What will we be covering in this annuity review?
In this annuity review, we will be going over the following information regarding the Security Benefit Life Strategic Growth Annuity:
- Type of annuity
- Features and benefits
- Potential drawbacks
- Fees to look out for
- Where this annuity may or may not fit
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Considering an annuity – or any type of financial product or service – that can offer you principal protection, along with a lifetime income in retirement, is a big decision. But, if you’ve been reading up on Security Benefit Life Insurance Company’s Strategic Growth Annuity, it could mean that it offers what you need in your overall financial plan.
Yet, prior to diving right in and purchasing this, or any other, annuity, it can be beneficial if you know all of the facts – particularly those that have to do with how the product works, and how it may, or may not, work for you in attaining your retirement goals.
Over the past decade or so, with the large number of Baby Boomers that are planning for and reaching retirement, annuities have become quite popular. One reason is due to the guaranteed stream of lifetime income that they can provide.
Because of the appeal of annuity products to a large segment of the population, there are more financial advisors who are offering them to their clients. However, this may not necessarily be a good thing – primarily because, even if a financial advisor is working to do the best thing for their client, they may not always be giving you the entire picture about annuities.
Also, due in large part to the growing popularity of annuities, the list of different annuity product offerings that are now available in the marketplace, has increased significantly – and with this, new riders are also available that can help people to essentially more closely customize their annuity to their specific needs. Unfortunately, some of these “hybrid” products have made annuities even more complex than they already were – even for well-educated individuals.
With that in mind, it is essential that you fully understand what it is that you are purchasing, as obtaining an annuity could require that you use a large percentage of your overall retirement savings. And, if you find out that an annuity isn’t the right fit for you after you have purchased one, it will likely be too late to get out without having to pay substantial fees.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information You Can Trust
If you’ve never been to our website before, we would like to personally welcome you here to AnnuityGator.com. We are a team of experienced financial professionals who are focused on offering you comprehensive and non-biased annuity reviews. We’ve been doing this for many years now, and for far longer than any of our competitors. Because of that, we have become a well-known and trusted source of annuity information.
If you have been seeking more information about annuities online, then it is likely that you have run across a wide range of details about these products – some of which may be very conflicting. This is not surprising to us, though, as there is a long list of annuity offerings out there, and each one of them may offer different features and benefits. They also typically comprise a lot of “fine print” in their contracts.
It may be that you have also attended a seminar recently where a financial or insurance salesperson offered you a “free” lunch or dinner in return for letting them present you with annuity information. In fact, you may even be searching for additional information on annuities because you attended that seminar. (You may have also discovered that there really is no such thing as a “free lunch”).
Although there are a number of very good websites on the Internet that are focused on marketing their annuities, some of these may try to lure you in and give them your contact information by making promises like:
- Guaranteed Lifetime Income
- Lowest Fees
- Top-Rated Annuity Companies
- Highest Income Payouts
- Fast, Easy Annuity Quotes
But, while these claims may sound great initially, the truth is that they may not all be true. So, it is absolutely essential that you verify these claims before moving forward with the purchase of an annuity – just like you would likely do before you commit to any high-dollar product or service.
If you are interested in learning more about the Strategic Growth Annuity from Security Benefit Life Insurance Company, then you have certainly come to the right place. In fact, we dare say that the website you are on at this moment is the only place where you can truly get all of the key details – including both the advantages and the drawbacks. Knowing all of these facts is important, though, as it can help you with determining whether or not this is the right annuity for you.
Oftentimes, insurance salespeople who offer fixed annuities will paint a nice, rosy picture of how these products can offer you safety. But they may end up leaving out other details that may be considered drawbacks to owning this type of annuity product. So, prior to moving a sizeable sum of your retirement savings over to a product like this, you need to know the whole story.
And, that’s exactly what you’ll get right here.
Just to be clear, though, fixed annuities can offer many advantages – provided that they are a good fit for your overall financial objectives. Given that, it is essential to know just exactly what you are getting with a particular annuity, as well as why you may choose one specific product over a plethora of other possible options.
This annuity review is here to provide you with a more in-depth understanding of all of the details on Security Benefit Life Insurance Company’s Strategic Growth Annuity so that you have the knowledge that you need regarding whether or not it will be the right alternative for you.
So, if you are ready to get started, let’s go ahead and dive in!
The Security Benefit Life Insurance Company’s Strategic Growth Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||Strategic Growth Annuity|
|Issuer||Security Benefit Life|
|Type of Product||Single Premium Deferred Fixed Indexed Annuity|
|A.M. Best Rating||A- (Excellent)|
|Phone Number||(800) 888-2461|
Opening Thoughts on the Strategic Growth Annuity from Security Benefit Life
For more than five decades, Security Benefit Life Insurance Company has focused its expertise solely on the retirement industry. (Although the company actually traces its beginnings all the way back to the year 1892).
Through a combination of product innovation, exceptional investment management, and a unique distribution strategy, this company has become a recognized leader in multiple retirement markets, including:
- Overall fixed annuity sales
- Bank marketed fixed annuity sales
- The K-12 education market
- Overall fixed index annuity sales
As of mid-2020, Security Benefit Life held more than $41 billion in consolidated assets under management, and statutory revenue of nearly $5 billion. The company is highly rated through the insurer ratings agencies, which includes a(n):
- A- from A.M. Best
- A- from Standard & Poor’s
- A- from Fitch Ratings
Due in large part to the increased volatility of the stock market over the past decade or so, the demand for fixed indexed annuities – which are always backed by insurance companies – has been steadily increasing. This is due mainly to the fact that these types of annuities provide you with the opportunity to obtain a higher return than fixed annuities or other fixed products, while at the same time, providing you with safety of principal when the market is down.
However, even though this may sound like a great product, sometimes if something sounds too good to be true, it is. With that in mind, it is important that you take some precautions prior to purchasing a fixed indexed annuity, so that you don’t find out too late if it isn’t a good fit for you.
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. Security Benefit Life Insurance Company 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. Before purchasing any type of insurance and/or investment product, it is important that you do your own due diligence, and that you consult a properly licensed professional if you should have any specific questions that relate to your individual situation. All of the names, marks, and materials that were used for this annuity review are the property of their respective owners.
For more information on how to compare annuities in order to determine which one may be the best for you and your financial circumstances, click here to obtain our free annuity report.
How Security Benefit Describes the Life Strategic Growth Annuity
Security Benefit Life Insurance Company describes the Strategic Growth annuity as a modified single premium, deferred fixed index annuity. This annuity offers a wide range of options for growing your money, given its nine available interest crediting options that are designed to help with accumulating retirement savings without risk.
So, in addition to the fixed account, you can allocate your purchase payment to several different crediting methods via the following market indexes:
- S&P 500
- S&P 500 Low Volatility Daily Risk Control
- USB Market Pioneers
- Morningstar Wide Moat Focus Barclay’s index
In total, this annuity offers:
- Highly competitive rates
- 4 underlying market indices
- 10% penalty-free annual withdrawals (after the first contract year)
- A guaranteed minimum interest rate for the fixed account
- Nursing home waiver
- Terminal illness waiver
There is also a death benefit on this annuity whereby if the owner (or the annuitant, if the owner is not a natural person, such as a trust) passes away, a benefit will be paid out to a named beneficiary (or beneficiaries) that is the greater of:
- The annuity’s guaranteed minimum cash surrender value, or
- The account value of the annuity, minus any applicable premium tax
According to Security Benefit Life Insurance Company, its Strategic Growth annuity could be well suited for those who have a sum of money that they do not want to risk in the market, yet would like to have the potential for accumulation without risk.
To take a look at the Fact Sheet for the Security Benefit Strategic Growth annuity, go HERE then click on Fact Sheet.
Likewise, the full consumer brochure for the Security Benefit Strategic Growth annuity may also be accessed by going HERE, and then clicking on “Download the Brochure.”
How Financial Advisors Might “Pitch” the Strategic Growth Annuity
If an insurance or financial advisor has approached you about purchasing the Strategic Growth Annuity from Security Benefit Life, it is likely that he or she focused in on certain features of the annuity that are advantageous. But they may also have left out some of the things about this annuity that could be considered as drawbacks.
Being an educated consumer, you have probably noticed that insurance and financial services firms do a very good job of ensuring that their products sound very attractive. For instance, based on the above description of the Strategic Growth Annuity from Security Benefit Life Insurance Company, you may have even felt that this is the ideal annuity for you.
But keep in mind that if the person who is talking to you about this annuity is a commissioned sales rep, then they are likely going to explain the annuity to you by highlighting as many of its positive features as possible.
Yet, when you take a closer look at this annuity, you may find that all of the features about it may not work to your advantage. For example, while this annuity offers you the opportunity to participate in upward movement of the underlying index, it also has a “cap” on those earnings. So, while you will receive a positive return during upward years in the index, if the index has a particularly stellar upward period, your return will only reflect a percentage of that.
In fact, according to the annuity’s Fact Sheet, “SBL [Security Benefit Life] will lock in the caps, spreads, and rates of the interest crediting options to be the better of the caps, spreads, and rates when the application is received or when the contract is issued as long as the paperwork is in good order and within the 60-day rate lock window”.
Plus, as with most other annuities, you could run into some fees or penalties, depending on what you opt to do (i.e., leave it in the annuity or take it out) with your money over time. For instance, this annuity has a fairly lengthy surrender charge of more than ten full years. So, if you withdraw more than 10% of the contract value in a given year during the surrender period, you could end up being penalized.
Strategic Growth Annuity from Security Benefit Life – Surrender Schedule and Fees
|All states except those below||12||12||11||11||10||9||8||7||6||4||0|
|AK, CT, DE, IN, MA, MD, MN, MO, NH, NJ, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TX, UT, VA, WA||9||8.1||7.2||6.3||5.4||4.5||3.6||2.7||1.8||09||0|
The surrender fee is in addition to any taxes that you may owe. Plus, during the surrender charge period, a market value adjustment is also applied to withdrawals that are in excess of the free 10% annual withdrawal amount, as well as on full surrenders, or even on the death benefit that is paid due to the death of a joint owner who is not the annuitant’s spouse.
On top of that, if you make such a withdrawal before you have turned age 59 ½, you could also incur an additional 10% “early withdrawal charge” from good old Uncle Sam (i.e., the IRS).
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Security Benefit Life Strategic Growth Annuity
Where this annuity may work the best:
This particular annuity will usually work the best for those who are looking for:
- The opportunity to obtain a higher rate of growth than that of a regular fixed annuity or other “safe” financial vehicle
- Safety of principal
- Lifetime income
Where it works worst:
Conversely, the Security Benefit Strategic Growth Annuity may not fare so well for those who:
- Want to fully participate in market gains
- Will want or need to access more than just 10% of their account value for a full decade (i.e., during the long surrender charge period)
- Do not intend to use the guaranteed lifetime income feature
There are many factors that need to be kept in mind when you are trying to determine whether or not an annuity will be right for you – or even if any annuity is the best option for your retirement funds.
For instance, these financial vehicles are always considered to be long term commitments, so the funds that you deposit into an annuity should not be needed for any other purpose – at least for the first several years of owning the annuity.
If you are considering a fixed indexed annuity, you can be secure in knowing that your principal will be safe from the ups and downs of the stock market, as well as in that you will have a future retirement income that you can count on.
With regard to the Secure Income Annuity from Security Benefit Life Insurance Company, there can definitely be some advantages. But, this annuity may also fall short, and quite frankly, there could very well be some better options that are available to you.
If you still have any unanswered questions or concerns about the Security Benefit Strategic Growth Annuity – or about any annuity – then please feel free to reach out to us via our secure contact form here.
Have Any Questions on the Security Benefit Life Strategic Growth Annuity? Did You Find Any Mistakes?
We realize that this annuity review of the Strategic Growth annuity from Security Benefit Life was fairly lengthy. However, we would much rather provide you with a bit “too much” information about this product than not enough. So, if you did find this review to be helpful, please forward it on and share it with others whom you feel may benefit from it, too.
Also, we know that information about annuities can oftentimes change rather quickly. Therefore, if you did happen to notice any details in this review that should be updated or revised, please let us know that, too, and we will be happy to make the necessary changes.
And, if this review actually caused you to be even more confused about annuities and how they work – or, if by going over this review it prompted any additional concerns – please let us know by clicking here, as well.
Is there any other annuity – or annuities – that you would like to see reviewed?
No problem! Our team of highly trained annuity geeks will get on it! Just simply click here to let us know, and we will do our best to get the review online as soon as possible.
The Annuity Gator.
P.S. If you would like to read more of our Security Benefit Life annuity reviews here are some links to check out:
- Independent Review of the Security Benefit Secure Income Fixed Indexed Annuity.
- Independent Review of the Security Benefit Foundations Fixed Index Annuity.
- Independent Review of the Security Benefit Rate Track 5-Year MYGA Fixed Annuity.
- Independent Review of the Security Benefit Life Secure Income Annuity.
- Independent Review of the Security Benefit Rate Track 7-Year MYGA Fixed Annuity.
- Independent Review of the Security Benefit Total Value Annuity.