Independent Review of the AIG Polaris Select Investor Variable Annuity
What’s covered in this Review?
In this annuity review, we’ll cover the following aspects of the AIG Polaris Select Variable Annuity:
- Product Type
- Current Rates
- Realistic long term investment expectations
- How it is used
- How it 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.
If you are currently considering the purchase of an annuity that can offer you the opportunity for substantial growth, as well as a lifetime income in retirement, then the AIG Polaris Select Investor variable annuity could be a viable option for you.
However, before you run right out and sign on the dotted line in order to purchase this financial vehicle, it is highly recommended that you know exactly how this annuity works, and how it may – or may not – work with your particular financial needs and goals.
When reviewing this product, you may notice that, similar to with other annuities, the AIG Polaris Select Investor variable annuity can perform very well in certain circumstances, but that there are also other areas where it may not be up to par.
You may have been reviewing annuities online in order to get a better idea of how this – or any other – annuity works. In doing so, you may have noticed that there are many different websites out there on the Internet that market different types of annuity products.
Some will even try to “lure” you in by making bold claims such as the highest annuity payouts, the highest returns, and/or the lowest fees. But, even though these features can surely sound enticing, it is important to find out whether or not they are really true.
If this is your very first visit to our website, we would first like to officially welcome you here to AnnuityGator.com. We make up a team of highly trained financial professionals who are focused on providing the most comprehensive – and unbiased – annuity reviews.
We have been doing this for quite some time now, and because of that, we’ve become known as a highly trusted source of annuity information – which is vastly different from the other “copycat” websites that you may have stumbled across.
This annuity review is here to help you with ensuring that the AIG Polaris Select Investor variable annuity is either right for your portfolio or not – and if it is, it can also help you in determining why you may be choosing this particular annuity over a list of other potential products that are available.
So, if you are ready to get started, let’s begin!
AIG Polaris Select Investor Variable Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||Polaris Select Investor|
|Type of Product||Variable Annuity|
|Phone Number||(800) 888-2452|
Opening Thoughts on the AIG Polaris Select Investor Variable Annuity
AIG has been in the business of offering financial growth and protection products for nearly a century. In 1919, the company was actually begun in Asia, and over the years, it has grown and expanded exponentially. AIG now has more than 90 million customers and policy holders who span from 100 countries around the globe.
Because of its strong financial foundation, AIG has received high marks from the insurer rating agencies, which include the following:
- Standard & Poor’s – A+
- A.M. Best Company – A
- Moody’s Investor Services – A2
Because of the fact that the value of a variable annuity product can, and often does, fluctuate a great deal, insurance companies are really only able to guarantee a lesser amount of future income – which is similar to the amount garnered from their “safer” alternatives like fixed annuity products.
With that in mind, then, for each dollar that you place into a variable annuity, it is actually only going to guarantee you a lesser amount of income than a fixed annuity option would do – even with the exact same amount of money being invested. So, if your primary goal in going with an annuity is to make sure that you get a guaranteed stream of income in retirement, then a variable annuity may not be the best option for you.
Also, with regard to the investments that are inside of variable annuities, you may be able to obtain unlimited growth. But, in order to have this opportunity, you also need to take on a lot more risk.
Is that something that you really want to do with your retirement savings?
Plus, variable annuities are also somewhat known for the number of fees that they charge you. In this case, not only will you be subject to the charges and fees from the annuity itself but also those that are charged by each and every mutual fund that is inside of that annuity product.
Over the years, those who have put money into the stock market have usually been at least somewhat nervous about not being able to meet their future financial goals. This is often times because of the ongoing volatility of the market, which can really lead to loss of principal.
So, while the Polaris Select Investor variable annuity can help you to build long-term wealth in a tax-deferred manner, you will have to determine just how much risk you want to take in order to earn that reward.
Before we get into the gritty details, here is some necessary legal information that needs to be disclosed…
This is an independent annuity product review and it does not constitute any type of recommendation to purchase or sell an annuity. AIG has not endorsed this review in any way, and I do not receive any compensation for providing this review. This information is meant to be an independent opinion so that readers may see my personal perspective when determining the potential advantages and/or drawbacks of this particular financial vehicle, and how it may or may not fit into their specific financial portfolio. Prior to purchasing any type of investment or investment product, it is important to pursue your own due diligence and to consult with a competent and properly licensed financial professional before moving forward. This way, you can more precisely ensure that the product and/or service fits in with your individual circumstances. All names, trademarks, and materials that were used in this annuity review are the property of their respective owners.
How AIG Describes the Polaris Select Investor Variable Annuity
AIG describes the Polaris Select Investor variable annuity as a financial vehicle that offers more control, more choice, and more experience in terms of how your money will be invested.
This annuity has a long list of underlying assets that may be invested in, which in turn, can help you to diversify your annuity funds. Further, diversification could assist you with reducing market risk and lowering volatility.
According to AIG, the Polaris Select Investor variable annuity has many respected money managers that were selected for their extensive experience with managing retirement assets, as well as for their investment management style and track record. Just some of these include MFS, J.P. Morgan, Lord Abbett, and T. Rowe Price.
By taking advantage of a variety of different asset classes, you can spread out your money – and your risk – throughout a long list of different equity, fixed income/cash, and asset allocation options.
When taking your investment approach for the AIG Polaris Select Investor variable annuity, you can either build your own allocation – selected from more than 90 different portfolios – or alternatively, you can choose an asset allocation model that has been carefully designed by Ibbotson Associates, Inc. These allocations actually offer four different models that you can choose from, including:
- Model 1 – 50% stocks, 50 % fixed income
- Model 2 – 60% stocks, 40% fixed income
- Model 3 – 70% stocks, 30% fixed income
- Model 4 – 90% stocks, 10% fixed income
You may conversely opt for an investment strategy that includes alternative investments, such as options and/or derivatives.
The Polaris Select Investor variable annuity from AIG also offers some other features and benefits, such as a return of purchase payment death benefit, and a Guided Legacy feature, which can allow you to state how and when untapped annuity assets can be passed on. There is also a nursing home waiver that may allow for the waiver of withdrawal charges for money taken out in order to pay for qualifying nursing home expenses.
How a Financial Advisor Might Pitch this Annuity
In light of the volatile stock market, we’ve seen throughout the past several years, variable annuities have – for the most part – fallen a bit out of favor with some investors. This is especially the case for those who may have lost large sums of money in the 2008 recession.
But for others, a variable annuity could fit their needs quite well. For instance, there is the opportunity for a nice strong return in up years. And, given the flexibility of the Polaris Select Annuity, you aren’t locked into just one single investment strategy for the life of the annuity. Here, there are numerous funding allocations that you can choose from – or that you can even designate yourself – along with many of the top managers in the industry. Plus, this annuity is offered via a strong financial and insurance provider.
However, if you are being offered the AIG Polaris Select Investor variable annuity from a financial or insurance advisor who stands to earn a commission on the sale, then you need to look out if they only point out the benefits, but leave the potential drawbacks out of the conversation.
As most investors are aware, any financial vehicle that is invested in equity related options will carry a certain amount of risk. So, just as you would experience with mutual funds that are held in a personal investment account, if the options that you’ve chosen to put into this annuity go down in value, so will your portfolio. Because of that, if you don’t have a high-risk tolerance, and the ups and downs of the market keep you up at night, then there may just be a better alternative for you.
What Fees are Associated with the AIG Polaris Select Investor Variable Annuity?
As with most other annuities – or any investment, for that matter – there are various fees that are associated with the AIG Polaris Select Investor variable annuity. In this case, there are several, including a 1.10% annualized fee that is deducted from the average daily ending net asset value of the base contract, and a $50 maintenance fee (although this maintenance fee may be waived on contracts that have $75,000 or more in the account on the contract anniversary).
Also, if you have opted for the optional return of purchase payment death benefit, then there will be an additional fee of 0.30% that is deducted from the average daily ending net asset value that is allocated to the variable portfolios.
When considering the Select Investor variable annuity’s underlying investments, the total annual portfolio operating expenses can range from a low of 0.35% to a high of 14.40% – which could certainly have an impact on your total overall return figures. And, if you wish to make transfers of funds between the annuity’s portfolios, you can do so for free the first 15 times, however, after that, there is a charge of $25.
As with most annuities, don’t think that you’ll get off scot free when it comes to surrender charges. That’s because the AIG Polaris Select Investor variable annuity has a surrender period that lasts for five full years. This means that if you want or need to withdraw any more than 10% of the contract value within the first five years of purchasing this annuity, you will incur the following surrender charge:
|Surrender Charge %||7||7||6||6||5||0|
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the AIG Polaris Select Variable Annuity
Where it works the best:
The Polaris Select Variable Annuity from AIG could be a good option for you if you are:
- Looking for the opportunity for a higher rate of return
- Have a higher tolerance for risk, which can allow you endure the volatility of the market
- Seeking to diversify your holdings that can also provide you with ongoing retirement income in the future
Where it works the worst:
Even with the many benefits that the AIG Polaris Select Investor variable annuity can offer, there are some areas where it might not fare so well, depending on what your specific objectives are. In this case, then, this annuity may not be the best option for you if you are:
- Not planning on using the lifetime income benefit
- Not one who has a high tolerance for risk
- Looking for a vehicle that can provide safety of principal
When you are in the midst of researching various financial alternatives, it is important that you keep in mind the overall financial goals that you have for both the short- and the long-term. As an example, while a certain annuity could offer you with the ability to attain a lifetime income in retirement, if it also exposes you to a substantial amount of market volatility during the accumulation phase, then it may not be the best solution for your needs.
In the case of the AIG Polaris Select Investor variable annuity, there are numerous advantages, such as the different model allocations, or alternatively, the ability to diversify based on your specific wishes. There are also several other options that can be advantages, such as the return of premium death benefit, and the waiver of surrender charges in the event of a qualifying nursing home need.
Yet, there are also some items that you need to be mindful of, including the five full years of surrender fees (as well as an additional 10% early withdrawal charge if you are under the age of 59 1/2 when you make a withdrawal). Likewise, there are a plethora of other fees that you can be hit with, such as annual management fees, contract maintenance fees, and fees if you make too many fund transfers in a given year.
With this in mind, the only way to truly know whether or not the Polaris Select Investor variable annuity from AIG is right for you is to have it tested. We can provide you with this information via our annuity calculator – and there is no charge or obligation for having this done. Just simply Contact Us Via Our Secure Contact Form Here and we’ll get on the case.
Do You Have Any Additional Questions About the AIG Polaris Select Investor Variable Annuity? Did You Happen to See Any Mistakes?
We realize that this annuity review was a tad bit long, however, it is our feeling that offering a little “too much” information is better than not offering enough. That being said, if you still have any additional questions or would like more details on how this annuity may perform when coupled with your overall financial and retirement income goals, then please feel free to reach out to us here through our secure online contact form. In addition, if you felt that this annuity review was helpful, by all means, feel free to forward it on to anyone else who you think may also benefit from it.
In addition, as most humans do, we can make mistakes or overlook some things. So, if you did happen to notice any information in this review that needs to be corrected or updated, please let us know that, too.
Are there any other annuities you would like to see reviewed?
No problem! Just simply let us know the name of the annuity (or the annuities, if there are more than just one), and we will have our highly trained annuity “geeks” get on the case. So, be sure to check back often for our new and updated annuity reviews.
The Annuity Gator