Independent Review of the Brighthouse Financial Fixed Annuity

What will be covered in this annuity review?

In this review, we’ll cover the following information on the Brighthouse Financial Fixed Annuity:

  • Product typeIndependent Review of the Brighthouse Financial Shield Level Selector Annuity
  • Fees
  • 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 been considering the purchase of an annuity in order to help you with increasing your nest egg, while at the same time keeping your money safe from market volatility, then the Brighthouse Financial Fixed Annuity might just be a good fit for you.

One of the biggest reasons for this is because this annuity comes with some nice guarantees that are built directly into the contract.

But, before you move forward with purchasing this annuity – or any other annuity, for that matter – it can be really beneficial for you to first get a much more in-depth understanding of exactly how the annuity works, and how it may or may not necessarily work for you and your specific financial goals.

Over the past several years, fixed annuities have become quite popular. This is particularly the case with those who lost much (or all) of their retirement savings in the market downturn of 2008 and are now seeking safety for their hard-earned principal.

Fixed annuity products can also provide you with a guaranteed lifetime income stream, which is nice because people are living longer these days, and it can be difficult to make your savings stretch for a multitude of years.

But, because annuities have grown so much in popularity, there has also been an increase in the number of insurance and financial advisors who are offering them. Unfortunately, these agents may not always be giving you the very best answers to the questions that you may have, but that you need to know in order to make a well-informed decision.

Also, due in large part to the increased desire for annuities, the selection of annuity products has grown significantly. Yet, while this can help you to basically “customize” the products to better fit your specific needs, it can also make annuities even more confusing, even for well-informed consumers.

Given that, there are some important steps that you should consider that can help you in truly understanding what it is that you might be purchasing – especially as an annuity could realistically make up a large portion of your overall retirement income down the road.

Also, since annuities can be pretty hard to get out of once you have gotten into one, it is important that you know why you are going with one an annuity over another, as well as why you are even going with an annuity at all.

Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Advice You Can Trust

If you have never visited our website, we would like to officially welcome you here to AnnuityGator.com. We make up a team of annuity professionals who are focused on giving the most comprehensive yet unbiased annuity reviews.

We’ve been at this for quite a few years now – much longer than our competitors have been – and because of this, we have come to be a highly trusted source of annuity information on the Internet.

As you’ve been researching annuity information online, it is likely that you have come across a lot of conflicting details about these products. This isn’t really all that surprising though, as there is a multitude of different annuities in the market today, and there are numerous opinions about them.

Although there are a number of very good websites that are focused on marketing their annuities online, the reality is that some of these sites will work hard at luring you in by touting some pretty impressive claims, such as:

  • Highest income payouts
  • Top rated annuity companies
  • Guaranteed income for life
  • Lowest annuity fees

Does this look familiar?

Yet, as enticing as these claims may be, you really should treat them as you would when considering any other high-dollar purchase. In other words, you really need to make sure that these claims are backed up before you move forward. This can oftentimes require that you look a bit deeper into the “fine print” about the annuity you are considering. That’s where we come in.

If you really want to learn more about the Brighthouse Financial Fixed Annuity, then you are certainly in the right place. In fact, we dare say that Annuity Gator is the only place online where you will find all of the information that you need for making a well-informed annuity buying decision. This includes both the good and the bad – which can truly be beneficial for helping you to make the right decision.

Frequently, when an insurance or financial salesperson is trying to sell fixed annuities, they will provide a nice and rosy picture of how these products can provide protection of principal, as well as a set rate of return. However, in doing so, they can also tend to leave out some of the other important facts, which could be considered as drawbacks. So, before you move a potentially sizeable chunk of your hard-earned retirement savings into this (or any) fixed annuity, you need to ensure that you first have the whole story.

In order to be clear here, we will say that fixed annuities do offer some great benefits – provided that they coincide with your specific financial goals. So, it is essential that you know what you may be getting into, as well as why you are choosing one particular annuity over a myriad of other alternatives that may also be available to you.

So, if you’re ready to begin, let’s go ahead and dive in!

Brighthouse Financial Fixed Annuity at a Glance

Product NameFixed Annuity
IssuerBrighthouse Financial
Type of ProductSingle Premium Deferred Fixed Annuity
S&P RatingA+ (Strong)
Phone Number(800) 638-5433
Websitehttps://www.brighthousefinancial.com

Opening Thoughts on the Brighthouse Financial Fixed Annuity

Brighthouse Financial is a company that was established by MetLife. The company is considered to be a strong and stable financial company – particularly in the area of life insurance and annuities, and although the company is relatively new in the industry, it has already amassed roughly $219 billion in total assets.

The company, as of September 2018, holds in excess of 2.6 million insurance policies and annuity contracts, and more than $81 billion general account investments. Brighthouse also holds high marks from all of the major rating agencies, including:

  • A (Excellent) from A.M. Best
  • A (Strong) from Fitch
  • A3 (Upper Medium) from Moody’s Investor Services
  • A+ (Strong) from S&P

With so much volatility and unpredictability in the stock market over the past several years, the demand for fixed annuities has grown quite a bit, particularly as a way for retirees (and those who are preparing for retirement in the near future) to keep assets safe, and to ensure that they have a stable and reliable income going forward.

Unfortunately, though, due to the historically low-interest rate environment that we’ve been stuck in for nearly a decade now, the return that has been offered by fixed annuities has been very low.

In fact, in many instances, the returns that are obtained on fixed annuities have not even been enough to outpace the inflation rate over time. Because of these low rates, your future purchasing power could be affected – especially if you plan to use the income from a fixed annuity as a primary source of your retirement income down the road.

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. Brighthouse Financial 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 Brighthouse Describes the Fixed Annuity

Brighthouse Financial describes its Fixed Annuity product as an effective way to save for retirement that provides guaranteed growth that is protected from market volatility.

This is a single premium fixed deferred annuity with a minimum purchase payment of $25,000 and the maximum – at least without prior approval – is $1 million. With this annuity, you have options that you can choose for your initial rate guarantee period. These include three, five, or seven years – which correspond to the length of the annuity’s surrender period (although any annuity purchase should be considered a long-term commitment).

Once the initial rate guarantee period has elapsed, your contract will automatically renew into a subsequent guarantee period of one year – free of withdrawal charges.

There are some other “bells and whistles” on this particular annuity – including a nursing home waiver and a terminal illness waiver. And, as with many other annuities, there is a death benefit included whereby upon the annuitant’s death, a named beneficiary (or beneficiaries) will receive the greater of the remaining account value or the minimum withdrawal value.

For more information on the Brighthouse Financial Fixed Annuity, you can check out their website HERE.

In addition, you can also check out updated rate information HERE.

How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might Pitch this Annuity to Customers

Most people love guarantees – especially as it pertains to their money. So, if you’ve been approached by an insurance or financial advisor about the Brighthouse Financial Fixed Annuity, it’s likely that he or she zeroed in on the interest rate guarantee on this product.

On top of that, you can also count on a lifetime stream of income for the remainder of your life, if you choose the lifetime income option. This can help to alleviate the worry about running out of income in your later years…which is becoming a growing concern as more people are living longer life spans today.

But, while these guarantees may help you to sleep a bit better at night, the reality is that such benefits can oftentimes come at a cost – this being the low rate that is offered, and in turn, the inability to beat, or even meet, future inflation. This could equate to a step backward in future lifestyle, as it could hinder your ability to keep up with the rising cost of the goods and services you need in retirement.

With that in mind, you really need to determine whether or not you are willing to take the “tradeoff” here – in other words, giving up the opportunity for more growth in return for keeping your principal safe.

What About the Fees on the Brighthouse Financial Fixed Annuity Product?

You may also run into some fees on the Brighthouse Financial Fixed Annuity – namely if you opt to withdraw more than 10% of the contract’s value during the surrender period. With this particular annuity, the longer the rate guarantee period, the longer the surrender period will be.

So, for instance, if you choose the 7-year rate guarantee, then you will incur a surrender charge on the month you take out of the annuity over and above 10% for the first seven years you own it. The amount of these fees starts at 7%, and they gradually grade down over time.

Plus, if you make withdrawals before you turn age 59 ½, you could also incur an additional 10% “early withdrawal” fee from the IRS. With that in mind, know that the money you contribute to this (or any) annuity is for the long haul.

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Brighthouse Financial Fixed Annuity

Where this annuity works best:

This particular annuity will usually work the best for those who are looking for:

  • Guaranteed lifetime income
  • Safety of principal
  • Slow and steady growth over time

Where this annuity works worst:

The Brighthouse Financial Fixed Annuity may not be an ideal fit if you:

  • Want access to most or all of your funds within the first several years (during the surrender period)
  • Are seeking a high rate of return on your money
  • Do not anticipate using the funds for a long-term care need

In order to know how to really compare the best annuity options for you, click here so that you can download our free annuity report.

In Summary

There are a plethora of criteria that should ideally be taken into consideration when you are determining which annuity is right for you – of even IF an annuity is right for you. In any case, though, annuities should always be considered as long-term financial endeavors, and because of that, you should feel comfortable that the one you ultimately go with can help you to reach your goals.

If you are still leaning towards the purchase of a fixed annuity, you can certainly be assured that your principal will be safe, and in this case, that you will have a certain rate of return to count on, no matter what is happening in the stock market.

However, even with these nice benefits, the Fixed Annuity from Brighthouse Financial could still fall somewhat short – and quite frankly, there very well could be a better option out there for you – particularly if you are focused on getting a guaranteed lifetime income in retirement AND the opportunity to earn a higher rate of return.

If you still have any questions with regard to whether or not this annuity is right for you – or, even if you just simply need some additional guidance about annuities in general, then please feel free to reach out to us directly via our secure contact form here.

Do You Have Any Additional Questions or Concerns Regarding the Brighthouse Financial Fixed Annuity? Did You Happen to Notice Any Mistakes in this Annuity Review?

While this review of the Brighthouse Financial Fixed Annuity did run a bit long, our feeling here is that we would much rather provide you with too many details as versus not nearly enough. Therefore, if you did find this review helpful to you, then please feel free to share it with others that you think might benefit, too.

We also understand that annuity product information can change frequently. Therefore, if you happened to notice that any of the information in this annuity review was incorrect, then please let us know and we will do our best to get that updated as soon as possible.

Also, if this annuity review made this product even more confusing – and/or if it happened to spark any additional questions or concerns – please let us know that, too and we will work to make the information clearer.

Are there any other annuity reviews that you would like to see posted on our website?

If so, we’ll get on it! Just simply tell us the name of the annuity (or annuities, if more than one) and our highly trained team of annuity “geeks” will start working on those – so be sure to check back soon for updates, as well as a whole host of new annuity reviews!

Best,

The Annuity Gator

P.S If you would like to read more of our Brighthouse annuity reviews here is a link to check out:

Independent Review of the Brighthouse Financial Fixed Annuity

 

 

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