What will we be discussing in this annuity review of the Symetra Life Insurance Company’s Select 3 annuity?
In this review, we will be going over the following information:
- Annuity type
- How it works
- Pros and cons
- Where the annuity may work well
- Where the annuity may not work
Annuities can be complex. That’s where having an Annuity Investigator who loves math comes in.
We make the complex, simple.
The purchase of any type of financial product can be a major decision. This is particularly the case, though, when it is something that your retirement lifestyle can depend upon such as an annuity.
For instance, the right annuity can provide you with some guarantees during the accumulation period, along with a nice, steady stream of guaranteed income that you can count on for a set period of time – or even for the remainder of your lifetime, no matter how long that may be.
On the other hand, if you end up choosing an annuity – or for that matter, any financial related product – that really doesn’t fit your particular needs, then it could have a negative impact on your retirement lifestyle…and the way you live for the remainder of your life.
An annuity can also usually require a fairly large chunk of your retirement savings. And, because most annuities have surrender penalties for withdrawing your funds – some for more than ten years – it can cost you dearly if you purchase an annuity and then soon afterward determine that a different product would be better.
Annuities can be somewhat confusing to understand – even for well-educated consumers (as well as for some financial and insurance advisors). As “new and improved” annuities hit the marketplace, there can be a plethora of “small print” that comes along with these vehicles, sort of like an owner’s manual.
But have you (or anyone you know, for that matter) ever really sat down and read an owner’s manual word for word?
The answer is likely no.
The “small print” that is associated with almost any product or service can oftentimes seem a bit daunting. Therefore, most people will simply move forward with their purchase, and hope that everything turns out ok.
When it comes to your future income, though, hope is definitely not the best strategy. That’s where Annuity Gator can help.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information That You Can Actually Trust
If this is your very first visit to our website, please allow us to officially welcome you here to Annuity Gator. We comprise a team of experienced financial and annuity professionals who focus on offering comprehensive and unbiased annuity reviews online.
We’ve been doing this for quite some time now – far longer than our competitors. Because of this, we have come to be known as a highly trusted source of annuity information. Over the past several years or so, though, many “copycat” websites have started to spring up, mimicking what we do. While that can be somewhat confusing for consumers, we take it as “imitation being the highest form of flattery.”
If you have spent any amount of time on the world wide web looking for information about annuities – including the Symetra Select 3 MYGA annuity – you may very well have come across some conflicting information about these financial vehicles. This, however, is not necessarily all that surprising.
There are a lot of different annuities out there today in the marketplace – and just about everyone has some sort of opinion about them. Some people love them, some people hate them. And some just don’t really care.
But the reality is there are situations where annuities work, and situations where annuities don’t work. That’s the premise of our annuity reviews – to make sure that you have enough information to make a well-informed annuity purchasing decision.
With that in mind, if you are looking for all of the in-depth details about the Symetra Select 3 MYGA annuity, then you are definitely in the right place. That’s because we don’t hold back any of the information about how this annuity works, and what you can expect if you make a purchase.
So, if you’re ready to begin, let’s go ahead and dive in!
The Symetra Select 3 Multi-Year Guarantee Annuity (MYGA) at a Glance
|Product Name||Select 3 Annuity|
|Type of Product||MYGA – Multi-Year Guarantee Annuity|
|A.M. Best Rating||A (Excellent)|
|Phone Number||(800) 796-3872|
Opening Thoughts on the Symetra Select 3 MYGA Annuity
Symetra is backed by more than $55 billion in assets (as of year-end 2019), and its parent company, Sumitomo Life, is one of the largest life insurance companies in Japan – and together, Sumitomo Life and Symetra have total assets of over $300 billion.
Established in 1957, Symetra offers a wide array of wealth protection and retirement products, including fixed and fixed indexed annuities, as well as term, permanent, universal, bank-owned, and corporate-owned life insurance.
Due to its financial strength and stability, as well as its positive reputation for paying out policyholders’ claims, Symetra is highly rated by the insurer rating agencies. In addition to earning an A from A.M. Best, these ratings include an A from Standard & Poor’s, and an A1 from Moody’s.
Over the past several years, due in large part to the continuous ups and downs of the stock market, the demand for fixed annuities has increased substantially. This includes multi-year guarantee annuities, or MYGAs.
One key reason for this is because, in addition to keeping principal safe (in any market condition), these financial vehicles can also provide you with a guaranteed rate of growth for a specific period of time, as well as a set amount of income that could last you for the remainder of your lifetime.
Yet, even though this might sound like a win-win-win situation, the reality is that if something sounds like it may be too good to be true, then it typically is – so you should ideally get as much in-depth detail as possible if you are considering committing to it for the long term.
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 Select 3 MYGA Annuity
On Symetra’s website, the Select 3 MYGA annuity is described as a fixed deferred product that provides protection and growth for your retirement money. It can also create a series of income payments that may even continue for the remainder of your lifetime. This, in turn, can alleviate the worry about running out of income while you still need it.
Just some of the key benefits that this annuity offers include:
- Dependable, guaranteed growth for a set period of time (in this case, for three full years)
- Protection from market risk – even during highly volatile times, such as the 2008 recession, or the more recent COVID-19 pandemic (and corresponding market drop)
- Tax-deferred interest, which means that you pay no tax on the gain until the time of withdrawal. In this case, the account could grow considerably if you hold it for a long time, because you can gain interest on the principal, interest on the prior gains, and interest on the money that would otherwise been lost to yearly taxation.
After holding the annuity for three years, you’ll have the option to:
- Receive your accumulated contract value in a lump sum (without any surrender charges)
- Keep your money in the annuity and continue to earn tax-advantaged interest, or
- Convert the contract value into a series of regular income payments (either for life, or for a set period of time, such as 10 or 20 years)
If, during the 3-year surrender period, you withdraw more than 10% of the contract value in any given year, you will have to pay a penalty. You could also be liable for paying any tax that is due on the gain – and you can possibly also incur an additional 10% “early withdrawal” penalty from the IRS.
With that in mind, it is really important that you only put money into this (or any) annuity that you don’t plan on using in the near future for emergencies or other financial obligations.
How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” this Annuity
If you are approaching retirement, you may be torn between going with financial vehicles that have more risk in order to increase your opportunity for growth, or instead going with something “safer” so that you don’t lose any of your hard-earned retirement funds.
Because many pre-retirees today are concerned about not losing what they’ve already saved, having certain guarantees can be comforting – so if you have been presented the Symetra Select 3 Multi-Year Guarantee Annuity by an insurance or financial advisor, it is likely that they keyed in on the safety features of this product, along with the ability to earn a higher return if or when rates rise in the near future. So, in many ways, this annuity can allow you to potentially increase the returns on your “safe money.”
But there are some tradeoffs that you need to be mindful of. For example, even though you can earn a guaranteed rate on this annuity, the reality is that you still may not be able to beat, or even meet, the rate of inflation – especially in today’s low interest rate environment.
So, on the one hand, while it might be nice knowing how much you’re going to earn in the next three years, but what happens if interest rates go up? In this case, you’d be left behind, earning a lower rate for the remainder of the guarantee period! So, with MYGA annuities like the Select 3 from Symetra, you also need to be mindful of any potential lost opportunity costs.
Fees Associated with the Symetra Select 3 Annuity
While there is oftentimes no up-front sales commission with fixed and fixed indexed annuities, it does not mean that you’ll get off scot-free! This is particularly the case on the back end of the annuity – i.e., what happens with your money on the way out.
The initial surrender charge on the Select 3 annuity is three years. That lock-in period is followed by the choices listed above. But it is important to know that if you opt to lock in for another guaranteed rate period, guess what – the surrender charge will start all over again.
So, with that in mind, be sure that the money you contribute is money that won’t be needed during the first – or any of the potential subsequent – surrender charge periods.
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Symetra Select 3 Multi-Year Guarantee Annuity
Where this annuity works best:
Just like all product or service offerings, there will usually be some pros and some cons with annuities, meaning that the item or service may work well for some, and not-so-well for others. So, if you are still considering the purchase of the Symetra Select 3 MYGA annuity, then it could work well for you if you are seeking the following benefits:
- Guaranteed growth (during the rate guaranteed period)
- Protection of principal – no matter what occurs in the stock market
- Lifetime income in retirement
Where it works the worst:
On the other hand, this particular annuity may not be the right one for you if:
- You want the opportunity to earn an even higher rate of return in order to keep better pace with future inflation
- You want to access more than just a small percentage of the contract’s value during the surrender period(s)
- You do not plan to use the guaranteed lifetime income feature
When you’re thinking about how to best position your savings for the future, there are a number of different criteria that you should ideally take into account. For instance, with annuities, you will definitely need to make sure that the product allows you the opportunity to earn a nice return (at least enough to meet or beat inflation), while also keeping your money safe in any type of market environment.
In addition to that, if you’re seeking a future income stream – including one that you cannot outlive, regardless of how long that may be – then you also need to know how the annuity will pay out when you need to convert the funds into ongoing income.
So, if you are still leaning towards the Select 3 MYGA annuity from Symetra, then you can be assured that your money will be safe, no matter what goes on with the stock market. You can also count on an ongoing income stream down the road, alleviating the worry about running out of money before “running out of time.”
However, while this annuity can certainly provide you with some nice benefits, the reality is that it could still fall somewhat short – and quite honestly, there may very well be a better alternative out there for you. This is even more true if you are looking for a way to keep your money safe, while still having the opportunity to earn a higher rate of return.
The only way to truly get an idea of how this annuity may perform – based on your specific situation – is to have it tested. We can do this for you by running the numbers through our annuity calculator, and we can then provide you with a spreadsheet of the results. In order to receive this information, just simply contact us through our secure online form here and let us know.
Have Any Additional Questions About the Symetra Select 3 Annuity? Are There Any Other Annuities You’d Like to Have Reviewed?
While we know that this annuity review was a bit on the long side, we feel that providing “too much” information is better than not enough. That being said, we appreciate you sticking with us here to the end.
We also realize that, because everyone’s situation is different, there may have been some questions that went unanswered in this review. If this is the case and you still have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us here.
In addition, if you found this annuity review to be helpful, then please forward it on to anyone else that you think may benefit from it, as there is a lot of misconception out there about annuities and how they work.
Is there any other annuity you would like to see reviewed?
If so, we will get right on it!
There is a myriad of annuities available in the marketplace today. So, if you don’t currently see an annuity in our online database in AnnuityGator.com that you are considering, then just let us know the name of that annuity (or the names, if there is more than just one), and our team of annuity pros will get to work on it ASAP.
The Annuity Gator
P.S. If you would like to read more of our Symetra annuity reviews here are some links to check out:
- Symetra Custom 7 Fixed Annuity
- Symetra Financial Symetra Edge Plus 7 Fixed Indexed Annuity
- Symetra Single Premium Fixed Deferred Annuity
- Symetra Flexible Premium Fixed Deferred Annuity
- Independent Review of the Symetra True Variable Annuity [April 2018 Update]
- Independent Review of the Symetra Life Advisory Edge 5-Year Indexed Annuity
- Independent Review of the Symetra Select 5 Annuity