TrustIf you have never been to our website before, then please allow us to personally welcome you here. We at Annuity Gator make up a team of experienced financial experts who are dedicated to helping you decode the complicated world of annuities. Here, we strive to create unbiased, yet highly comprehensive, annuity reviews – and we have been at this for far longer than most of those “copycat” websites out there. Annuities are a unique product in that they are the only financial vehicle that can make the promise of providing you with a lasting, lifetime income stream. Unfortunately, though, some advisors – albeit unintentionally – will tend to make them sound better than they actually are. One reason for this is because, in order to obtain the nice benefits, there are oftentimes also some tradeoffs that you need to make. So you need to know just exactly what you might have to give up in order to get the guarantees and other benefits an annuity can provide. Many annuity sales reps, and even many of the annuity websites that you’ll see online will make some pretty bold claims about the performance of the annuities that they offer, such as:
- 7 to 8% return
- Low Fees
- Guaranteed income for life
- No market risk
Symetra Flexible Premium Fixed Deferred Annuity at a Glance
|Flexible Premium Fixed Deferred Annuity
|Type of Product
|Fixed Deferred Annuity
Opening Thoughts on the Symetra Flexible Premium Fixed Deferred AnnuitySymetra 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 policyholder 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. Given the unpredictability in the stock market over the past several years, the demand for fixed annuities has grown a great deal. One reason for this is because fixed annuities can provide the benefits of keeping assets safe, as well as an assurance of a stable and reliable income stream in the future. However, because of the extremely low-interest rate environment that we have been in for roughly the past ten years, the return that is offered by most fixed annuities is painfully low – and that can create problems for you and your money. For instance, 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. So, even though your money is technically “safe,” going this route may or may not actually be the most beneficial course of action for you. That’s why we’ve compiled this annuity review so that you can weigh the pros and cons.
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 Flexible Premium Fixed Deferred Annuity ProductSymetra describes the Flexible Premium Fixed Deferred Annuity as a product that guarantees to provide you with at least what you contributed, even if the contract is surrendered prematurely. In this annuity, your money will not be invested in the stock market, but rather you will receive a guaranteed interest rate for an initial period of 12 months – and your interest rate will never be less than the guaranteed minimum interest rate that is stated in your contract. You can also make additional purchase payments into this annuity during the first contract year. As with other annuity products, the interest on your money inside of the Flexible Premium Fixed Deferred Annuity is able to grow on a tax-deferred basis. This means that there is no tax due on the gain until the time of withdrawal – which can essentially allow the funds to compound exponentially.
How an Insurance or Financial Advisor May “Pitch” this AnnuityWith our longer life expectancy these days, worry about running out of retirement income is a very real fear. This is one reason why fixed annuities have grown in popularity of late, as they can offer you the assurance of income for the remainder of your lifetime. Because of that, if you’ve been presented the Symetra Flexible Premium Fixed Deferred Annuity by an insurance or financial advisor, it is likely that they have focused heavily on such guarantees. However, while having these assurances can certainly help you to sleep better at night, the reality is that the interest rates today (and for the past decade or so) that are offered on fixed annuity products would have you hard pressed to meet, much less beat, inflation. And this could lead you to struggle financially when trying to keep up with the rising cost of the goods and services that you’ll need to purchase in the future.
What About the Fees Associated with the Symetra Flexible Premium Fixed Deferred Annuity?You will also want to make sure that you are aware of any charges and fees that could be inherent in an annuity that you purchase, as these can also have a negative effect on your overall return. In this case, while you will have an interest rate guarantee period, the number of years of that guarantee will correspond to the number of years in your surrender charge period. What exactly does this mean? It means that if you have chosen an interest rate guarantee on the annuity that lasts for seven years, then you will also incur a surrender charge if you decide to withdraw more than 10% of the annuity’s contract value during that same time period. With that in mind, it is always necessary to keep in mind that annuities are long-term financial commitments – and that any money you deposit into an annuity should be dollars that you can live without for many years. (In other words, don’t count on these funds if you are in the midst of a financial emergency and need money fast).
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Symetra Flexible Premium Fixed Deferred AnnuityWhere it works best: While it may not be right for everyone, this annuity will usually work the best for those who are looking for the following benefits:
- Guaranteed lifetime income
- Safety of principal
- Interest rate guarantee – at least for a certain period of time
- Want access to most or all of your funds within the first several years (during the surrender charge period)
- Are seeking a high rate of return on your money
- Do not anticipate using the annuity for lifetime income