CALL US: (888) 440-2468

CALL US: (888) 440-2468

have an annuity question?
have an annuity question?

What Are The (Real) Average Annuity Returns for Fixed Indexed Annuities?

Here at we regularly break down popular annuities and “test” them to determine what your realistic annuity returns expectations should be. This exercise has been fun, but it is hypothetical – i.e, it’s based on taking their current structure and using historical data to see what they would have done in the past.

We saw a cool article that showed what the average annuity return index performance was between 2007 and 2012.

The study was done by Advantage Compendium, it’s based on the actual annuity returns of real index annuity policies, not back-tested or hypothetical returns.

Study Of Average Annuity Returns for Fixed Indexed Annuities

Here’s what the study found:

Annually, the average annuity return of all actual fixed indexed annuities in the study was 3.27%. The range of annuity returns was 5.5% average annualized (best) and 1.2% average annualized (worst).

This time period takes into account the roller coaster stock market during the 2008 economic recession, and the few years during the “recovery.”

On the surface, this doesn’t sound too bad. However, it really depends on what you compare them to. For example, during this same time period, here are the returns of a couple of no load, low-cost index funds; as well as some blends of the two showing some simple asset allocations:

 Average AnnualizedBestWorstWorst Possible 12 Month Period
Index Annuities3.27%5.5%1.2%0.0%
Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund-0.07%n/an/a-43.14%
Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund6.50%n/an/a0.25%
50/50 Blend of Vanguard Funds Above3.68%n/an/a-23.09%
20/80 Blend of Vanguard Funds Above (20% stock / 80% bond)5.49%n/an/a-8.68%

If you’re wondering why there are n/a in the best and worst columns for the index fund (non-annuity) sets – it’s because there is no range of returns. The only returns would be the average, whereas there would be varying degrees of annuity returns between the best performing contracts and the worst.

This study isn’t meant to be a recommendation for or against any of the above investments. It’s more about understanding average annuity returns and the risks of different investment methodologies. There are some interesting things we noticed, however:

  • Since the stock market was pretty awful during the time frame of the study, it’s not surprising this was the worst of the investments in the table

  • A lot of people might be surprised that bonds were not only the best but also had the least amount of risk (based on the highest worst 12 month time period)
  • Balanced investors still had some bumps in the road, but conservatively balanced investors (the 20/80 bunch) actually did much better than most would think
  • If you were lucky enough to invest in the best possible index annuity from 2007-2012 you did about as well as a conservative (20/80) investor in index funds, otherwise, the only investors you outperformed were investors heavy in stocks
  • The indexed annuity returns do not take into account surrender charges – so in reality, the liquidation value returns would be slightly lower than 3.27% average; whereas index mutual funds are fully liquid at all times, and generally with no penalty at all

One of the reasons we like studies like this is that a lot of annuity salespeople like to always compare index annuities to the stock market. That’s apples to oranges, though.

A much better proxy is to compare returns to other conservative investments, even if they’re not guaranteed like annuities are (based on the claims-paying ability of the insurance company).

Average Returns and Actual Returns are Not the Same Thing

Another super important thing to keep in mind is that many financial advisors like to talk about average returns when they’re presenting you with an investment. But here’s the thing, average returns and actual returns are not the same thing. In fact, they can actually be very different – and somewhat disappointing if you focus only on average and not actual.

In order to set the stage, you first need to understand that if the value of an investment falls by a certain percentage, it will need to gain a larger percentage than it dropped in order to just get you back to even.

For instance, let’s say that you invested $1,000. In the first year, the value drops 50%. So, you’re left with $500 at the end of Year 1. The following year, the investment goes up 50%. But even so, you don’t have your original $1,000. Rather you’re still down $250 – even though the “average” return over the two-year time period is 0%. So, the actual return is a negative 25%.

Actual Return
Original Investment: $1,000
50% drop in Year 1: $500
50% gain in Year 2: $750

In fact, as long as there are any negative numbers in the mix, the actual return on an investment will not ever equal the average return. In his book, The Retirement Miracle, Patrick Kelly sums it up very well.

In this case, let’s take another $1,000 investment. Over a ten-year period of time, the return fluctuates between a 10% and a 10% loss as shown in the table below. Here again, the “average” return over the ten years is 0%. But the actual return is roughly negative 5%.

End Of YearGain or LossValue of Account

Source: The Retirement Miracle. By Patrick Kelly.

With that in mind, it is important to make sure that you don’t base investment and retirement income decisions solely on the “average” return of an investment.

When we analyze annuity returns in this regard, we can see that they’re not bad at all, but there are other options conservative investors might want to consider instead or in combination with annuities. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach and positives and negatives with all investment strategies.

Plus, I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” right?


Wondering if an Annuity is Right for You? Or, Are There Other Conservative Investment Strategies that Might Work Better?

No worries, we’re here to help! (and it won’t cost you a cent).

Feel free to shoot the Annuity Gator team a secure, private message by using the form below.

Just let us know what your concerns/goals are and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction. This is a free service and nobody will hound you with phone calls/emails/etc. It’s just a nice way for us to be of service.

  • We can’t help everyone, but we do our best to always get back in touch within 24 hours.
  • Please be as specific as possible. The more specific and detailed you are, the more likely we’ll be able to help 🙂
  • How do we get in touch with you?
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Have an Annuity You’d Like to See Reviewed?

No problem, our team of highly trained annuity geeks can jump to it! Click here to get started and we’ll do our best to get it online as soon as possible.

Ask Us a Question

If you ever need to ask specific questions or need some one-on-one guidance (for free and with no pressure, of course), feel welcome to reach out by clicking here. We’d love to hear from you.


The Annuity Gator Team




Here are some other independent annuity reviews we’ve recently done:

Metlife Preference Plus Income Variable Annuity



  • steve
    4:11 PM, 23 May 2013

    youre inaccurate again and have never responded to my first post

    • Annuity Gator
      4:24 PM, 23 May 2013

      Hi Steve,

      Not sure where the inaccuracy is my friend. Could you be more specific? All this post did was point out an article published by Jack Marion, it wasn’t my data. Also, just check back to your first comment/question and you’ll see a reply was made within 30 minutes.



  • LeeLee
    3:54 PM, 31 May 2013

    What are returns on Allianz Fixed Indexed Annuities? Is there one with high liquidity, 50 year history, 7% average, and low commission. My cryptic rep said there is.

    • Annuity Gator
      1:16 AM, 4 June 2013

      Hi LeeLee,

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news – but Allianz hasn’t even been around in the US 15 years, much less 50. Had they been around 50 years though, there’s no way they’d have a fixed annuity paying 7%, a low commission, and with high liquidity. That’s sort of like a good, cheap lawyer ;). I’d probably steer well clear of that rep.

      If you need less cryptic, and more transparent feedback – feel free to reach out. Just use the “Have an Annuity Question?” tab at the top of the site. That will take you to a secure, private form for asking questions.


      – Annuity Gator Team

      • Laura
        8:25 AM, 21 June 2019

        I was wondering what my options are to convert a deferred annuity to another type because I just learned( not from the broker dealer) that this type if annuity leaves NOTHING for my family if I die before I spend the balance!!? Why would I be sold this without being informed if this?

        • Annuity Gator
          12:40 PM, 31 July 2019

          Hi Laura- Thank you for your message.
          It is important to look at all the details before making a decision.
          We would be happy to support you and point you in the right direction. In order to best support you, we would need some additional information from you. Rather than sending the info back and forth via email, it would be best to discuss by phone. Please feel free to contact us directly, toll-free, at (888) 440-2468 to chat with one of our annuity specialists or visit

  • John Jones
    5:57 PM, 26 June 2013


    I’ve enjoyed reading your posts thus far, but I am starting to question why you are doing this? To me, this seems like the “Josh Mellberg” system in reverse. Josh is out to sell annuities to clients that prefer safety and income. Your site is like Josh’s, but only in reverse. You aren’t out for annuities, but managed assets rather. You also offer a “free” book and materials- like Senior Annuity Alert. So, are you using this avenue as a way you to build credibility and steer clients more towards your RIA platform? If you have clients that prefer annuities, I am quite certain you have a net work of licensed agents you work with on a regular basis. Jason- I’m not slamming you in any way, just merely stating what I see going on here on your site. You are pretty accurate on your annuity reports, but are lacking in a few minor details. Also, it seems as though you are focused on returns only when looking at annuities. You are not factoring in the income rider cash flow and how beneficial those can be for longevity planning. Again, great material and education, but I do believe this is a portal for your business platform as well. After all, we don’t work for free, right?

    All the best-

    • Annuity Gator
      4:21 AM, 27 June 2013

      Hi John,

      Thanks for finding the site and reaching out.

      Sorry to disappoint, but there are no ulterior motives here and absolutely nothing like what Josh Mellberg is doing. I just got a little tired of people being misled and lied to, so thought someone should stand up for investors and help them see how different products really work.

      Annuities are great transfer of risk products. They are best used as a “private pension” type of asset. This will not, however, ever produce the returns many agents tell their clients they will. Expectations should be in the 1% to 4% range – with the 4% only being after 30+ years. Income rider cashflow is nice, but who cares about cash flow if it means you actually lose money (or make less than you would in CD’s)?

      You are absolutely correct about agents though. When an annuity truly makes sense for an investor I happily refer that to an honest, ethical, properly licensed and trained agent to help people out. I get nothing in return except for the satisfaction of doing the right thing. That’s more than enough for me.

      If you want to know how I make a living, I’ve published it more than once on the blog. Nothing sketchy, just fee only financial planning for very low costs to clients. That way they know there’s no hidden agenda in recommendations being driven by commissions.



      • John Jones
        11:10 AM, 28 June 2013

        Thanks for your professional response and I look forward to reading more of your reviews in the future!

      • Gisele
        8:40 PM, 6 March 2017

        Good info here for me, I’m just learning about annuities. A close relative of mine is advising me to purchase one and I’ve always felt uneasy about them, perhaps not knowing enough about them. I am more conservative, old school type. Re you offering this type of knowledge I applaud you. Also, in reference to your fee only financial planning advice, it seems as though it follows the lines of what the new DOL rule is trying to push through. Am I correct on that?

        Thank you.

        • Annuity Gator
          10:26 AM, 3 July 2017

          Hi Gisele – Thank you for your message. The DOL fiduciary rule essentially expands the “investment advice fiduciary” definition under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). What it requires is that all financial advisors who work with retirement plans and / or provide retirement planning advice act as fiduciaries, which means that they are legally and ethically bound to meet the fiduciary status (i.e., meaning that they work in the best interest of their clients, and put their clients’ interests above their own, leaving no room to conceal any conflict of interest, and to provide clients with information on all commissions and fees that are associated with an investment). In the past, not all such advisors were considered to be fiduciaries, in turn, allowing them to gloss over the fee information, and to place clients in investment vehicles that may provide more of a benefit to the advisor – such as commission – as versus any real benefit to the client). In this case, acting as a fiduciary incurs a much higher level of accountability than that of a standard financial or insurance sales person. Hope this helps. Best. – Annuity Gator Team

  • Susan
    12:43 PM, 7 August 2013

    I’ve been researching fixed index annuities thru a particular planner where there is no fee whatsoever – ever to the investor. The planner’s makes their $$ from the places they recommend placing your funds. They recommend 1 year’s worth of expenses to be held ‘liquid’. Sounds reasonable. The rest should generate a fixed amount for life with any $$ left over at death to be for the beneficiary(s). How can anyone be guaranteed a set amount for life? I don’t have a lot but i want to protect what I do have. I plan to retire at 65 years of age in January but want to be sure I am on the right track to protect what I have.

    • Annuity Gator
      4:51 PM, 28 May 2017

      Hi Susan – Thank you for your message. In some cases, there is an up-front commission that is paid to the insurance or financial advisor who offers the annuity, and in other cases there isn’t — or at least, the money doesn’t come directly out of your annuity account value. In order to be guaranteed a set amount of income for life from an annuity, it important to understand that annuities are insurance products, and because of that, the insurance companies are essentially “on both sides of the table.” In other words, they have clients who are paying in premiums for life insurance products (which protect your loved ones in the case of ‘dying too soon,’) and they also have clients who are making premium deposits for annuities, which basically protect you ‘in case of living too long.’ In other words, insurance companies have essentially bet on both outcomes. With regard to life insurance, there are many policies – where premiums have been paid in – that are cancelled, meaning that the insurance company received funds from the policy holder, but never had to pay out a death claim. The income guarantee that you receive from an annuity is based off of “mortality tables.” These tables estimate the life expectancy of people who are at every age. And, because there are some people who will die sooner than expected, and others who will live longer than their anticipated life expectancy, insurance companies are able to “hedge” their risk using something referred to as mortality credits. These “credits” are created when the people who own annuities, but do not live as long as their expected life expectancy die, and in turn, don’t receive the amount of income that the insurance carrier initially anticipated that they would. These “mortality credits” will then go into a “pool” that provides money for those other annuity holders who live longer than they were expected to. Hopefully this helps to clear up how annuities can make these income guarantees. But, if you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to us directly by calling (888) 440-2468, and we will be happy to answer any questions or concerns that you may have. Best. – Annuity Gator Team

  • charles vaughn
    9:00 PM, 23 August 2013

    Jason, I have one FIA with one company, three of various amounts with another. This past month I received statement for interest credited last year. The first one was 7.5%, the second was 4.5%.
    I have one that renewed about six months ago and that one returned 5.5% the previous year. Of course the main thing is that they never lose money when the market is down and the interest received cannot never be lost. They are a part of my savings/portfolio. I also have account at Vanguard and Ameritrade invested in mutual funds and individual stocks. The FIA’s are my safe money.

    • Annuity Gator
      12:23 PM, 27 August 2013

      Hi Charles,

      Thanks for finding the website and sharing the info. Sounds like your results are pretty in line with what the study found. In very good years (like the past 12-18 months) when the markets rose 15-20% with little volatility your fixed index annuities got between 1/4 and 1/2 of the upside. In more volatile years that might be a little less. When the market drops the annuities will stay flat. Over a 10 year time period where you get a mix of all those various market conditions the annuities will likely average somewhere between 2% and 4% per year with no negative years.

      Fixed Index Annuities aren’t supposed to perform the same as stock markets. They were originally built to offer a chance at better returns than other fixed investments (like CD’s and regular fixed annuities). With that chance of slightly better returns, they also have a chance of slightly worse returns. By diversifying the starting dates and products you are spreading out the risk of underperforming, and it sounds like using them for the appropriate purpose (complimenting them with regular market investments).

      Thanks again and best to you and yours,

      -Annuity Gator Team

  • garcinia cambogia
    8:57 AM, 2 September 2013

    Is this product available in Australia yet?

    • Annuity Gator
      11:49 AM, 2 September 2013

      I’m afraid I don’t know a whole lot about financial products in Australia. Sorry I can’t be of more help. Thanks for dropping by the blog though!

      – The Annuity Gator

  • Stacy Tidwell
    4:45 PM, 10 November 2013

    Hi Jason,

    I am a financial advisor. Just received my insurance license. I have written one large insurance policy, but no annuity business.

    Some of my clients in 80%-20% asset allocations are complaining this year. (80% bonds-20% stocks). As you know, the TLT bond index is down -15% in 2013.

    It seems to me I could substitute index annuities for the 80% fixed income, while retaining the current 20% in stocks.

    If interest rates continue to rise, I look like a hero.
    If interest rates fall slightly, then I look somewhat intelligent.
    If interest rates suddenly collapse and bonds rally, then I look like an idiot.

    Have I got the basics right?

    Thanks for helping. I greatly appreciate it.

    Stacy Tidwell

    P.S. If my reasoning is correct, could you recommend 1 or 2 web sites in addition to Annuity Gator which gives objective information on Index Annuities? There are many sites out there. But few give both the pros and the cons. Thx!

    • Annuity Gator
      11:56 AM, 11 November 2013

      Hi Stacy,

      Thanks for finding the site and adding your question. Also, congrats on becoming and advisor!

      An 80% fixed / 20% growth portfolio should still be up in 2013, although not much. You should also understand that TLT is not a good benchmark for fixed income, as it only measures 20 year US Treasury Bonds. A better benchmark would be the aggregate bond index (ETF symbol AGG). That’s not done great, but is only down about 3% this year. Using that along with a diversified growth portfolio for the 20% would be up about 2% YTD with minimal volatility. It’s not a great return, but for a conservative investor it’s not terrible either.

      I’d be careful to assume index annuities are a good substitute in entirety for a fixed income portfolio. They could work for part of it, but I would not think all of it. The main reason is lack of liquidity. Most index annuities require holding periods of 7-10 years. During that time many only allow for 10% annual free withdraws, and there are often restrictions on the vesting of bonuses too. When you look at bonds – even the worst 10 year time period (120 consecutive months) the return averages 1.8% per year. Not great, but a positive return nonetheless.

      In your example, here’s some clarification:

      1) If interest rates rise – there’s no guarantee an index annuity will make a positive return. Historically, even in the most rapidly rising interest rate environments ever, a regular bond portfolio would have made a positive return. Further, as rates went up, the bond portfolio (if laddered correctly) had very high yields in the latter years so the next 10 years was exceptionally good. This may or may not be true with an annuity.

      2) If interest rates fall slightly – again, there’s no guarantee an index annuity makes a positive return. Bonds would do just fine and make a positive return.

      3) If interest rates collapse – again, there’s no guarantee an index annuity makes a positive return. Bonds would fare very well if rates dropped significantly. I should note, however, that this is a highly unlikely scenario given interest rates are still very close to their all-time lows.

      Hope this helps!

      I don’t know of too many independent annuity resources. The best alternative I’ve seen to is or


      -Annuity Gator

  • Mchael Strella
    11:44 AM, 30 November 2013

    Enjoyed the article. Returns were about what I expected.

    Looking to minimize systemic risk in my equity and fixed portfolios with non correlated alternatives to stocks bonds, mutual funds, VA’s, and the sort.
    Please recommend alternatives that you feel fit the need.

    • Annuity Gator
      12:46 AM, 17 May 2017

      Hi Michael – Thank you for your message. We would be happy to discuss various options that may fit best with your situation. In order to do so, though, we would need a bit more information regarding your goals, time frame, etc., as well as what you would be looking for in terms of income. Rather than passing sensitive personal information back and forth via email, it would likely be best to discuss by phone. Please feel free to reach out to us directly at (888) 440-2468. We look forward to speaking with you. Best. – Annuity Gator Team

  • Marilou
    2:56 PM, 11 December 2014

    Very nice blog post. I absolutepy appreciate this website.
    Keep writing!

  • Doug Milligan
    9:27 PM, 6 January 2015

    I was wondering what your take on investing in a “Hybrid Annuity” would be. Say one had only Social Security and what they have saved in a 401K for retirement and they were currently 62 years old. If they decided to retire, do you think the annuity would be a good fit or should they look elsewhere?

    If their goal was income for life with inflation protection and spousal continuance. What would be your recommendation?

    Assume the 401k contained approx. $500,000 and they could draw approx. $2,800 per month in SS including their wife’s SS from disability. Also, assume they think they need $5,000 per month after taxes starting at retirement.

    • Annuity Gator
      3:52 PM, 11 April 2017

      Hi Doug – Thank you for your message. There is really no one-size-fits-all product / strategy. Rather, the best option for you will depend on a myriad of personal factors, such as just exactly what you want the annuity to do, as well as your time frame for retirement and your income needs. We would be happy to discuss your specific situation with you in more detail. Please feel free to contact us via phone, toll-free, at (888) 440-2468. Best. – Annuity Gator Team

    • Annuity Gator
      2:18 PM, 23 May 2017

      Hi Doug – Thank you for your message. We would be happy to discuss some potential options with you. In order to provide you with the best advice, we would need to get a bit more information from you. Rather than emailing sensitive details back and forth, though, it would be best to chat via phone. Please feel free to reach out to us directly, toll-free, at (888) 440-2468. We look forward to speaking with you. Best. -AnnuityGator Team

  • daniel
    10:50 AM, 9 March 2016

    Hey the link to the Advantage Compendium study on the average index annuity performance from 2007 to 2012 on your article “What are the Average (real) Returns of Fixed Indexed Annuities?” is broken and leads to nowhere.

    • Annuity Gator
      12:56 PM, 16 June 2017

      Hi Daniel – Thank you for your comment. With the many reviews that are now listed on our site, it’s always helpful to hear from readers if there is an issue. We will go in and check the links and update / repair where needed. Please be sure to check back soon. Best. – Annuity Gator Team

  • Mike Johnson
    3:18 PM, 28 March 2016

    Hi Annuity Gator…. I am retired and looking for the best FIA I can find…no bells and whistles as far as income deals later…Just from the accumulation side..Who has the best consumer rated one out there? Thanks Mike

    • Annuity Gator
      6:13 PM, 28 March 2017

      Hi Mike – Thank you for your email. There are actually several FIAs that could be a possibility. However, in order to make a recommendation that truly fits your specific needs, we would need to know more about you, your time frame, and the goals that you have for the annuity. Rather than emailing personal information back and forth, please feel free to contact us directly via phone where we can walk you through some scenarios more in-depth. We can be reached at (888) 440-2468. Best. Annuity Gator Team

    • Annuity Gator
      2:07 PM, 23 May 2017

      Hi Mike – Thank you for your message. We would be happy to discuss some potential options with you. In order to provide you with the best advice, we would need to get a bit more information from you. Rather than emailing sensitive details back and forth, though, it would be best to chat via phone. Please feel free to reach out to us directly, toll-free, at (888) 440-2468. We look forward to speaking with you. Best. -AnnuityGator Team

  • Ben Allen
    1:58 PM, 10 January 2017

    I appreciate the information on fixed indexed annuity’s and their returns. I had no idea that fixed indexed annuities were actually more conservative than other options. I would imagine that fixed indexed annuities are probably a little safer and you are sure that you will get some sort of return, but at the same time the return isn’t as high as some other COULD be.

    • Annuity Gator
      5:00 PM, 20 March 2017

      Hi Ben – Thank you for your comment. Yes, you are correct in that, even though a fixed indexed annuity’s return can be higher than that of a regular fixed annuity, in most cases, the FIA’s return won’t likely be in the 7 to 8% range that some other websites advertise. (Although they can provide the opportunity for safety of principal, where a variable annuity may not necessarily be able to). If there is a particular fixed indexed annuity that you would like more information about – or if you have some additional questions about FIAs in general – give us a call at (888) 440-2468. Best. -AnnuityGator Team

    • Annuity Gator
      1:43 PM, 23 May 2017

      Hi Ben – Thank you for your message. Yes, you are correct in that the fixed annuities are a bit safer – especially as compared to variable annuities – yet, due to our low interest rate environment, the fixed annuity returns are quite low. (Oftentimes, the returns are not even enough to meet or beat inflation, which can have an impact on the amount that you’re able to accumulate in a fixed annuity, and in turn, the amount of income that you would have in the future. Please let us know if you have any questions, or would like some additional information on, any particular annuity (or annuities) by contacting us directly at (888) 440-2468. Best. – AnnuityGator Team

  • Steven McManus
    10:38 AM, 28 April 2017

    Hi Jason, Great blog. We are considering a Fixed Index Annuity. What are your thoughts on Athene Index Annuities. We have looked at two: Athene Ascent Accumulator 10 Annuity and Performance Elite Plus 15 Annuity. the both operate on the BNP Paribas Multi Asset Diversified 5 Index. They appear to have a good historical record for returns. Have you heard of these two annuities or their index? Would appreciate your thoughts? Thanks

    • Annuity Gator
      10:11 AM, 3 July 2017

      Hi Steven – Thanks for your follow up message. As with many of the fixed index annuities, going with either of these can be a good way to help keep principal safe, while having the opportunity to grow the account more than with a regular fixed annuity. However, it is also important to keep in mind that you won’t likely be getting the 7 – 8% annual returns that many of the other annuity sites out there are touting. In fact, your return may be closer to the 2 – 3% range. It’s also important to be mindful of the surrender charges on these, as they both tend to have longer surrender periods. That being said, if you are looking more for safety during accumulation, and ongoing income in the future, these could be a viable option. In order to really provide you with a more personalized answer, we’d need more information. So, at your convenience, please feel free to contact us directly via phone at (888) 440-2468. Best. – Annuity Gator Team

  • Ken Long
    11:25 AM, 6 June 2017

    By my records the first date I have for the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF, BND, is 4/24/07. From that date through 4/24/12 it posted an 11.20% return plus a currently 2.47% dividend. The dividend percentage should have been higher in 07 as the share price was lower.

    When comparing this to Index Annuities it should be noted that these returns are only good during the accumulation phase after which if you annuitize or take lifetime income your money becomes basically becomes the property of the annuity company who pays you out approximately 5%/year with no further growth. On the other hand you could put this money into a tax free Municipal Bond fund and get a tax free monthly pay out without ever touching your capital.

    • Annuity Gator
      12:33 PM, 16 June 2017

      Hi Ken – Thank you for your comment. True, it would be possible to put funds into a tax free muni bond and get a tax advantaged return. Although in this case, you may also run the risk of a change in interest rates down the road – which could in turn have an impact on income if you reinvest. Also true that once you go into the income phase of the annuity, there is no future growth. Given that, annuities may or may not be the right option for all investors. Thanks, and please check back soon as we are always posting additional information to the site. Best. – Annuity Gator Team

  • Rich
    1:59 PM, 20 August 2017

    Hi Steve,
    One of the biggest advantages of the FIA is often overlooked, the annual reset. Gains are locked in, never to lose a penny. So actual gains are actually higher than average gains. For example, a FIA with a cap rate of 5% on the S&P 500 index looks like this over a 3 year period: Beginning Balance $100,000– S&P gain year 1=10%, FIA pays 5%, ending balance $105,000. Year 2-S&P loses 10%, FIA=0%, balance stays at $105,000. Year 3-S&P gains 10%, FIA pays 5%, ending balance ($105,000 x .05= $5,250) $105,000 + $5,250 = $110,250. So actual gain = 3.42% ($10,250-difference in beginning balance and ending balance divided by 3 years = 3.41666 or 3.42%, but the average gain is 3.33% (5% + 0 + 5% = 10% divided by 3 years). Keeping with the same example the S&P index fund gains 10% the first year-ending balance $110,000, loses 10% the second year or $11,000-new balance = $99,000 and gains 10% the third year or $9,900 = ending balance of $108,900, average gains = 3.3% (+10%, -10% and +10%) but actual gains are only 2.9666 or 2.97($8,900 divided by 3 years). I know I’ve excluded probable dividends here on the index fund, but the point being the annual reset creates a favorable advantage over time. Simply stated, the FIA is a nice retirement option that fits well with any conservative portfolio.

    • Annuity Gator
      10:44 AM, 22 August 2017

      Hi Rich,

      I would definitely agree that an annuity with no fees and high participation can be part of a good balanced strategy. The problem most will face is that they might not be savvy enough to figure out the intricacies of how each annuity works. If the person that you trust is telling you that you’ll get a guaranteed 6%, you’re likely to interpret that as exactly what they said, 6% guaranteed. Not knowing that this 6% is not real money added to the value of your account.

      A no fee, high participation annuity would be a viable alternative to a bond portfolio. Unfortunately, most annuities are sold with income riders attached because every sales person knows it’s easier to sell something when you say “guaranteed X%” – let the client figure out the details years later once the commissions have been paid and spent.

      The problem isn’t how an annuity CAN work, the problem is that most consumers won’t have good guidance in the process and end up with something they will eventually be very disappointed with.

      Thanks for reading our reviews and taking the time to give your input.


  • Terry
    5:08 AM, 2 August 2018

    Very good site. Thank you for the information. My annuity salesman said nothing can beat his long term performance.

    • Annuity Gator
      9:37 AM, 8 August 2018

      Hi Terry – Thank you for your message. We strive to present as much information as possible about the annuities we review — even if that means showing the negatives as well as the positives. Please feel free to check back soon, as we are adding to our annuity review database. And, if you have any questions at all, please contact us via our secure online contact form at Best! Annuity Gator

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google
Consent to display content from Spotify
Sound Cloud
Consent to display content from Sound