Independent Review of the Ameritas No-Load Variable Annuity
What’s covered in this Review?
In this review, we’ll cover the following information about the Ameritas No-Loan Variable Annuity:
- Product type
- Current rates
- Realistic long term return 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’ve done any amount of research on annuities, either on or offline, then you have noticed that the Ameritas No Load Variable Annuity can do some things quite well. But there are other situations where this product may not perform the way that you may want it to.
For this reason, it is imperative that you get a good understanding of what you can expect with an annuity, primarily because purchasing one of these financial vehicles can often require a large chunk of your retirement savings.
Throughout the past several years, annuities have become more popular with investors. One of the primary reasons for this is because, given our longer life expectancies, people are worried about running out of income before they run out of time. An annuity can help to solve that issue – but you need to know (ideally before you buy one) what the tradeoff will actually be.
Also, even though most financial and insurance professionals work hard to do the right thing for their clients, they may not always be able to offer you all of the key details about annuities that you need in order to make a well-informed purchasing decision.
But, having a good grasp on both the good and the bad aspects of annuities is necessary for determining whether or not an annuity is really right for you – and if so, which type of annuity may serve you best.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information You Can Trust
If this is the first time you have visited our AnnuityGator.com website, then we would like to welcome you to our site. We represent a team of knowledgeable annuity pros who are focused on providing our visitors with thorough – yet non-biased – annuity reviews. We have been at this for a number of years now, much longer than our competitors. So, we have become a highly trusted source of annuity information.
If you have been in the process of seeking annuity info online, then it’s likely that you have at some point run across conflicting information regarding these financial vehicles. This, however, is not entirely surprising, because there are many, many annuities out there in the market place, and there are numerous opinions – both good and bad – about them.
There are also a fair number of “copycat” websites out there on the Internet today that are really only repeating the information that you can find here first.
It’s possible that you may have gone to an annuity seminar where, in return for giving you a free lunch or dinner, the presenter discussed the benefits of the Ameritas No Load variable annuity or some other similar product. In turn, going to that seminar may even be what has ultimately led you here to our website, in search of additional information.
While you may have come across other sites that talk about annuities, you may have discovered that some of these make some pretty darn bold claims – primarily for the purpose of luring you in. These could include promises like:
- Low fees
- High-income payouts
- Best annuity companies
- Guaranteed income for life
While these claims may at first sound ideal, prior to moving forward and buying an annuity, it is essential that you first determine whether or not these claims are all true. When in the process of finding this information out, you could find yourself amidst a pool of annuity “small print,” which in turn could make getting the details you need much more difficult.
But if your intent is to learn more about the Ameritas No Load variable annuity, you are certainly in the right spot. We dare say even that our site is the only place where you can get all of the pertinent details that you’ll need for making a well-informed decision about whether or not this is the product for you.
If you’ve been presented this annuity (or any other annuity, for that matter), by a commissioned insurance or financial sales rep, then it is likely that they have gone into some detail about the key benefits of the annuity, while leaving out some of the items that could be considered as drawbacks. This, however, is not entirely shocking.
We do want to be clear, here, before we move on with the review. We do believe that annuities can be a good addition to investors’ portfolios – but only if the product makes sense in terms of your overall financial goals and needs.
So, if you’re ready to begin, let’s dive in!
Ameritas No Load Variable Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||No Load Variable Annuity|
|Type of Product||Variable Annuity|
|S&P Rating||A+ (Strong)|
|Phone Number||(800) 745-1112|
Opening Thoughts on the Ameritas No Load Variable Annuity
Ameritas Mutual Holding Company has more than 130 years of experience in the insurance arena. This company offers a full line of annuities, which include fixed, variable, and indexed. The company designs these products to perform for the long term. In fact, according to Ameritas, its core strength lies within its insurance companies. These include Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. and Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. of New York.
As of year-end 2016, Ameritas insurance companies’ general account invested assets base was near $13 billion. Invested fairly conservatively, Ameritas is considered to have a strong financial foundation, and in turn, can pay out its policy holders’ claims in a timely manner.
The company is a mutual entity, which means that its policy holders are essentially part owners. Given the financial strength and stability of Ameritas, this insurer has received very good ratings from the insurer rating agencies, including an A+ (Strong) from Standard & Poor’s, and an A (Excellent) from A.M. Best.
In general, investors can anticipate the following from a variable annuity:
- First, the opportunity to grow their principal, and
- Second, that the annuity will produce income in retirement
But the reality is that variable annuities are not necessarily all that good at producing income. This is because of the market-related risk that these products can incur. Therefore, because the value of a variable annuity can often time fluctuate a great deal, the offering insurance company can really only guarantee a lesser amount of future income, and at times, this amount can be less than the amount guaranteed by safer options like fixed annuities.
With regard to the investments that are inside of a variable annuity, you could theoretically see an unlimited amount of growth. But, as we all know too well, there is what might be, and then there is what is. In this particular case, in order to even have the opportunity for higher returns, you will need to take on more risk. That being said, tread carefully – especially in light of the ever-moving stock market we’ve been experiencing for the past decade or more.
Before getting into the nitty 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. Ameritas 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 Ameritas Describes the No Load Variable Annuity
Ameritas describes the No Load Variable Annuity as a product that can provide both growth and diversity – two powerful elements in the building of a portfolio.
As its name implies, the No Load annuity is designed to deliver maximum value by eliminating sales loads and commissions and keeping other policy charges to a minimum. (We’ll go over the fees that are charged on this annuity later in this review, though, so that you can decide for yourself what does and does not seem “reasonable” in terms of added expenses, which could, in turn, have an impact on your overall return).
The annuity has a choice of 65 different investment options to choose from, including funds from Vanguard and Dimensional, as well as a fixed account that is guaranteed by Ameritas. The product also offers a guaranteed death benefit, whereby if the owner dies prior to annuitization, the designated beneficiary will receive either the greater of the policy value or the premiums paid in.
There are also several other features, including portfolio rebalancing, which can help to keep the portfolio in line with changes in the market, as well as changes to the annuity holder’s needs and goals.
For income purposes, this annuity offers an optional Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit 2 (GLWB2), which can provide you with more of a guarantee in terms of income stream down the road.
How a Financial Representative May Pitch this Annuity
Given the fact that there is no up-front sales commission on this annuity, it is possible that an insurance or financial sales rep will key in on this, stating that 100% of your money will go to work for you right away.
Other potential benefits include the long list of investment options, which can allow for more of a “customized” approach and can allow the annuity to fit a variety of different clients’ needs. Certainly, the tax deferred growth of the fund inside of the annuity is a plus – and yes, lower expenses can definitely make a difference in the overall scheme of things here. But any time you are considering investing in a variable annuity, you also have to consider the potential risk – which at any time is truly an unknown.
Another feature that a financial advisor may highlight in the case of the No Load Variable Annuity from Ameritas is the allowance of unlimited contributions. Unlike most other tax-advantaged accounts (like IRAs and 401ks), annuities typically don’t limit how much you can invest every year. So, if you have already maxed out you qualified retirement funds, this could provide another avenue for you to obtain tax-deferred growth on your money.
Here again, though, even with tax deferral, and a well-diversified array of investment alternatives that come with the Ameritas No Load annuity, the product will still have exposure to market risk. So, you really need to take into consideration just how much risk you want to take on – especially as you move closer to retirement.
In order to truly determine whether or not this annuity right for you – or even if you just have any additional questions about this particular financial vehicle – then please feel free to reach out to us directly via our secure online contact form here.
What About the Fees on the Ameritas No Load Variable Annuity?
Although there is no agent sales commission to contend with up-front on this annuity, it doesn’t mean that you won’t incur any fees at all. In fact, there are several ways that Ameritas can, and will, reach in and earn their keep, so to speak.
In this case, there is an annual policy fee of $40 – although this fee can be waived if the policy value on the anniversary date is $50,000 or more. There is also a mortality and expense (M&E) charge of 0.45% annually.
Plus, the optional Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit 2 is not a free option. Here, you can be charged between 1.25% and 2.00% on an individual contract, or between 1.50% and 2.50% on joint spousal plans.
Another component about variable annuities that you need to look out for when it comes to fees, is the fact that it isn’t just the annuity itself that can hit you with charges, but also the investments that are included in that product. For example, with the Ameritas No Load variable annuity, you could also find yourself with total annual portfolio company operating expenses of between 0.15% up to 3.69%. That, too, can definitely have a negative impact on your overall return.
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Ameritas No Load Variable Annuity
Where it works best:
The Ameritas No Load Variable Annuity can generally work best for those who are seeking:
- A higher return
- Lifetime income guarantee
Where it works the worst:
On the downside, this product will typically not be a very good option for those who:
- Have a low tolerance for risk
- Are seeking safety of principal
- Don’t plan on using the lifetime income feature
When you are in the midst of considering any type of financial option, it is essential that you keep in mind what your overall goals are – both in the short and the long term. For example, even though a particular annuity may offer you the opportunity for lifetime income, if you are not comfortable with market volatility and the added risk, then a variable annuity may not be the best solution for your needs.
In the case of the Ameritas No Load Variable Annuity, there are a number of advantages, such as the way in which investors can rebalance and diversify holding to better align with changing needs over time.
However, even this annuity advertises that it is a no load product, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there are no fees associated with the annuity at all. That is because you not only have to be aware of the annual charges from the annuity in and of itself but also you will have fees charged by the mutual funds that are included in the annuity contract.
With this in mind, the only way to really know if the No Load variable annuity from Ameritas will work 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.
Have More Questions About the No Load Variable Annuity from Ameritas? Did You Happen to Notice Any Mistakes in this Review?
We realize that this annuity review was a tad bit longer. But our thoughts are that it is better to give “too much” detail, than not enough. So, if you felt that this annuity review was helpful to you, please feel free to forward it on and share it with anyone else that you feel may also benefit from it.
We also know that, 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?
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