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Independent Review of the Great American Freedom Aspire 5 Fixed Annuity

What will be discussed in this annuity review?

In this review of the Great American Freedom Aspire 5 Fixed Annuity, we will be covering the following details in-depth:

  • Type of annuityGreat American Life AssurancePlus 7
  • How the annuity works
  • Possible pros and cons
  • Charges and fees to look out for
  • Where the annuity may fit
  • Where the annuity may not fit, based on your short- and long-term financial objectives

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

For anyone who is considering the purchase of a fixed annuity, it is likely that you want to keep your principal safe and attain a set return, as well as to generate a reliable retirement income stream in the future. If that is the case, the Great American Freedom Aspire 5 fixed annuity could be a viable option for you.

However, before you sign on the dotted line to purchase this – or any – annuity, it is highly recommended that you first know how the annuity works, and whether or not it will really be all that beneficial for you.

Over the past decade or so, annuities have received a lot of recognition – some positive, and some not so much. As more people hear about annuities, the number of insurance and financial salespeople who offer them has expanded.

However, this is not necessarily good, because while most advisors want to do what is right for their clients, they may not always be offering you the full range of information that you should have before you purchase an annuity.

In addition, due in large part to the fact that many insurance companies are continuing to add new products to their line-up, annuities have gotten to be even more confusing than they already were. This means that these products are oftentimes rife with fine print – but not reading over all of this could leave you in a very “expensive” position if you purchase an annuity and later find out that it is not what you thought it was.

Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information That You Can Trust

If this is your very first visit here to our website, then we would personally like to welcome you to AnnuityGator.com. We are an experienced team of financial experts who are dedicated to providing you with very in-depth, and non-biased, annuity reviews. We have been offering these reviews for a number of years – far longer than many of our competitors – and because of that, we have become a well-known and trusted source of information about annuities and how they work.

If you have been seeking information about annuities via the Internet, then it is highly likely that you have run across a plethora of conflicting details about these particular products. This, however, is not entirely surprising, as there are a lot of details available – and all types of annuities may be structured in a different manner.

It is also possible that you have recently attended a seminar that was designed to provide you with information regarding annuities, and to then met with the advisor who presented the seminar to discuss your personal financial situation, and how an annuity could work for you. This may even have led you to our website in order to obtain more specific information.

While there are a number of other very good websites out there that are focused on marketing their annuities online, there are a fair amount of these sites that tend to lure in visitors by offering claims like:

  •  Highest annuity payouts
  •  Lowest fees
  •  Guaranteed income for life
  •  Top-Rated Annuity Companies
  •  Get an Annuity Quote Now!

Even though these claims may sound enticing, it is critical that you verify their validity before you move forward with buying any annuity. In doing so, you may have to read through a myriad of annuity fine print – or you could just read on right now.

If you would like to find out more about the American Freedom Aspire 5 annuity that is offered by Great American Life, then you have definitely come to the right place. In fact, we dare say that this website that you are currently on right now is the only place where you can actually find out all of the pertinent details – which includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. However, having all of the facts in one place can help you immensely in truly determining whether or not this is the right annuity for you.

Often, the insurance sales agents who offer fixed annuities will paint you a nice, rosy picture of how these products are safe. Unfortunately, they may also leave out the details regarding any potential drawbacks that the product may have. With that in mind, before you place a large amount of your hard-earned savings into an annuity, it is important that you know the entire story.

Just to be clear here, fixed annuities can provide a number of nice benefits, provided that they fit in with your overall financial picture. So, it is key that you know exactly what it is that you are getting into, and why you may be choosing one annuity over a long list of other possible options.

This annuity review is here to assist you with getting a better understanding of all of the small print so that you are more knowledgeable regarding the Great American Life’s American Freedom Aspire 5 annuity and why it may be right for you in terms of achieving your retirement income goals.

So, if you’re ready to dive in, let’s go ahead and get started.

The Great American Life’s American Freedom Aspire 5 Annuity at a Glance

Product NameAmerican Freedom Aspire 5
IssuerGreat American Insurance Group
Type of ProductFlexible Premium Fixed Annuity
Standard & Poor's RatingA+
Phone Number(800) 854-3649
Websitewww.GAIG.com

Opening Thoughts on the American Freedom Aspire 5 Fixed Annuity from Great American Life

Great American Insurance Group traces its roots back to 1872, with the founding of the German American Insurance Company in New York. Today, Great American has more than 100 locations that are disbursed throughout North America, Asia, and Europe. The company is also now a subsidiary of American Financial Group, Inc., which is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Over the past 20 years, Great American Life has paid more than $7 billion in guaranteed income benefits to its annuity holders – which includes more than $800 million in just 2018. The parent company, American Financial Group, currently holds more than $60 billion in assets. Due to its financial strength and claims-paying ability, Great American has been rated as an A or better by A.M. Best for more than 4- years, as well as an A+ by Standard & Poor’s since 2007.

Because of the constant ups and downs of the stock market – particularly over the past decade or so – demand for fixed annuities has grown a great deal, as they provide a way for individuals to get a set rate of return and keep principal safe, while also providing a lifetime income in retirement that cannot be outlived.

However, as the rate of return on fixed annuities of late has been extremely low, it is possible that this type of annuity will not be able to keep pace with rising inflation, which in turn, could hinder you from being able to purchase the goods and services that you need in retirement – especially if you plan to use this financial vehicle as a primary income source.

Therefore, it is important to take some precautions prior to getting into this, or any, annuity, and ensure that it is the right product for you. Otherwise, you could find out the drawbacks only after you’ve placed a large sum of money into the annuity – and will be subject to fees if you wish to take your funds back out.

Before we get into the gritty details, here are some legal disclosures…

This is an independent product review, and not a recommendation to purchase or sell an annuity. Great American Life Insurance Company has not endorsed this annuity review in any way, nor do we receive any compensation for providing this review. This review is solely meant to be an independent review at the request of readers so that they can see our perspective when breaking down both the positives and the negatives of this particular model annuity product. Prior to purchasing any insurance or investment product, you should be sure to do your own due diligence and consult a properly licensed professional if you should have any specific questions that relate to your individual circumstances. All names, marks, and materials that were used for this fixed 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 Great American Life Insurance Company Describes the American Freedom Aspire 5 Fixed Annuity

Great American Life describes the American Freedom Aspire 5 annuity as an annuity that helps you build your retirement savings, with a base interest rate that is set for each purchase payment you make. In fact, in each year during the purchase payment’s five-year term, the interest rate will increase by 0.10%.

Regardless of market conditions, you won’t lose any of the money that you contribute to the American Freedom Aspire 5 annuity (unless you take a withdrawal, or you surrender the contract during its early withdrawal/surrender period). As with other annuities, the growth that takes place within the contract is tax-deferred – so there is no tax due on the gain until the money is accessed.

When you are ready to turn the funds into a stream of retirement income, you can select from a variety of payout options – including an income stream that will last for the rest of your life, regardless of how long that may be.

This annuity offers some other features, too, such as a return of premium guarantee. With this added benefit, if the unexpected occurs, you can surrender the contract without penalty after the third year. (Although you may be required to pay taxes on any of the gain).

There is also a death benefit that can be paid out to a named beneficiary (or multiple named beneficiaries) if you pass away. This benefit can avoid probate, as it will pass directly to your loved one(s).

While this annuity has some nice features, it is quite honestly pretty “plain vanilla.” If you want to take a look at the American Freedom Aspire 5 product brochure, though, you can do so here.

How an Insurance or Financial Sales Agent Might “Pitch” this Annuity

The American Freedom Aspire 5 fixed annuity from Great American Life Insurance Company is a flexible premium fixed annuity. It may be used with qualified or non-qualified funds – allowing applicants up to age 85 (in most cases). Depending on your age at annuity issue, you could deposit up to $1 million.

If you have been approached by a financial or insurance sales agent who is offering you this annuity, then it is possible that they may have focused on certain features that it provides, such as protection of principal, and a set amount of income in the future that can last for the remainder of your life – regardless of how long that time may be.

However, as an educated consumer, it is also likely that you are aware that financial and insurance companies do their best to ensure that the products they offer sound very enticing. For example, by reading over the product features stated above, you may have initially thought that this annuity could be the ideal option for your savings.

But don’t get too excited quite yet, because if you are offered this (or any other) annuity by a commissioned sales rep, then he or she will probably explain it to you highlighting all of the positive traits.

In this case, for instance, when you take a closer look at the American Freedom Aspire 5 fixed annuity, while it certainly has some nice features, once you have read over all of the “fine print,” you are apt to realize that it may not be all that ideal for you and your specific financial goals.

For example, while the product information states that the rate will increase each year during its five-year term, the base interest rate will really only increase by 0.10 percent at the end of years one through four. And, if you make additional payments into the annuity, it will not change for those purchase payments.

In addition, when it comes to early withdrawal charges on the Aspire 5 annuity, each of your purchase payments will have its own five-year early withdrawal period. So, in essence, each time you make a deposit into the annuity, those funds will essentially be locked in for five full years (or they will be charged a fee if taken out before this five-year surrender charge time frame has elapsed).

Charges and Fees on the American Freedom Aspire 5 Annuity

Nothing in life is free – and that can sometimes go double for annuities! While fixed and fixed indexed annuities aren’t typically riddled with the many fees of variable annuities, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re in the clear for incurring various charges.

In this case, for example, even though you won’t be hit with an up-front sales charge, there can be a surrender charge levied if you take out more than 10% of the contract’s value in any of the first five years of owning the annuity.

Contract Year012345+
Surrender %76.565.550

Depending on how much gain there is in the contract, you could also be responsible for paying any taxes due. AND – if you make such a withdrawal (or withdrawals) before you have reached the age of 59 ½, you can also incur an additional 10% “early withdrawal” penalty from the IRS.

For more of the nitty-gritty details and facts at a glance you can look over the American Freedom Aspire 5 fixed annuity here. 

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the American Freedom Aspire 5 from Great American

Where it works best:

This annuity will tend to work best for those who are seeking:

  •  Safety of principal
  •  Guaranteed rate of return
  •  Ongoing lifetime income

Where it works worst:

  •  If you want access to most or all of your money during the first five full contract years
  •  If you are looking for a high rate of return
  •  If you do not intend to use the 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.

In Summary

There are a lot of important factors that should be considered when determining whether or not a particular annuity may be right for you. However, whichever annuity you decide upon, know that it should be deemed as a long-term financial endeavor. Because of this, it is essential that you are comfortable in knowing how the annuity can get you closer to your retirement goals.

When you are considering the purchase of a fixed annuity, it can offer you a set rate of return, along with safety of principal. It can also allow you an ongoing, guaranteed stream of income – regardless of how long you may live.

In the case of the American Freedom Aspire 5 annuity from Great American Life Insurance Company, there are certainly some positive features about it. But, this annuity may also fall somewhat short – and quite honestly, there may be some better options that are available to you, particularly if you are looking for lifetime retirement income, along with the opportunity for more growth.

If you still have any questions about whether or not the Freedom Aspire 5 is the right annuity for you, or even if you just need some additional help in annuity lingo and definitions, then please feel free to reach out to us via our secure contact form here.

Have Questions on the Great American Life’s American Freedom Aspire 5 Annuity? Did You Happen to See Any Mistakes?

Thank you for bearing with us on this review. If you did find it to be helpful, then please feel free to spread the word and share it with others as they, too, might also find the information to be useful.

On a final note, as humans sometimes do, we all make mistakes. So, if you happened to notice any while going through this review, please let us know, and we will be happy to make the necessary revisions.

Is there any other Annuity (or Annuities) You Would Like to See Reviewed?

No problem. Our team of highly trained annuity geeks can get on it! Click here in order to get started and we will do our best to get the review online as soon as possible.

Best,

The Annuity Gator

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

Independent Review of the Great American Freedom Aspire 5 Fixed Annuity

 

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