Independent Review of the Great American Assurance Select 7 Fixed Indexed Annuity
What is Covered in this Great American Assurance Select 7 Fixed Indexed Annuity Review?
In this review, we will be discussing the following details on the Great American Assurance Select 7 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 are in the midst of considering the purchase of an annuity so that you can obtain tax-deferred growth along with a lifetime income in retirement, then the Great American Assurance Select 7 fixed indexed annuity could be a good product for you.
But, prior to running out and making a commitment on this – or any – long-term financial vehicle, it is always recommended that you first get more of the in-depth details that are available so that you can make a well-informed decision.
For the past decade or so, there has been a surge in the demand for annuities, by both retirees and those who are approaching retirement. One reason for this is the fact that the stock market has bounced up and down on a fairly consistent basis, which can ultimately cause many sleepless nights for investors.
Due in large part to the popularity of annuities, many insurance carriers have been putting out new and “improved” products that include a lot of “bells and whistles.” Unfortunately, all of these added features has also added more confusion on these already-confusing products – for consumers, as well as this insurance or financial advisors.
With this in mind, it is essential that you read over any and all of the “fine print” regarding an annuity before you move forward with a purchase commitment. While doing so could take some time to complete, you will thank yourself if you discover features that could be considered expensive downfalls, and that could make it extremely difficult to get your money out once you’ve invested it.
Annuity and Retirement Planning Information That You Can Actually Trust
If you have not been to our website in the past, then let us officially welcome you to AnnuityGator.com. Here, we comprise a team of annuity experts who have a key focus on providing unbiased, and comprehensive, annuity reviews. We’ve been doing this for quite some time – much longer than many of our competitors – and because of that, we have become a highly trusted source of annuity information.
Throughout the past decade or so, there have been several “copycat” websites that have appeared online. Although some of these websites may be able to provide you with some basic information regarding annuity products, what you will most likely discover is that they are often just simply reiterating what the information on our website already shows.
If you have been spending any amount of time on the Internet trying to locate annuity information, then you may have come across some very conflicting details about these products. This, however, is not entirely surprising, because there are many different annuities available today, and everyone seems to have an opinion about them.
It is possible, too, that in the recent past, you attended an annuity seminar where the presenter provided you with a free dinner or lunch, and then showed you how the Great American Assurance Select 7 annuity (or some other similar product) works. You may have even moved forward with setting up a meeting with the presenter in order to determine whether or not this annuity will work, given your specific situation.
Our guess is that you are on our website right now in hopes of finding some additional information about the Assurance Select 7 annuity – and if so, then you are definitely in the right place. Although many other websites may try to lure you in with the promise of high returns and low fees, here at AnnuityGator.com, you will discover all of the good, the bad, and also the ugly with regard to annuity products. This is because we feel that knowing the entire picture is really the only way to make a well-informed purchasing decision.
While we do feel that annuities can be a great product to add to your portfolio, this is really on the case if the annuity fits in well with your other short- and long-term financial goals and objectives.
So, if you are ready to move forward with the ins and outs of the Great American Assurance Select 7 annuity, let’s dive in!
Great American Assurance Select 7 Fixed Indexed Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||Assurance Select 7|
|Issuer||Great American Insurance Group|
|Type of Product||Fixed Indexed Annuity|
|Phone Number||(800) 854-3649|
Opening Thoughts on the Great American Assurance 7 Fixed Indexed Annuity
Great American Insurance Group has a primary focus on offering fixed and fixed indexed annuities, as well as a long list of property and casualty insurance products. The company can trace its beginning back to the year 1872, when William F. Heins launched the German American Insurance Company in New York, starting with roughly $1 million in start-up capital.
Throughout the years, the company has grown and expanded through increased product sales, as well as mergers and acquisitions. Today, Great American is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Financial Group, Inc. The company is considered to be strong and stable financially, and it has earned high ratings from the insurer rating agencies, including:
- A+ (Superior) from A.M. Best Company
- A+ from Standard & Poor’s
- A1 from Moody’s Investor Service
Throughout the past several years – and especially since the 2008 recession – fixed indexed annuities have become extremely popular with investors as a way to protect principal, while at the same time offering the opportunity to achieve a higher return than that of a regular fixed annuity. Plus, like other annuities, fixed indexed annuities such as the Assurance Select 7 from Great American can also provide you with the ability to receive a lifetime income in retirement – regardless of how long you may need it.
However, while this can sound like a win-win situation, it is important that you check out all of the inner workings of the annuity, so that you are not caught off guard in terms of fees and other items that may be considered as drawbacks.
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. Great American 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 additional details on how to compare annuities in order to determine which one may be the best for you and your financial circumstances, contact us to obtain our free annuity report.
How Great American Describes the Assurance Select 7 Fixed Indexed Annuity
Great American Insurance Group describes the Assurance Select 7 fixed indexed annuity as a product that offers flexibility with multiple indexed strategies. In this case, there are actually four different indexed strategies to choose from, as well as a declared rate strategy that is available. These include the following (with rates shown here as of August 7, 2017):
|Assurance Select 7 Rates (as of 8/7/2017)||Current declared strategy interest rate||S&P 500 annual monthly averaging with cap||S&P 500 annual point-to-point with cap||SPDR Gold Shares annual point-to-point with cap||S&P 500 Risk Control annual point-to-point with participation rate|
|Purchase payments $100,000 and over||2.25%||5.25% cap||5.35% cap||5.50% cap||60% participation rate|
|Purchase payments under $100,000||2.10%||5.00% cap||4.75% cap||5.00% cap||55% participation rate|
There are other “bells and whistles” that are included with the annuity, such as an extended care and a terminal illness waiver whereby you could obtain up to 100% of the account value when certain criteria have been met.
With the annuity’s guaranteed minimum surrender value feature, you could obtain 100% of your purchase payments – plus interest credited (minus withdrawals and/or early withdrawal charges).
This annuity offers other features that can also help to grow and protect your legacy, such as pairing it with the Inheritance Enhancer rider. Here (as of August 7, 2017) the rider offers a roll-up credit of 8%, and a roll-up period of ten years.
Other optional features that can be added to the Assurance Select 7 annuity include the:
- IncomeSecure income rider
- IncomeSustainer Plus income and death benefit rider
How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might Pitch This Annuity
Because it is a fixed indexed annuity, the Great American Assurance Select 7 can offer you the ability to obtain a higher return than a regular fixed annuity, yet without subjecting your money to the volatility of the stock market. In this case, when the underlying index (or indexes) is/are up, a positive return will be credited. However, if the underlying index(es) suffers a negative return in a given time frame, your account will simply be credited with a 0%. So, while you won’t gain during those periods, you also will not lose – even if the indexed are down big.
As with other annuities, your account is allowed to grow on a tax-deferred basis, meaning that no tax will be due on the gain until the time of withdrawal. And, you can also choose from several different income payout methods – including a lifetime income option (which can erase your worry about outliving your income in retirement).
But, even though this annuity may sound like it provides the best of all possible worlds, it is important that you know all of the ins and outs of how it works, not just the positive, rosy benefits that it offers.
For example, while you do have the opportunity to earn a higher return than that of a regular fixed annuity product, these returns are “capped”, and are not able to go beyond a certain level. For instance, in this case, if you have deposited more than $100,000 and you opt for the S&P 500 annual point-to-point crediting strategy, you will have a cap of 5.35% (as of August 7, 2017) on that return. Therefore, if this underlying index ends up having a stellar return of 10%, 15%, 20% – or any nice return – your return will be “capped” at just 5.35%. So much for seeing awesome results!
In addition, all of the other awesome features of this annuity may not necessarily be included with the product. Rather, there could be additional charges incurred for adding these bells and whistles, which in turn, can have a negative impact on the overall return that you’ll receive.
What About the Fees on the Great American Assurance Select 7 Annuity?
Today, you would be truly hard pressed to find any insurance or financial product that does not have at least some type of charges or fees – and this certainly holds true for the Assurance Select 7 annuity from Great American. In addition to the rider fees that you may incur, there is also a seven year surrender period, which means that if you were to withdraw more than 10% of your annuity’s contract value within the first seven years, you will be charged a fee for doing so. As a percentage of the amount withdrawn, the surrender fees on this annuity are as follows:
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Great American Insurance Group’s Assurance Select 7 Fixed Indexed Annuity
Where it works best:
Although this annuity may not be the ideal option for everyone, it could be a good alternative if you are seeking the following features:
- The opportunity for higher growth than that of a regular fixed annuity product
- Protection of your principal
- Guaranteed income in retirement
Where it works the worst:
The Assurance Select 7 annuity may not, however, work very well in all situations. This is especially the case if you:
- Want or need access to more than 10% of your money within the first seven years
- Do not plan on using the lifetime income feature
There are many factors that should ideally 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 fixed indexed annuity like the Assurance Select 7 from Great American, then you can be assured that your principal will be protected and that you will at least have the opportunity for obtaining a higher return than that of a regular fixed annuity product. You can also count on receiving a guaranteed income for life, provided that you choose the lifetime income option.
However, even with these great features that are available on the Great American Assurance Select 7 fixed indexed annuity, there could still possibly be a better alternative for you out there, and really the only way to know for sure if this annuity is right for you would be to have it tested. We can do that for you by running the numbers through our annuity calculator, and can then provide you with a spreadsheet showing the results. In order to receive this information, just simply contact us via our secure online contact form here.
Have Any Additional Questions? Did You Happen to See Any Mistakes in this Review?
We realize that this annuity review was a tad 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.
With that in mind, if you did find 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 that you would like to see reviewed?
There is a long list of annuity products available – with new ones being offered all the time by the insurance companies that underwrite them. If you are interested in seeing a particular annuity reviewed that we do not already offer in our database, please let us know and our team of annuity “geeks” will be happy to provide that for you. Therefore, be sure to check back often for new and updated annuity information here.
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