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Independent Review of the Western United Life Navigator Elite MVA Annuity

What will we be covering in this review of the Western United Life Navigator Elite MVA Annuity?

In this review of the Navigator Elite MVA annuity from Western United Life, we will be going over the following important details:

  • Type of annuity
  • Fees
  • Rates
  • Realistic performance expectations
  • Where the annuity is best used
  • How the annuity is most poorly used

Annuities can be complex. That’s where having an Annuity Investigator who loves math comes in.
We make the complex, simple.

Committing to any financial product can be a big decision – particularly if it will impact your future retirement income, and ultimately, your life. As an example, an annuity can provide you 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, though, 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.

In the case of an annuity, you may need to contribute a fairly large chunk of your savings in order to generate a viable income stream. But 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 most 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 You Can Trust

If this is your first visit to our website, please allow us to personally welcome you here to Annuity Gator. We are a team of experienced annuity professionals who focus on offering comprehensive and unbiased annuity reviews online.

We’ve been doing this for quite a long time now – far longer than our competitors. And because of this, we have come to be known as a highly trusted source of annuity information. Over the past several years or so, however, many “copycat” websites have started to spring up on the Internet, mimicking what we do. While that can be somewhat confusing for consumers, we take it as “imitation being the highest form of flattery”.

As you’ve spent time online researching annuity information, you may have stumbled across some highly conflicting details about these products. This really isn’t all that surprising, though, because there are lots and lots of different annuities out there today, and just about anyone and everyone has thoughts about whether they are good, bad, or otherwise. The reality is, however, that none of that matters – as long as you know whether or not a particular annuity is or isn’t right for YOU.

If you want to know more about the Navigator Elite MVA annuity from Western United Life, then you are definitely in the right place. In fact, dare we say that our website is the only place that you’ll be able to secure all of the details you need, which includes the good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly. This, however, is the only way to make a good, solid decision about whether or not to purchase it.

In order to be perfectly clear here, we want to state for the record that we, at Annuity Gator, feel that annuities can be good products for some people – as long as they fit in with your overall financial needs and goals.

So, if you’re ready to start the review, let’s get started!

The Western United Life Navigator Elite MVA Annuity at a Glance

Product NameNavigator Elite MVA
IssuerWestern United Life (Manhattan Life Insurance Company)
Type of ProductMulti-Year Guarantee Annuity (MYGA) with Market Value Adjustment (MVA)
A.M. Best RatingB+ (Good)
Phone Number(800) 247-2045
Websitehttp://www.manhattanlife.com/

Opening Thoughts on the Navigator Elite MVA Annuity from Western United Life

Western United Life is a subsidiary of Manhattan Life Insurance Company. Originally founded in 1850, Manhattan Life is one of the oldest continuously operating companies in the world. Today, Manhattan Life consists of a group of four operating life and health insurance companies, including:

  •  Manhattan Assurance
  •  Family Life
  •  Western United Life
  •  Manhattan Life

The Manhattan Life subsidiary offers Medicare Supplement insurance, life & supplemental health insurance, and fixed-rate annuities in the United States and Puerto Rico. Western United Life has been marketing and distributing a competitive line of short to mid-term fixed-rate and immediate annuity products, as well as Medicare Supplement coverage.

Today, with so many companies doing away with employer-sponsored pension plans, retirees – as well as those who are approaching retirement – need to find alternate ways of securing a long-term income stream. One solution is to purchase an annuity.

But just like any other financial product, not all annuities are the same. So, it is highly recommended that you take a good, close look at this – or any other annuity that you are considering – before you commit to it.

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. Neither Manhattan Life nor Western United 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.

Want to know more about how annuities really work? Click here to receive our updated annuity report.

How Western United Life Describes the Navigator Elite MVA Annuity

On its website, Western United Life describes its Navigator Elite MVA annuity as an individual, deferred, single premium, multi-year guarantee annuity (MYGA) with a market value adjustment (MVA).

This annuity offers rate guarantee periods that range from three to seven years, meaning that you won’t have to worry about the interest rate changing until the pre-specified time period has elapsed. The funds in the annuity grow tax-deferred.

You can begin taking penalty-free withdrawals of up to 10% per year, after the first full year of owning the Navigator Elite MVA annuity. A market value adjustment, or MVA, could impact the amount you actually receive, based on whether interest rates have gone up or down since you purchased the annuity.

As an example, if you withdraw an amount that is more than the 10% annual free withdrawal and the interest rates on new annuity contracts at the time of that withdrawal are higher than when you initially purchased your annuity, it is likely that you will be charged a negative market value adjustment amount, which in turn, can increase the cost to access this money. But, the opposite is also true.

At the end of the contract term, you are allowed to withdraw money from the annuity penalty-free, or you can reinvest it in another fixed annuity. Alternatively, you can begin generating an income stream from the Navigator Elite. (If you do not decide on any of these options, your funds in the contract will automatically renew for a one-year guarantee period at the then-current renewal interest rate).

The Navigator Elite MVA from Western United Life also includes a death benefit. Here, if you die before the end of the annuity’s contract period, the accumulated value of the annuity – which includes any interest it has earned – will be paid out to a named beneficiary free of any charges or fees. (It is important to note, though, that unlike a death benefit from a life insurance policy – which is income tax-free – the beneficiary may be required to pay tax on an annuity death benefit).

You can access the Western United Life website for more details regarding the Navigator Elite MVA annuity by going here.

How a Financial or Insurance Advisor Might Present the Navigator Elite

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 “safe” so that you don’t lose any of your hard-earned retirement funds.

For instance, rather than trying to turn $1 million into $2 million, your focus may instead be on keeping $1 million from becoming $500,000. That’s exactly what a multi-year guarantee fixed annuity can do for you.

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 Western United Life Navigator Elite 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 more than the guaranteed rate on this annuity, the reality is that you still may not be able to beat, or even meet, the rate of inflation.

In the case of the Navigator Elite annuity, you could be essentially locked into a certain rate guarantee period – in this case for five or seven full years – during which time you may have to pass up other, higher interest-earning financial opportunities.

So, on the one hand, even though it might be nice to know how much you’re going to earn in the next few years, 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!

Are There Any Fees on the Navigator Elite Annuity with MVA?

In addition to a possible market value adjustment, if you withdraw funds from the Navigator Elite annuity, you may also be hit with a surrender charge if you take more than 10% of the contract value out in a given year when the annuity is still within its surrender period.

The surrender charge period correlates with the rate guarantee period that you select on the annuity. So, for instance, if you went with a 5-year interest rate guarantee, the surrender period would be five years. (Likewise, this is the case on the 7-year rate guarantee option).

Depending on how much the annuity has grown, it is also possible that you could owe tax on money that is considered gain. Plus, if you are under the age of 59 ½ when you make such withdrawals, you may also incur an additional 10% “early withdrawal” penalty from Uncle Sam.

With all of this in mind, it is essential that you only contribute money to an annuity that you can live without for the long-term, and that will not have to be accessed in case of a financial emergency in the near future.

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Western United Life Navigator Elite MVA Annuity

Where this annuity works best:

Just like all products and services, there can be some pros and cons, meaning that the item or service may work quite well for some, and not-so-well for others. If you’re still considering the Navigator Elite MVA annuity from Western United Life, it could work well for you if you are seeking the following benefits:

  •  Guaranteed growth (at least for the first 5 or 7-year rate guarantee period).
  •  Protection of principal.
  •  Lifetime income in retirement.

Where it works the worst:

On the other hand, this particular annuity may not be right for you if:

  •  You want the opportunity to earn an even higher rate of return in order to keep a better pace with future inflation.
  •  You want to access more than just 10% of the contract’s value during the surrender period(s).
  •  You do not plan to use the lifetime income feature.

In Summary

When you’re considering how to best position your savings for the future, there are a number of criteria that you should ideally take into account. For instance, with annuities, you’ll 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 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 considering a purchase of the Navigator Elite annuity, 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 option can certainly provide you with some nice benefits, the reality is that this particular product 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 (or any) 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? Are There Any Other Annuities You’d Like to Have Reviewed?

While we know that this annuity review ran a bit on the long side, we feel that providing you with “too much” information is better than not giving you 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 regarding the Western United Life Navigator Elite MVA annuity, 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 literally a myriad of annuities that are 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.

Best,

The Annuity Gator

P.S. If you would like to read more of our Manhattan Life annuity reviews here are some links to check out:

Independent Review of the Western United Life Navigator Elite MVA Annuity

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