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Independent Review of the Lincoln New Directions Annuity

What will we be discussing in this review of the Lincoln New Directions Fixed Indexed Annuity?

In this annuity review, we will be going into more details regarding the following components of this FIA:
  • Annuity type Independent Review of the Lincoln National Life Lincoln OptiBlend 5 Fixed Indexed Annuity
  • How the annuity works
  • Charges and fees
  • Added features
  • Realistic short- and long-term performance expectations
  • How this annuity could be best used
  • Where this annuity might not be a very good fit

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 a fixed indexed annuity because of the index-linked (and tax-deferred) growth that you can obtain – without any worry about market-related losses, then the New Directions fixed index annuity from Lincoln Financial Group could be a good option for you. That’s because fixed index annuities can offer you the opportunity for both accumulation and principal protection, along with an ongoing, guaranteed lifetime income that you can count on when you retire. In fact, fixed index annuities have become extremely popular with investors who are tired of worrying about stock market losses, and who want to know that their money will be there when they need it – and for as long as they need it. But, before you run out and purchase this – or any – annuity, it is important that you first have a good understanding of how the product works so you know what to anticipate going forward. In addition, you should also know about any of the fees that you may incur, as well as the ins and outs of the crediting of returns.

Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information You Can Trust

If you have never been to our website before, please allow us to personally welcome you here to Annuity Gator. Who exactly are we? At Annuity Gator, we are a team of experienced financial and annuity professionals who focus on providing in-depth annuity reviews on the Internet. These include fixed, indexed, and variable annuities, along with various riders or “add on” features that are associated with annuities. We have been at this for quite a while now – far longer than our competitors have – even though there are now a number of “copycat” websites that have been popping up all over the world wide web. (Imitation is a form of flattery, isn’t it?!) It is our mission to provide in-depth information and reviews about annuities to consumers – as well as to financial professionals – so that they know exactly what they may (or may not!) be getting into when considering and/or selling an annuity. These products can be highly complex and loaded with “moving parts”, so it helps to have someone who is adept in how annuities work, and who can pare down the massive amount of “fine print” into something that is more easily understood. That’s where Annuity Gator comes in! If you’ve been in the process of looking for annuity information online, it is essential that you know who is trying to provide real education on the products, and who is simply trying to sell you something…regardless of whether or not it is the right financial vehicle for you. That’s because it is easy to be lulled into some of the other websites out there in cyberspace – especially when they make bold claims, like:
  •  Lowest fees
  •  High-income payouts
  •  Top-rated annuity carriers
  •  Guaranteed income stream for life
Does any of this look at all familiar? In addition, the more “bells and whistles” an annuity has, the more “small print” you are likely to come across that “explains” to you how it works. Not that it’s a bad thing – the more information, the better – but it can certainly make shopping for the right annuity much more cumbersome and time-consuming. In fact, after a while, it might even give you that “deer in the headlights” feeling. Look out! That being said, if you have landed here on our website in search of more details on the Lincoln New Directions fixed indexed annuity, you are definitely in the right place. In fact, we dare say that this is the only website where you can find all of the information you need. This includes an honest review of the good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly about this annuity. But that way, you will be able to make a much better decision regarding whether or not this is truly the best annuity for you. So, if you’re ready to get started, let’s dive right in!

The Lincoln New Directions Fixed Index Annuity at a Glance

Product NameNew Directions
IssuerLincoln Financial Group
Type of ProductFixed Indexed Annuity
A.M. Best RatingA+
Phone Number(888) 916-4900

Opening Thoughts on the Lincoln New Directions Fixed Indexed Annuity

Lincoln Financial Group was originally founded in 1905, with the endorsement of Abraham Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln. For more than 115 years, Lincoln has stuck with honest values and dependable service so its clients can better achieve their short- and long-term wealth enhancement and protection goals. Today, Lincoln National Corporation operates as the parent company for numerous affiliates, which includes Lincoln National Life Insurance Company. As of year-end 2019, Lincoln National was ranked as the fourth largest life and health insurer, with more than $16.4 billion in (2018) revenue. The company has also achieved other accolades, too, including:
  •  #1 in variable universal life insurance sales
  •  #2 in universal life insurance sales
  •  #4 in term life insurance sales
  •  #1 in total life insurance sales
  •  #5 in 401(b) employer-sponsored retirement plan market assets
  •  #3 in healthcare segment assets
  •  #9 in 401(k) market assets
  •  #2 in variable annuity sales
  •  #6 in fixed indexed annuity sales
  •  #8 in total fixed annuity sales
  •  #3 in total annuity sales
  •  #5 in long-term disability
  •  #3 in short-term disability
  •  #7 in total employee-paid coverage
Due in large part to its financial strength and good reputation for paying out policy holders’ claims, Lincoln National Life Insurance Company has also earned some impressive financial strength ratings, including a(n):
  •  A+ from A.M. Best
  •  A+ from Fitch Ratings
  •  A1 from Moody’s Investor Service
  •  AA- from Standard & Poor’s
Due to the constant volatility of the stock market over the past several years, fixed index annuities have become extremely popular with investors as a way to both grow and protect principal, as well as to obtain an ongoing income in retirement. However, while these features may seem highly attractive at first glance, it is important that you look at the whole picture, because there is typically some type of “tradeoff” required.

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. Neither Lincoln Financial Group nor Lincoln National Life Insurance Company has 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 Lincoln Describes the New Directions Annuity

On its website, Lincoln Financial Group describes the New Directions product as a single premium deferred fixed indexed annuity that offers several features to help meet accumulation and income needs. As a fixed indexed annuity, or FIA, the return is due in large part to the performance of an underlying market index each contract year. There are various options available with these indexes which include the:
  •  1 Year S&P 500 7.5% Daily Risk Control Participation
  •  1 Year S&P 500 Cap
  •  1 Year S&P 500 Performance Triggered
In contract years where the performance of the index is positive, the annuity is credited with a positive return, up to a certain limit (such as a cap or participation rate). But, in years where the index performs poorly, a negative return is not credited to the annuity. So, there is no loss. Rather, the account will simply receive a 0% for that time period. There is also a fixed account on the annuity that provides guaranteed interest at a rate that is set for either six or eight years, whichever you choose. (Once the rate guarantee period ends, subsequent rates are declared annually). As with other annuities, the growth that takes place in the annuity accumulates on a tax-deferred basis. This means that there is no tax due on the gains until the time of withdrawal. This, in turn, can provide a great deal of compounded growth over time. If you decide to convert the annuity to an income stream, you can do so for a stated time period, such as ten or twenty years, or for the remainder of your lifetime. You can view more information regarding the Lincoln New Directions annuity on Lincoln Financial Group’s website here. There is also an online Lincoln New Directions annuity brochure that can be accessed here.

How a Financial Salesperson May “Pitch” the Lincoln New Directions Annuity to You

There is definitely a lot to like about the Lincoln New Directions fixed indexed annuity – starting with its opportunity for growth, along with its protection of principal, tax-deferred earnings, and future lifetime income payout. With that in mind, it is possible that if you’ve been approached by an insurance or financial advisor about the New Directions annuity from Lincoln Financial Group, they keyed in on the exponential contract build-up, as well as the income stream that pays for as long as you need it – regardless of how long that may be. Now, that’s all well and good. But, what an advisor might not be so apt to focus on is that fixed indexed annuities typically impose “caps,” or maximums, as well as other “limitations” on their growth. This is the “tradeoff” of sorts that is made by limiting the losses in a down market. So, even if the underlying index(es) has an absolutely stellar year, the return that is credited to the annuity will be limited to whatever the cap or participation rate is – which, in some years, could be far less than the index’s actual return.

Fees on the New Directions Annuity from Lincoln Financial Group

Although you won’t have to pay an up-front sales commission when you purchase the Lincoln Financial Group’s New Directions annuity, that isn’t to say that you may never be hit with any fees. One of these could be a surrender charge. You could incur this if you withdraw more than 10% of the contract’s value in either the first six or eight years – depending on which interest rate guarantee period you chose. (So, for instance, if your rate is locked in for six years, that’s how long the surrender charge period will be). On top of that, if you are under the age of 59 ½ when you make a withdrawal, you could also incur – in addition to the other charges (and taxes) – an additional 10% “early withdrawal” penalty from the IRS. With that in mind, it is important to note that the purchase of an annuity is always a long-term financial commitment. To check out the Lincoln New Directions product brochure, go here.

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Lincoln New Directions Fixed Index Annuity

Where this annuity may work best: This particular annuity will usually work the best for those who are looking for:
  •  Safety of principal
  •  The opportunity for index-linked growth
  •  A guaranteed interest rate on the fixed account (for 6 or 8 full years)
  •  Guaranteed lifetime income in retirement
Where this annuity might not be a good choice: The Lincoln New Directions FIA may not be an ideal fit for you if you:
  •  Need access to most or all of your money within the first six or eight years, depending on which rate guarantee period (and corresponding surrender charge period) you choose
  •  Do not intend to use the lifetime income feature of the annuity
In order to truly get an idea of whether or not a fixed indexed annuity such as the Lincoln New Directions fixed indexed annuity or similar product is right for you, click here so that you can access our free annuity buyer’s report.

In Summary

There is a long list of items that should be considered when you are thinking about the purchase of an annuity. One of the primary reasons for that is because these products could require that you plunk down a large amount of your overall retirement savings. They will also lock in your money for a certain period of time (or charge you a surrender fee if you withdraw most or all of it). So, you definitely want to know that you’re making the right choice. In any case, an annuity should always be considered as a long-term financial decision – and because of that, it is truly important that you are confident about how the product may or may not fit in with your specific financial goals. When you are considering a fixed indexed annuity, you can be comfortable in that your principal will be safe from market fluctuations, as well as in that you can set it up to provide you with an ongoing retirement income in the future. Given that, you can also attain the security that you won’t run out of income during retirement. In the case of the Lincoln Financial Group’s New Directions Fixed Index Annuity, there can definitely be some great benefits. But that being said, this particular annuity could also fall somewhat short, and quite frankly, there may be some better options that are out there for you – primarily if you are in search of guaranteed lifetime income, along with the opportunity for growth.

Do You Have Any Additional Questions on the Lincoln New Directions Fixed Index Annuity? Did You Find Any Mistakes in this Annuity Review?

We understand that this annuity review went a tad bit long, so we definitely appreciate you sticking with us thus far. However, in this regard, we would much rather that you have “too much” information on this product than to not have enough. So, if you found this annuity review to be beneficial, please feel free to pass it on and share it with other people who could also find value in it. We also know that, just as with other financial products and services, the information about annuities can change quite frequently. So, if you happened to notice any information in this annuity review that may need to be updated or revised, then please let us know that, too, and we will be happy to make any of the needed updates. Are there any other annuities that you would like us to review? If so, great! Just give us the name of the annuity (or annuities), and our team of highly trained annuity experts will get to it as quickly as we possibly can. Best, The Annuity Gator P.S. If you would like to read more of our Lincoln annuity reviews here are some links to check out: Independent Review of the Lincoln New Directions Annuity    

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