What will be covered in this annuity review?
In this review of the Northwestern Mutual Select Platinum Fixed Annuity, we will be discussion the following details:
- Annuity type
- How the annuity works
- Pros and Cons
- Where the annuity may fit
- Where the annuity may not fit
Annuities can be complex. That’s where having an Annuity Investigator who loves math comes in.
We make the complex, simple.
If you are concerned about outliving your income in retirement – or even having enough money to retire at all due to the volatile stock market – then the Northwestern Mutual Select Platinum fixed annuity could be a good option for you.
But, before you dive in and make a long-term commitment to this – or to any – annuity, it is recommended that you first have a good understanding of how the annuity works, and how it may or may not be aligned with your personal financial goals and objectives.
Over the past decade or so – and especially after the 2008 recession, and the more recent 2020 COVID-19 pandemic (and corresponding market drop) – fixed annuities have become much more popular.
One reason for this is because they can provide you with a fixed return, as well as protection of your principal in any type of market environment. As an added bonus, fixed annuities can also provide you with a lifetime stream of income in retirement, no matter how long you need it – and THAT can lead to fewer financial-related worries in a time when you should be relaxing and having fun.
But, even though it can certainly be reassuring to have such guarantees, an annuity should always be considered a long-term financial commitment. So, be sure that you know the positives and the possible negatives prior to making a purchase of one.
When seeking both the pros and cons about annuities, it can be a bit of a challenge to find all of the pertinent details that you need. This is because the positive points about annuities can easily be found in brochures and other marketing materials, while the drawbacks are oftentimes hidden in a myriad of “fine print.”
This is where the Annuity Gator can help.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information That You Can Trust
If you’ve never been to our website before, we would like to thank you for stopping by and visiting AnnuityGator.com. We are a team of experienced financial pros who are focused on offering the most comprehensive – and unbiased – annuity reviews that can be found on the Internet. We’ve been doing this for many years now – far longer than our competitors, and because of that, we are considered to be a highly trusted source of annuity information online.
We have also seen – particularly over the past several years – numerous “copycat” websites appearing online. In doing a bit of research of our own, we’ve found that most of these websites just simply repeat the very basic information about fixed annuities that you’ve likely already heard.
Where’s the value in that?
There may be any number of reasons why you’re seeking more information about annuities. For example, it could be that you are approaching retirement and you’re looking for a safe place to put your savings so that you won’t lose any of your principal. It could also be that you are seeking more details on how to stretch your retirement income further so that it lasts for the rest of your lifetime.
It may also be that you have recently gone to an annuity seminar where, in return for a free meal, you listened to information about fixed annuities like the Northwestern Mutual Select Platinum fixed annuity. In fact, you might even have set a time to meet with the presenter/advisor in the near future to discuss how this annuity could work for you.
In any case, if you have been spending any amount of time at all with researching annuities, it is probable that you have come across some highly conflicting information about these products. This isn’t really surprising, because there are a lot of different annuities available in the market today, along with numerous opinions about them.
If you’re run across any of the other annuity websites online, you may have been “lured” in with some pretty bold claims that they make, such as:
- Highest income payouts
- Lowest fees
- Top-rated annuity carriers
- Guaranteed income for life
But, while these promises might sound enticing, it is still necessary for you to determine whether or not they are actually true, because once you have committed to purchasing an annuity, it can be extremely difficult to get out of it – even if you later determine that it doesn’t do what it was promised to do.
The good news is that if you are seeking more information regarding the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company’s Select Platinum fixed annuity, you are definitely in the right place. We want to warn you, though, that the details you will learn here include not just the good, but also the bad, and possibly even the ugly.
Why would we want to “bash” annuities?
We’re not, actually. But by giving you the whole story, rather than just bits and pieces of it, we feel that this is the only way to determine whether or not this is the right annuity for you.
So, if you’re ready to begin, let’s dive in!
Northwestern Mutual Select Platinum Fixed Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||Select Platinum|
|Issuer||Northwestern Life Insurance Company|
|Type of Product||Fixed Annuity|
|S&P Rating||AA+ (Extremely Strong)|
|Phone Number||(866) 950-4644|
Opening Thoughts on the Northwestern Mutual Select Platinum Annuity
Northwestern Mutual has been in the insurance industry for over 160 years. Remaining financially strong through the U.S. Civil War, the Great Depression, two world wars, and a number of recessions – including the 2008 Great Recession, and the more recent 2020 COVID-19 pandemic that sent the stock market into a tailspin – the company has helped its clients with achieving and managing wealth.
This company actually offers a long list of insurance and investment products, including both deferred and immediate annuities, life insurance coverage, disability insurance, long-term care coverage, and investment products and advice.
This insurer has extremely high ratings from the insurer rating agencies. These include:
- A++ from A.M. Best Company
- AAA from Fitch Ratings
- Aaa from Moody’s Investors Service
- AA+ from S&P Global Ratings
Northwestern Mutual has also been an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau since 1939. The BBB has given Northwestern Mutual a grade of A+.
Due to the vast amount of volatility that has taken place in the market over the past decade or so, the demand for fixed annuities has grown a great deal – especially as a way for retirees, and those who are saving for retirement, to keep principal safe.
Alternatively, though, because of the historically low-interest-rate environment that we’ve grown accustomed to lately (with no end in sight), the “price” of this safety of principal is that your overall return can be very low – so low, in fact, that it may not even meet or beat short- or long-term inflation. This, in turn, can have a major effect on the amount of income you’ll receive in retirement.
Before we get into the in-depth details, we have some legal disclosures to present…
This is an independent annuity product review. It is not a recommendation to purchase or to sell an annuity. Northwestern Mutual 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 more details 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 Northwestern Mutual Describes the Select Platinum Annuity
On its website Northwestern Mutual describes annuities as “financial vehicles that let you put money away so you can have a guaranteed regular ‘paycheck’ for the rest of your life.”
So far, this sounds great!
But, you may ask, what exactly are the tradeoffs you’ll have to make?
Being a fixed annuity, the Select Platinum annuity from Northwestern Mutual will indeed offer you a set rate of return. It will also keep your principal safe – even if the stock market tanks (again) in the future.
Likewise, this annuity will also pay you income for a set period of time, such as ten or twenty years, or even for the remainder of your lifetime – regardless of how long that may be.
This particular annuity is a single premium deferred annuity. So, you fund it using one single contribution (possibly a rollover from an IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan), and then no additional premium payments are necessary.
As with other annuities, the growth that takes place in the Select Platinum annuity is tax-deferred. This means that you won’t have to pay tax on any of the gains until the time of withdrawal. This, too, is pretty cool, because you can essentially rack up the account value based on the interest you get on your contribution, the interest you get on the interest, and the interest you get on the funds that would otherwise been paid in tax.
The Select Platinum also offers you some options, such as:
- Guaranteed interest rate period of one year
- Optional first-year enhancements
- A guaranteed interest rate minimum
- A death benefit that is paid to a beneficiary if you pass away before converting the annuity into an income stream
To take a look at the full Northwestern Mutual Select annuity brochure go here.
How an Insurance or Financial Salesperson Might Present this Annuity to You
Although insurance and financial advisors typically try to do what is right for their clients, they – along with many of the insurance companies they are contracted with – will oftentimes tend to highlight the good features of a particular product, without touching a lot on the potential drawbacks.
As an example, given its fixed nature, the Northwestern Mutual Select Platinum annuity would likely be pitched as providing protection of principal, along with a minimum rate of return over time.
Likewise, the set amount of guaranteed lifetime income is also an attractive feature that financial advisors like to tout – particularly to clients who are retired and/or those who are approaching this stage of their life.
Plus, given the death benefit attached to the annuity, your loved ones could still have access to all of the money your contributed (minus any fee and/or withdrawals) if you pass away unexpectedly before starting the annuity’s income stream.
What the advisor might not tell you, though, is that some of these added bells and whistles can come at a “cost.” For instance, you may be eligible for a first-year bonus on your contribution – but only if you contribute a minimum of $50,000 into the contract.
The Select Platinum’s rate guarantee really isn’t anything to write home about, either. In this case, your first year’s rate is locked in, and then each of the rate renewal periods is also for just one year.
For example, because we have been stuck in such a low-interest-rate environment for many years now, the returns that people are seeing on fixed annuities can be dismally low. In fact, in many instances – this annuity included – it’s likely that you could do better in a CD or even a bank savings account, where your money wouldn’t be tied up for nearly as long.
In addition, there aren’t many other features to speak of with this annuity – which means that it really doesn’t stand out among a plethora of other possible annuities that you could purchase. So, is the Platinum Select annuity from Northwestern Mutual truly the best option for you – or could there be a better alternative?
We can help you decide.
Are There Any Fees Associated with the Select Platinum Annuity?
Regardless of which annuity you go with, these products should always be considered as long-term financial commitments. One of the biggest reasons for this is the fact that these products have surrender charges that could last for a number of years.
This means that if you want or need to withdraw any more than 10% of the contract’s value during the “surrender” period, you will be hit with a surrender fee. (And, if you are younger than age 59 1/2 when you do so, you could also be hit with an additional 10% early withdrawal penalty by the IRS).
In the case of the Northwestern Mutual Life Select Platinum Fixed Annuity, the surrender period last for a total of eight full years!
Northwestern Mutual Select Platinum Annuity Surrender Charge Schedule]
|Contract Year||Surrender Charge %|
That’s a long time to wait if you need to access some or all of your money!
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Northwestern Mutual Select Platinum Annuity
Where it works best:
There are several areas where this annuity could work well, such as for those who are seeking:
- Protection of principal – regardless of what occurs in the market
- A set interest rate for a guaranteed period of time
- Lifetime income guarantee in retirement
Where it works worst:
Even with its guarantees, the Select Platinum fixed annuity may not be a good option if you:
- Want the opportunity to achieve a higher rate of return
- May need to access more than 10% of the contract’s value within the surrender charge period
- Do not plan to use the annuity’s lifetime income feature
In order to truly know how to compare the best annuity options for you, click here so that you can download our free annuity report.
If you’ve been considering the purchase of an annuity – or any financial vehicle, for that matter – it is always important that you consider several factors prior to moving ahead, including the return, the guarantees, and the liquidity (or lack thereof). That way, you will have a much better idea as to whether or not the product is right for you and your specific needs.
If a fixed annuity seems to be the best alternative for you, however, you can be assured that it will provide you with protection of your principal, as well as a guaranteed lifetime income in the future – which is something that other financial vehicles just cannot do.
When looking specifically at the Northwestern Mutual Select Platinum annuity, then, there can certainly be some nice benefits. But, this particular annuity might also fall somewhat short – and quite frankly, there could be a better alternative out there for you – particularly if you want a higher rate of return on your money.
Therefore, if you’re still unsure whether or not the Select Platinum annuity from Northwestern Mutual is right for you – or even if you’d like to just obtain additional details regarding annuities overall – please feel free to reach out to us directly via our secure contact form here.
Any Additional Questions? Did You Notice Any Mistakes?
We realize that this annuity review was a tad bit lengthy. Given that, we would like to thank you for sticking with us to the end. In offering our reviews of annuities, however, we would much rather provide our website visitors with “too much” detail, rather than not enough. So, if you felt that this annuity review was helpful, then please feel free to forward it and share it with others who you think may also find it beneficial.
We also realize that the available information with regard to annuity products can – and often does – change over time. With that in mind, if you happened to run across any details in this annuity review that need to be corrected or updated, please let us know and we will be happy to get them corrected immediately.
In addition, if this annuity review has caused you to be more confused about the Northwestern Mutual Select Platinum fixed annuity (or any annuity, for that matter), and/or if reading the review has prompted you with any additional questions, please let us know that, too.
Are there any other types of annuities that you would like to see reviewed on our website?
If so, then we will work on it. We are always looking for suggestions on fixed, fixed index, and/or variable annuity products to highlight in our reviews. So, just drop us a line and our team of annuity geeks will start working on it.
The Annuity Gator
P.S. If you would like to read more of our Northwestern Mutual annuity reviews here are some links to check out:
- Northwestern Mutual Fee Based Select Deferred Income Annuity
- Northwestern Mutual Select Fixed Annuity
- Northwestern Mutual Flexible Payment Variable Annuity Account A
- Northwestern Mutual Variable Annuity Account C
- Independent Review of Northwestern Mutual Variable Annuity Account B.
- Independent Review of the Northwestern Mutual Select Fixed Annuity.