What Will Be Covered in this Athene BCA (Balanced Choice Annuity) Fixed Indexed Annuity Review?
In this annuity review, we will be covering the following details on the Athene BCA Elevate 12 Fixed Indexed 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’ve been thinking about purchasing a financial product that can offer you security, along with an ongoing, lifetime stream of income in retirement, then the Athene BCA (Balanced Choice Annuity) fixed indexed annuity could be a viable option for you.
However, prior to running out and signing on the dotted line to purchase this product, it is important to first have a good understanding of just exactly how this annuity works, and how it may or may not fit in with your overall financial goals.
Throughout the past several years, fixed indexed annuities have become much more popular with investors as a way of attaining potential growth and safety of principal, while also allowing for a guaranteed future income stream down the road.
Due in large part to this increased popularity, many insurance carriers have been expanding their lineup of annuities – many of which offer a long list of bells and whistles. This, however, is not necessarily a good thing, as oftentimes, an already confusing product can be more confusing – even for well-educated consumers and financial advisors.
With that in mind, it can be all the more important that you read an annuity’s “fine print” so that you know just what it is you’re getting into, what the product will do (and not do), and why you may be choosing it over a wide array of other potential alternatives.
Annuity and Retirement Planning Information You Can Trust
If this is the very first time you have visited our AnnuityGator.com website, then please allow us to personally welcome you here. We are a team of highly knowledgeable financial pros who are focused specifically on offering very in-depth and unbiased annuity reviews. We have been at this for quite a number of years now – much longer than our competitors – and because of that, we’ve become a go-to source for annuity information.
If you have been in the process of compiling more information on an annuity that you’re considering purchasing, then you have more than likely come across a lot of conflicting information about these products online. This really is not surprising, though, as there is a myriad of details available about these products. There is also a wide range of opinions about them, too.
You may also have recently attended an annuity seminar lately, wherein return for a free lunch or dinner, you allowed the presenter to explain in more detail how the Athene BCA Elevate 12 annuity operates.
While there are numerous sources of annuity information on the Internet today, many of these websites will attempt to lure in visitors by making some fairly bold claims, such as:
- Highest annuity payouts
- Lowest fees
- Guaranteed income for life
- Top Rated Annuity Companies
- Get an Annuity Quote Now!
But, even though these claims may initially 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 plethora of annuity fine print – or you could just read on right now.
If you’re interested in knowing more about the Athene BCA Elevate 12 fixed indexed annuity, then you are most definitely in the right place. In fact, we dare say that this website is the only place where you will be able to obtain all of the pertinent information – which doesn’t only include the good, but also the bad and the ugly.
In doing so, though, you will ultimately be in a better position to make a well-informed determination as to whether or not the BCA Elevate 12 annuity from Athene is the best one for you.
Oftentimes, the insurance and financial advisors who offer fixed indexed annuities will paint a nice, rosy picture for you regarding the opportunity to earn a higher return, while also keeping your principal safe in case of a market downturn. But unfortunately, these same advisors may also be conveniently leaving out some of the details that could be considered as drawbacks – which is information that any potential buyer needs to know!
One reason for this is so that you can anticipate how the annuity may (or may not) perform in certain situations. Another is that, once you have committed to an annuity, it can be extremely difficult – and expensive – to get out of it if you change your mind.
In order to be perfectly clear here, we do want to say that we believe annuities can be a very good financial vehicle for many investors – provided that they fit in with the short- and long-term goals you are trying to achieve.
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 Athene BCA Elevate 12 fixed index annuity and why it might work for you in terms of attaining your retirement savings and income goals.
So, if you’re ready to begin, let’s dive in!
Athene BCA Elevate 12 Fixed Indexed Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||BCA (Balanced Choice Annuity) Elevate 12|
|Type of Product||Fixed Indexed Annuity|
|Phone Number||(888) 266-8489|
Opening Thoughts on the Athene BCA Elevate 12 Fixed Indexed Annuity
The name Athene is actually somewhat new as compared to many other insurance carriers that are out there in the market place. But don’t let that fool you. This insurance holding company has grown a great deal within a relatively short period of time. One way it has done so is through the acquisition of several other financial and insurance companies that have long and positive track records.
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.
The company is highly rated by the insurer rating agencies, which includes ratings of:
- A- from S&P
- A from A.M. Best
- A- from Fitch Ratings
Athene’s insurance subsidiaries primary business is issuing, reinsurance, and acquiring retirement savings products. The company is licensed to offer its products in all 50 of the U.S. states.
Over the past decade or so, 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.
Although that may at first glance sound ideal, the reality is that if a financial product or opportunity sounds too good to be true, it usually is. So, it is important that you gather as much information as you can before you purchase one.
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 BCA Elevate 12 Fixed Indexed Annuity
Athene describes the BCA Elevate annuity as a better way to take control and grow your retirement savings, as well as to generate guaranteed lifetime income, and provide a legacy to your loved ones.
Because the BCA Elevate 12 is a fixed indexed annuity, it offers the ability for your money to earn a return that is based on the positive movement of an underlying market index, and to lock in the past positive performance every two years so that your account value cannot be negatively hindered by future downward moving markets.
The annuity’s Balanced Allocation Value provides a daily valuation of the potential growth through each term. And, because values are tracked daily, if you take a free withdrawal during a two-year term, you will receive any of the interest earnings to date on the amount that you withdraw.
There are some other features included with this annuity, such as an enhanced death benefit, with either a Family Endowment Rider (FER), or Family Endowment Rider Max (FER Max). These offer a death benefit that grows each day at an annual rate for the length of eight years or to age 85.
How a Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” this Annuity
Given the “best of all worlds” features of fixed indexed annuities, it is likely that a financial advisor would pitch this annuity as a way to obtain a higher return than that of a regular fixed annuity, while at the same time a vehicle that provides principal protection if the underlying index that is being tracked has a negative performance.
As with other annuities, the BCA Elevate allows the money that is in the account to grow on a tax-deferred basis – and, provided that the lifetime option is chosen, it can also offer an ongoing income in the future that will last for the remainder of your lifetime, regardless of how long that may be. This can help to alleviate the worry about outliving your retirement income. This annuity also includes a guaranteed income base bonus of up to 5%, along with 160% of interest earnings (if any) that can combine to help with growing your future income.
Here again, though, while guaranteed income and no-risk growth can sound highly enticing, there are some tradeoffs that may need to be made in order to achieve these benefits. For example, even though the literature for this annuity touts an income base bonus, this may end up being 0% in some cases. Also, unlike some other annuity products that are available in the market place today, the interest earnings are not guaranteed – and may even be 0 at the end of any of the two-year terms.
Also, it can be easy to get tripped up when considering your accumulation value and your income base – which are two totally different things. (And, the income base cannot be withdrawn in a lump sum).
What About Any Fees on the BCA Elevate 12 Annuity from Athene?
While annuities can provide some nice benefits, these financial vehicles in particular also have somewhat of a bad rap for a long list of fees that you may incur. The Athene BCA Elevate 12 is no exception.
With this annuity, you’ll find stated in the small print that charges may include the following:
- Strategy Charges
- Optional Rider Charges
- Withdrawal Charges
- Premium Bonus Vesting Adjustments
- MVAs (Market Value Adjustments – if applicable)
The charges and optional rider charges are calculated annually on the contract anniversary, and they are deducted monthly from the accumulation value, as well as from the minimum guaranteed contract value in certain cases.
Also, while you are allowed to take free withdrawals during any two-year term, it is important that you are familiar with the fine print in this area, too, as the “free withdrawal amount” is only 5% of the accumulation value in the first year, and 10% of the accumulation value for all remaining years.
If you take out more than those amount during the annuity’s surrender charge period, you will incur a surrender penalty. And, while most annuities will have surrender charges, the BCA Elevate 12 has a particularly long surrender period of 12 years.
Athene BCA Elevate 12 Withdrawal Charges
If you are under the age of 59 1/2 if you take such withdrawals, then you could also be hit with an additional “early withdrawal” charge of 10% from the IRS.
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Athene BCA Elevate 12 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 BCA Elevate 12 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 12 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.
But in reality, the only way to really know if this particular product is right for you is to have it tested. We can do this for you providing you with an in-depth and personalized spreadsheet showing how the annuity may perform given your specific parameters.
In going this route, you could find that it fits the bill for you – or, you may also find out that there may be some other products out there that work better for you and your particular situation.
Likewise, if you have any additional questions that were not answered in this review, and/or if you would like some additional assistance in determining whether or not this is the right annuity product for you, then please feel free to reach out to us directly via our secure contact form here.
Any Additional Questions? Did You Notice Any Mistakes?
We understand that this review was a bit on the lengthy side. However, when offering our annuity reviews, we would much rather “err” on providing “too much” information rather than not enough. That way, you will be in a better position to make a truly informed decision as to whether or not a particular annuity product is right for you.
In addition, we also know that annuity information can change on a regular basis. So, if you noticed any details in this review that may need to be updated or revised, then please let us know that, and we will be happy to make any of the needed changes here. Likewise, if reading over this review caused, even more, confusion about this product, then please click here in order to let us know that too.
We also realize that just as any other area of the financial services world, information about annuities can change on a regular basis. So, if you happened to notice any mistakes or outdated information in this review, please let us know so that we can go in and make the necessary corrections.
Would you like to see any additional annuities reviewed?
If so, just let us know the name (or names) of the product(s) you would like to see reviewed via our website, and our team of annuity “geeks” will get on it asap.
The Annuity Gator