What Will Be Covered in this Annuity Review?
In this review, we will be covering the following details on the Fidelity and Guaranty FG Guarantee Platinum 5 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.
When it comes to financial products, it can be difficult to find one that offers multiple benefits all-in-one, such as safety, guaranteed growth, and a lifetime income in the future. That, however, is exactly what fixed annuities can do.
If you’ve been considering the purchase of a fixed annuity, you may be comforted by the fact that you can count on a set rate of interest, and by the fact that, if you choose the lifetime income option, you’ll have an income stream that you can count on for the remainder of your life, regardless of how long that may be.
But, before you run full steam ahead and plunk down what could be a sizeable chunk of your life-long savings, there are some things that you should know about annuities – namely the potential tradeoffs that you may need to make in order to secure such guarantees.
You could do so by reading through a maze of small print that is typically created by the offering insurance carriers. This information, however, is oftentimes a tad bit skewed towards giving you a nice, rosy picture of all of the great and wonderful things the product offers, but that also tends to bury the not-so-good items someplace where they don’t stand out.
Getting all of the details you need prior to committing to a long-term financial vehicle like an annuity is essential, then. This is where we come in.
Annuity and Retirement Planning Information That You Can Trust
If this is your first visit to our website, then please allow us to officially welcome you here to AnnuityGator.com. We are a team of annuity pros who focus on offering very comprehensive – and unbiased – annuity reviews. We have been at this for quite a few years now – longer than our competitors. And, because of the in-depth reviews that we provide, we have become a highly trusted source of annuity information online.
Over the past decade or so, however, there have been a number of “copycat” websites that have popped up on the Internet. While some of these can give you information about annuities, what you are likely to find is that they are oftentimes just simply reiterating what our information already shows.
In spending time looking for annuity information online, it is possible that you’ve run across some highly conflicting details about these products. But this really is not all that surprising because there are many annuities out there in the marketplace today, and everyone seems to have an opinion about whether or not they are good to own.
You could also have recently gone to a seminar about annuities, where – in return for a free lunch or dinner – the presenter discussed the details about the Fidelity and Guarantee FG Guarantee Platinum 5, or some other similar annuity. It could even be your attendance at that seminar that has ultimately led you here to our website in search of more details.
Likewise, in your quest for more annuity information, you could have come across some of the other websites on the Internet that talk about annuities. In doing so, many of these are really more interested in gaining access to your contact information that about educating you on these products. As such, in working to secure these details, these websites may be apt to make some fairly bold claims regarding the annuities they offer, such as the following:
- High Income Payouts
- Guaranteed Income for Life
- Top-Rated Annuity Carriers
- Low Fees
Does this look familiar?
But, as wonderful as all of these claims might sound, it is essential that you first verify their validity before you move forward with a long-term financial commitment, just like you would likely do before purchasing any other type of “high ticket” item.
If you are looking for more details on the F&G Guarantee Platinum 5 annuity, then you are definitely in the right place. In fact, we dare say that our website is the only place online where you will truly be able to get all of the key information that you require for making a well-informed decision.
We do want to warn you, though, that in addition to the nice, rosy details about the advantages this annuity offers, we will also be giving you information on what could be considered drawbacks. That’s because we feel that the only true way to weigh the pros and cons is to have the good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly details.
In order to be perfectly clear up-front here, though, we also want to say that we believe that annuities can provide people with some really great benefits – provided that they fit in with your overall financial plans and goals.
If you’re ready to begin the review, let’s dive in right now!
Fidelity and Guarantee FG Guarantee Platinum 5 Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||FG Guarantee Platinum 5|
|Issuer||Fidelity & Guaranty|
|Type of Product||MYGA (Multi-Year Guarantee) / Fixed Annuity|
|Phone Number||(888) 513-8797|
Opening Thoughts on the Fidelity and Guaranty FG Guarantee Platinum 5 Annuity
Fidelity & Guaranty Life has been in the business of offering life insurance and annuities for nearly 60 years. The company offers its products via the growing independent agent market. F&G’s parent company, USF&G, launched F&G in 1959, with a mission of providing life coverage and annuities through the property and casualty market.
In 2001, a UK-based company, Old Mutual, acquired Fidelity & Guarantee Life Insurance Company in order to expand into the U.S. market. Since that time, F&G has added to its annuity product line, and today offers fixed and fixed indexed products. Currently, F&G has approximately 700,000 policyholders.
Over the past several years, annuities have become a very popular financial product – particularly for retirees and those who are approaching retirement. One of the biggest reasons for this is because an annuity will allow your money to grow tax-deferred, and it can also provide you with a lifetime stream of income that you literally cannot outlive.
Yet, even though this might sound like a win-win situation, the reality is that if something sounds like it may be too good to be true, then it typically is – so you should ideally get as much in-depth detail as possible if you are considering committing to it for the long term.
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. Fidelity & Guaranty Life 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 F&G Describes the Platinum 5 Annuity Product
On its website, Fidelity & Guarantee describes the FG Guarantee Platinum annuity as a fixed annuity that is good for retirees with income and who also want to have a predictable interest rate.
This product offers a choice of several different interest rate guarantees – in this case, five years. Once that initial rate guarantee has elapsed you have the option to continue the annuity for another period of interest rate guarantee, or alternatively to withdraw your funds and move on to something else. (You can do this free of any surrender charges, provided that you do so within a 30-day window of time).
At the end of each interest rate guarantee period, Fidelity and Guaranty will provide you with a new declared interest rate for that period – which could be higher or lower than your initial rate, depending on what is happening with market interest rates.
As with other annuities, the FG Guarantee Platinum 5 allows your money to grow tax-deferred, meaning that there is no tax due on the gain each year until the time of withdrawal. This can allow your funds to compound faster.
There are some other features included with this annuity, such as a death benefit that will pay the account value to a named beneficiary if you should die before receiving income from the annuity. (If you should pass away after the annuitization date, any benefits payable to your beneficiary would depend on the income option that you chose).
This product also offers a nursing home benefit rider, as well as a terminal illness benefit rider. With the nursing home benefit rider, if you are confined to a licensed nursing home for more than 60 days, and this confinement begins at least one year after the annuity’s date of issue, then the surrender charges and market value adjustment will be waived on withdrawals from the annuity that are made during the period of confinement.
Likewise, if a licensed physician certified that you have been diagnosed with an illness or a condition that causes your life expectancy to be less than one year, and this diagnosis takes place at least one year after the annuity’s date of issue, then the surrender charges and market value adjustment will be waived during the period of the illness.
If you’d like to get all of the in-depth details, you can do so by checking out the product brochure HERE.
How an Insurance or Financial Advisor May “Pitch” this Product
Given that many investors today are shying away from the volatile stock market, it is likely that if you’ve been presented this particular annuity by a financial or insurance advisor, he or she keyed in on the guaranteed features.
Many investors today – especially those who are approaching retirement – want to be sure that their money is safe. And, while your funds in the FG Guarantee Platinum 5 annuity can be protected from the ups and downs of the stock market, they can be hindered in other ways.
For instance, due to the low-interest rate environment that we have been in for roughly a decade now, it is likely that the rate of guaranteed interest you receive may not be enough to beat – or even to meet – future inflation. And in the case of this particular annuity, you would be locked into this low rate for at least 5 full years. This being the case, you could end up losing purchasing power in the future, when you need to rely on your investment income the most.
Also, the renewal rates for any subsequent guarantee periods will be based on current interest rates and financial circumstances that are in effect at the time of your renewal – so they could differ from your original rate. Given that, if rates fall further, you may end up with an extremely low rate of return on your money here.
Plus, if you don’t make a decision regarding what to do with your money within a certain amount of time (30 days) as your initial guarantee period expires, you could end up having your money locked into another long-term low rate.
It is important to be careful, especially if you are being presented this – or any – annuity by an advisor who will earn a commission on the sale. That’s because they may lean much more towards presenting you with all of the rosy, positive features, yet leave out the features that may be considered as drawbacks.
With that in mind, if you are not 100% positive that the Fidelity & Guaranty FG Guarantee Platinum 5 annuity is right for you, or if you still want to get answers to more of your questions, then please feel free to reach out to us directly here via our secure online contact form.
What About Fees on the FG Guarantee Platinum 5?
Fidelity & Guaranty Life pays commissions to the agents who sell their annuities. However, this commission – as well as other sales expenses – are paid out from the insurance company’s general assets and revenues, and therefore are not deducted from the premium that you pay in. But, this doesn’t mean that you still won’t be hit with some charges and fees.
For instance, while you are allowed to withdraw, penalty-free, up to 10% of your contract value during the first few years that you own the annuity, if you opt to take out more than that amount within the first five years, you will incur a surrender penalty. The amount that you would be charged is as follows:
|Years in Current Guarantee Period||1||2||3||4||5||6+|
|Surrender Charge %||9||8||7||6||5||0|
And here’s something else to consider – if you lock into another interest rate guarantee (once the first one has elapsed), your surrender charge period will start all over and will run for the length of interest rate guarantee that you have chosen.
Plus, if you take such withdrawals before you reach the age of 59 1/2, you could also incur an additional 10% “early withdrawal” penalty from the IRS.
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Fidelity & Guaranty FG Guarantee Platinum 5 Annuity
Where it works best:
This particular annuity will usually work the best for those who are looking for:
- Principal protection
- A guaranteed rate of interest (at least for a set period of time)
- Guaranteed lifetime income in the future
Where it works worst:
Alternatively, the FG Guarantee Platinum 5 annuity from Fidelity and Guaranty Life may not fare so well for those who:
- Want the opportunity for a higher rate of return on their money
- Want to access more than just 10% of the contract value within the first five years (and again during a possible additional surrender charge period)
- Do not plan on using the lifetime income feature
There are typically a long list of criteria that should be taken into consideration if you are thinking about purchasing an annuity. These should include – but they are not limited to – how the annuity can produce a return, how safe your money will be, how the income will pay out, and whether or not there are any other optional features that may be added to the annuity (as well as any added costs).
If you are considering the purchase of a Multi-Year Guarantee Annuity like the FG Guarantee Platinum 5, you can certainly be assured that your principal will be safe, regardless of what occurs in the stock market. Plus, you can also count on guaranteed lifetime income in retirement, no matter how long you may live (provided that you have chosen the lifetime income payout option on the annuity).
But, even with all of these great benefits on the Fidelity & Guaranty FG Guarantee Platinum 5 annuity, it could quite frankly fall somewhat short, and there very well could be a better alternative out there for you. This is especially true if you are seeking the opportunity for a higher rate of return.
The only way to truly know whether or not this annuity will perform well for you is to have it tested. We can perform this testing for you by running the figures through our annuity calculator, and we can then provide you with a spreadsheet that shows the results. To obtain this personalized information, all you have to do is just contact us here through our secure online contact form.
Do You Have Any Additional Questions? Did You Happen to See Any Mistakes in this Review?
We certainly realize that this annuity review was a bit on the long side. So for that, we thank you for staying with us. Our feeling is, though, that we would much rather provide you with “too much” detail than not nearly enough.
Therefore, if you found that this annuity review was helpful for you, then please feel free to forward it on to anyone else that you think may benefit from it. Alternatively, if this review led you to have even more questions, then please let us know that, too.
Are there any other annuities not currently listed in our review database that you would like to see reviewed?
There are lots and lots of annuities available in the marketplace today. So, if you would like to see a particular annuity reviewed, then just let us know the name of the annuity (or annuities), and our team of annuity “geeks” will get on the case. So, be sure to check back soon for the new reviews.
The Annuity Gator