What will we be discussing in this annuity review?In this review of the Kansas City Life GrowthTrack Flexible Deferred Fixed Annuity, we will be going over the following details:
- Type of annuity
- How the annuity works
- Charges and fees to look out for
- How an agent might present the annuity to you
- Where this annuity may or may not be a good fit
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For those who have been considering the purchase of an annuity because they are seeking tax-advantaged growth of savings and the opportunity to receive income for life – regardless of how long you need it – the Kansas City Life GrowthTrack Flexible Deferred Fixed Annuity could be a viable option for you. However, before going out and making a commitment on this – or for that matter, on any – annuity, it is recommended that you first have a good understanding of just exactly how the annuity works so that you know what to anticipate. Annuities are complex products, and the more “bells and whistles” they offer, the more confusing they tend to be. Because of that, many consumers aren’t completely sure of what exactly they are purchasing – only to find out after they’ve committed to it, the product really isn’t all that it was cracked up to be. Unfortunately, though, at that point, it is too late to get out of the annuity without having to pay a substantial withdrawal, or surrender, fee. This is definitely not the way to grow and/or protect your hard-earned savings.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information You Can TrustIf this is the very first time you have visited our AnnuityGator.com website, then please allow us to personally welcome you here. We are a team of highly knowledgeable financial pros who are focused specifically on offering very in-depth and unbiased annuity reviews. We have been at this for quite a number of years now – much longer than our competitors – and because of that, we’ve become a go-to source for annuity information. If you have been in the process of compiling more information on an annuity that you’re considering purchasing, then you have more than likely come across a lot of conflicting information about these products online. This really is not surprising, though, as there is a myriad of details available about these products. There are also a wide range of opinions about them, too. While you’ve been online searching for additional annuity details, you may also have noticed that, while there are plenty of very good annuity-related websites out there, some of them will make some pretty bold claims with the goal of “luring” you in. These may include some or all of the following:
- Highest annuity payouts
- Lowest fees
- Guaranteed income for life
- Top-Rated Annuity Companies
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The Kansas City Life GrowthTrack Flexible Deferred Fixed Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||Growth Track Annuity|
|Issuer||Kansas City Life|
|Type of Product||Fixed Deferred Annuity|
|A.M. Best Rating||A|
|Phone Number||(800) 821-6164|
Opening Thoughts on the Kansas City Life GrowthTrack AnnuitySince 1895, Kansas City Life has been helping its clients to prepare for retirement and to protect what they have built up financially. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, this insurer has several subsidiaries, including:
- Old American Insurance Company
- Grange Life Insurance Company
- Sunset Financial Services
- Sunset Life Insurance Company of America
Before we get into the gritty details, there are some required legal disclosures here….This is an independent annuity product review. It is not a recommendation to purchase or to sell an annuity. Kansas City 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. Download your Free Annuity Buyers Guide here
How Kansas City Life Describes the GrowthTrack AnnuityKansas City Life Insurance Company describes its GrowthTrack annuity as a flexible premium fixed deferred annuity, which provides accumulation and guarantees, and has multiple future income options. According to the insurance company’s website, the GrowthTrack annuity offers numerous benefits, including:
- A low $50 per month minimum premium, or a single premium of $5,000
- 10% per year penalty-free withdrawals
- 1% first-year bonus
- Lifetime income rider
How an Insurance or Financial Salesperson May “Pitch” the GrowthTrack AnnuityFixed annuities like the GrowthTrack from Kansas City Life Insurance Company are typically “pitched” by financial or insurance sales agents as safe alternatives with a set amount of growth. Plus, because fixed annuities offer lifetime income, these products are also oftentimes touted as being a great way to alleviate the concern over outliving your income in retirement. But even so, you have to look at the “tradeoffs” you may need to make in order to secure these nice guarantees – because quite frankly, they may or may not be worth it. For instance, while you MIGHT receive a 1% bonus on your first year’s contribution, there is no guarantee that the insurance company will provide this to you. On top of that, the low return – which will hover in the neighborhood of between 1% and 3% here – is unlikely to meet, much less beat future inflation. And that could have a negative impact on your purchasing power down the road. So, you really have to ask yourself whether or not the low (LOW) return is worth keeping your money safe, or if there might be a better option that could still keep your principal protected AND offer you the opportunity for a higher return. And then there are the fees to consider….
Fees Associated with the Kansas City Life GrowthTrack AnnuityFor many years now, annuities have gotten a bad rap, in large part because of the fees that they charge. So, it is important that you know where to look for these – even if an annuity otherwise appears to fit in with your financial goals and objectives. In this case, there is a $30 administrative fee deducted each year from the annuity’s accumulated value. (Although, if the policy has at least $600 or more deposited during a contract year, or has a least $10,000 of accumulated value at the end of the contract year, this fee will be waived.) There are also some pretty significant surrender charges that can be incurred if you withdraw more than 10% of the contract value during the first 11 years! These start out at 10% in Year 1, and then gradually become less over the next decade. With that in mind, be sure that if you purchase this annuity, you won’t need to access your funds any time soon for any other financial obligation or emergency.
Kansas City Life GrowthTrack Annuity Surrender Charge Schedule
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Kansas City Life GrowthTrack Flexible Deferred Fixed AnnuityWhere this annuity works best: While it admittedly has a few flaws, the GrowthTrack Flexible Deferred Fixed Annuity from Kansas City Life Insurance Company could still be a viable option for those who are seeking the following benefits:
- Safety of Principal
- A set rate of interest (plus a possible 1% premium bonus the first year)
- Guaranteed lifetime income
- A higher, market-related return opportunity
- Access to their money without penalty during the first 11 years