Independent Review of the Athene Ascent 10 Bonus Fixed Index Annuity
What’s covered in this Review?
In this review we’ll cover the following information on the Athene Ascent 10 Bonus Fixed Index Annuity:
- Product Type
- Current Rates
- Realistic long term return expectations
- How this annuity is best 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 have recently been considering the purchase of an annuity – or any type of financial product that will determine the amount of income you have in retirement – it’s important to fully understand just exactly what it is that you’re getting, and even more important than that, why it is that you’re buying it instead of any other product that may also fit your needs.
If you’ve been reading up on the Athene Ascent 10 Bonus fixed index annuity, you may feel that it is a viable financial vehicle that can help you to grow assets during the accumulation years, and provide you with an ongoing income in retirement.
Yet, prior to diving right in and purchasing this, or any other, annuity, it can be beneficial if you know all of the facts – particularly those that have to do with how the product works, and how it may, or may not, work for you in attaining your retirement goals.
Over the past decade or so, with a large number of Baby Boomers that are planning for and reaching retirement, annuities have become quite popular. One reason is due to the guaranteed stream of lifetime income that they can provide.
Because of the appeal of annuity products to a large segment of the population, there are more financial advisors who are offering them to their clients. However, this may not necessarily be a good thing – primarily because, even if a financial advisor is working to do the best thing for their client, they may not always be giving you the entire picture about annuities.
Plus, due to the consistently growing popularity of annuities today, the list of different product offerings – along with additional riders – has increased a great deal. Along with this, unfortunately, can come a myriad of “fine print” which can make these products even more confusing – even for well-informed consumers.
Give that, it is critical that you completely understand how a product that you’re considering will work, especially as an annuity could require you to commit a large portion of your overall retirement savings – and if you later determine that the annuity you purchased isn’t going to perform in the way you initially thought it would, it can be extremely costly for you to get out.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information that You Can Trust
If you’ve never been to our website, we would like to personally welcome you here to AnnuityGator.com. We are a team of experienced financial professionals who are focused on offering you comprehensive and nonbiased annuity reviews. We’ve been doing this for many years, and for far longer than any of our competitors. Because of that, we have become a well-known and trusted source of annuity information.
Over the past few years, many other “copycat” websites have popped up on the Internet – however, if you look closely, many of these just reiterate what our reviews have shown.
If you’ve been in the process of researching annuities, it is likely that you have run across a wide array of details – some of them even conflicting – about how annuities work. This isn’t entirely surprising, though, because there are many annuity offerings out there today – and each of them may offer differing features and benefits.
It could also be that you have recently attended an annuity seminar where, in return for a free lunch or dinner, the presenter discussed the Athene Ascent 10 Bonus annuity and why it could be a good fit for you. In this case, though, it’s important to be extra careful before you move forward. Remember, there really is no such thing as a free lunch!
Attending that seminar or workshop on annuities could even be the catalyst that has ultimately brought you to our site in search of additional information. As you peruse the online world in search of annuity facts, it is highly probable that you’ve come across other websites that try to lure you in by making bold claims such as:
- Guaranteed lifetime income
- Lowest fees
- Top-Rated Annuity Companies
- Highest Income Payouts
- Fast, Easy Annuity Quotes
But, while these claims may sound great initially, the truth is that they may not all be true. So, it is absolutely essential that you verify these claims before moving forward with the purchase of an annuity – just like you would likely do before you commit to any high-dollar product or service.
If you are interested in learning more about the Athene Ascent Bonus Fixed Index Annuity (FIA), then you have definitely come to the right place. We dare say that our website is the only place where you will truly get all of the details you need – both the good and the bad. But this is the only real way that you will be able to make a well-informed decision about this, or any other, annuity product.
If you’ve been presented the Athene Ascent 10 Bonus annuity by a commissioned sales agent, then it is likely that he or she placed an emphasis on all of the annuity’s high points, while possibly leaving out any of the aspects that could be considered drawbacks.
Just to be clear up front here, we believe that annuities can offer many great features – as long as they are a good fit for your overall financial goals. Given that, this annuity review is here to provide you with a more in-depth look at all of the details on the Athene Ascent 10 Bonus annuity.
So, if you’re ready to move forward, let’s dive in!
Athene Ascent 10 Bonus Fixed Index Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||Ascent 10 Bonus|
|Issuer||Athene Annuity and Life Company|
|Type of Product||Fixed Index Annuity|
|Standard & Poor's Rating||A (Excellent) as of April 2017|
|Phone Number||(888) 266-8489|
Opening Thoughts on the Athene Ascent 10 Bonus Fixed Index Annuity
While the name Athene USA is somewhat new in the industry, this entity has actually acquired several other insurance and financial companies that have a long-standing, positive track record – some having served their customers for more than a century.
Athene Annuity and Life Company is a subsidiary of Athene Holding, Ltd., and is part of the large family of Athene companies. It is licensed to conduct business in all 50 of the U.S. states, and as of early 2017, the company has sold more than 1.1 million policies.
Throughout the past several years, fixed index annuities have become much more popular with those who are planning for retirement. One of the biggest reasons for this is that these annuities can offer you the opportunity for index-linked growth, while at the same time safety of principal in the event of a market downturn.
Yet, while that may sound all peaches and cream, the reality is that if something sounds “too good to be true,” then it probably is. So, it is important that if you are considering the purchase of the Athene Ascent 10 Bonus annuity – or any other annuity, for that matter – you first find out how it works, and how it may (or may not) work for you.
Before we get into the 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. Athene 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 out perspective when breaking down the positives and the negatives of this particular annuity. Before purchasing any type of insurance and/or investment product, it is important that you do your own due diligence, and that you consult a properly licensed professional if you should have any specific questions that relate to your individual situation. All of the names, marks, and materials that were used for this annuity review are the property of their respective owners.
For more information on how to compare annuities in order to determine which one may be the best for you and your financial circumstances, click here to obtain our free annuity report.
How Athene Describes the Ascent 10 Bonus Fixed Index Annuity
Athene describes the Ascent 10 Bonus fixed index annuity as offering the following benefits:
- Growth Potential
- Tax Deferral
- Premium Bonus
- Minimum Guaranteed Value
- A Death Benefit
The product literature states that it only takes two choices in order to start building income for the retirement that you want.
First, choose how much to save, and second, choose how you would like to save. In doing so, this product offers a wide range of deposit amounts, starting as low as $5,000 up to $1 million. You can also choose from several different interest crediting options – which will, in turn, help to determine the amount of return you will earn.
With this annuity, there is a fixed strategy, along with four indexed strategies, which include:
- 1-Year No-Cap Point-to-Point
- 1-Year Point-to-Point
- 1-Year Monthly Cap
- 1-Year Monthly Average
The interest that you earn on this annuity will be credited to it on each of the contract’s anniversaries. The interest credits will then be locked in – which means that they can’t be lost in the future, even if the performance of the index plummets.
There are also a few additional bells and whistles on this annuity, such as a terminal illness waiver, and a confinement waiver, which can allow you to access funds penalty-free in the case of a qualifying terminal illness diagnosis and/or a stay in a nursing home.
As with other annuities, the Athene Ascent 10 Bonus allows you tax-deferred growth of your funds while they are inside the annuity – which provides the ability for your account value to exponentially compound over time.
When you’re ready to convert the annuity to an income stream, you can choose the lifetime income option, which will provide you with a guaranteed income for life – regardless of how long that may be.
How a Financial Advisor May Pitch this Annuity
If your insurance or financial advisor has approached you regarding the Athene Ascent 10 Bonus annuity, it is likely that they keyed in on certain features of the annuity that can be beneficial to you, such as the premium bonus, the tax-deferred growth, and the lifetime income feature.
Unfortunately, they may also have left out some of the other elements of this annuity that could be considered drawbacks. (This is especially the case if they are a commissioned sales person and stand to make a nice commission on the sale of this annuity).
As an educated consumer, you have probably noticed that insurance and financial services firms do a very good job of ensuring that their products sound very attractive. For instance, based on the above description of the Ascent 10 Bonus annuity from Athene, you may have even felt that this is the ideal annuity for you.
But, when you actually take a closer look at this annuity, you could find that there are some features that won’t work to your advantage, and that there are even others that won’t work at all unless certain parameters have been met.
For instance, while you may be able to attain index-linked growth on your account, this return will be based on a participation rate. So, this means that you will only receive a percentage of the underlying index’s return.
Also, while you can obtain a premium bonus of 1%, there is a vesting schedule that applies here, meaning that you must hold the annuity for a certain amount of time in order to obtain the full premium bonus benefit. In this case, the bonus is not fully vested until the eleventh year.
Premium Bonus Vesting Schedule
Vesting Charges %
Plus, even though the income base on this annuity is guaranteed to increase by 10 percent every year – you have to delay taking income from the annuity for the first ten years. For some people, this could sound like a great deal. But wait, there’s more!
In this case, it’s important to understand that the 10% increase is in the income base – which is money that you basically can’t walk away with. It’s also not money that your loved ones can get, or that can be moved into another investment or spent. The way that it works in order to obtain this benefit is to take income with the specified withdrawal rate in the contract. But when it’s all said and done, is the real return that the 10% gives you really all that great?
In a word, no.
Let’s take a look at an example here. If you purchased this annuity with $100,000 at age 61, and you started to take out income right away, you won’t earn the 10% guaranteed return on the income value. Ok, so far, so good (kind of).
So in this scenario, you would actually be guaranteed a rate of 4.6%, with an account value of $110,000, which gives you an annual income for life of $5,160. At the 15 year mark, you would have received a total of $77,000, and at the 20-year mark, you would have received just over $103,000. Not exactly impressive so far.
But let’s say that you instead opted to defer taking any income for five years after you purchased the annuity. In this case, after 20 years, you would have received $122,400 in total income over that time frame.
So, depending on your specific situation, including how long you actually wait before taking your income, the return could differ significantly.
What About the Fees on this Annuity?
The financial and insurance products that do not charge at least some type of fee are few and far between. In fact, it may even be safe to say that products with absolutely no fees or charges are practically non-existent. Here you can see charges by way of an agent commission, as well as annual contract and administrative fees.
Also, even though Athene notes that your funds are partially liquid with this annuity, you can only withdraw up to 5% of your annuity’s accumulated value during the first year without incurring a withdrawal fee, market value adjustment, or any premium bonus vesting adjustment. Starting in the second year, you will only be able to remove up to 10% of the contract value penalty-free. In fact, by withdrawing more than 10% of the contract value in any of the first 10 years, you will be hit with a surrender charge.
Athene Ascent 10 Bonus Fixed Index Annuity Surrender Charge Schedule
With this in mind, it is important to understand that this – or any – annuity purchase should be considered as a long-term endeavor. Otherwise, your money could be locked up for quite some time before you can take it out penalty-free.
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Athene Ascent 10 Bonus Fixed Index Annuity
Where it works best:
This particular annuity will usually work the best for those who are looking for:
- The opportunity to obtain a higher rate of growth
- Safety of principal
- Lifetime income
Where it works worst:
Conversely, the Athene Ascent 10 Bonus Annuity may not fare so well for those who:
- Want to fully participate in market gains
- Want or need to access their funds penalty-free within the first 11 years
- Do not intend to use the guaranteed lifetime income feature
There are many factors that need to be considered when you are trying to determine whether or not an annuity will be right for you – or even if any annuity is the best option for your retirement funds.
If you are considering a fixed indexed annuity, you can be secure in knowing that your principal will be safe from the ups and downs of the stock market, as well as in that you will have a future retirement income that you can count on.
The only way to truly know if this annuity may be right for you is to run the Athene Ascent 10 Bonus fixed index annuity calculator. We can offer you a more in-depth, and personalized, look at how this annuity may perform based on your specific parameters. And, once we’ve run these numbers, we will provide you with a spreadsheet with your specific details at no charge.
You may find that, after running a specific test with this annuity that there are some definite advantages. But you could also find that it falls a bit short and that there are other alternatives that may fare better for you.
If you still have any questions or concerns about this annuity – or about any annuity, for that matter – please feel free to reach out to us through our secure contact form here.
Have Any Questions on the Athene Ascent 10 Bonus Fixed Index Annuity? Did You Find Any Mistakes?
We realize that this annuity review was fairly lengthy. However, our belief is that we would much rather provide you with a bit “too much” information about this product than not enough. So, if you did find this review to be helpful, please forward it on and share it with others whom you feel may benefit from it, too.
Also, we know that information about annuities can often times change rather quickly. Therefore, if you did happen to notice any details in this review that should be updated or revised, please let us know that, too, and we will be happy to make the necessary changes.
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