What’s Covered In This Review
In this review, we will be discussing the following details on the Mass Mutual Odyssey Select 9 Year MYGA 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 an annuity because you want tax-deferred growth of your money, and you also want to know that you’ll have a lifetime income in retirement, then the Odyssey Select 9 Year MYGA annuity from Mass Mutual could be a viable option for you.
However, before you go out and commit to buying this annuity – or for that matter, any annuity – you really should have a more in-depth knowledge of how the product works, and how it may or may not fit into your overall financial situation.
Over the past decade or so, there has been a significant increase in the demand for fixed rate annuities. Part of this is due to the volatile stock market, which could render your hard-earned savings lost if a “correction” occurs. In addition, because annuities can provide a lifetime income in the future, they can alleviate the worry about running out of income when you need it.
But, because of this increased popularity of annuity products, many insurance carriers have been bringing new products to market – and many of these annuities include a myriad of features, which can make an already confusing financial vehicle even more confusing (even for well-informed consumers).
Therefore, unless the financial or insurance advisor you work with has a key focus on offering annuities, you should really read over the “fine print” before making a long-term commitment. That’s where the Annuity Gator comes in!
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information You Can Trust
If this is the first time you have visited our website, then please allow us to personally welcome you here to AnnuityGator.com. We comprise a team of annuity experts 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.
Over the past several years, however, there has also 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 clearly shows.
While reviewing annuities on the Internet, you may also have run across many conflicting details regarding these products. This, however, is not really all that surprising, as there are a myriad of annuity products, along with just as many – if not more – opinions about them.
In doing so, it is probable that you have encountered some of the annuity marketing sites that, for the most part, will try their best to lure you in by making some pretty bold claims, such as:
- High Annuity Income Payouts
- Guaranteed Income for Life
- Top-Rated Annuity Carriers
- Low Fees
However, as completely awesome as these benefits might sound, it is all the more necessary that you ensure that they are actually true. This is particularly the case as the purchase of an annuity may require that you commit a rather large chunk of your retirement savings.
If you have been looking for more details about the Massachusetts Mutual Odyssey Select 9 Year MYGA annuity, then you are in the right place. In fact, we dare state that this is the only place where you can get all of the information that you need for making a well-informed buying decision about this annuity.
Just to be perfectly clear here, we want to state for the record that we believe annuities can be a good financial option for some people – provided that they fit in with your other short- and long-term financial strategies.
So, if you are ready to begin, let’s get started!
Massachusetts Mutual Odyssey Select 9 MYGA Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||Odyssey Select 9-Year|
|Type of Product||MYGA (Multi-Year Guarantee) / Fixed Annuity|
|S&P Rating||AA+ (Very Strong), as of October 11, 2017|
|Phone Number||(800) 272-2216|
Opening Thoughts on the Massachusetts Mutual Odyssey Select 9 Year MYGA Annuity
Massachusetts Life (or Mass Mutual) has been in the business of helping customers to build and protect wealth since 1851. The company offers a long list of financial and insurance products, including life insurance and retirement annuities, which are distributed via more than 9,500 advisors.
As of year-end 2016, Mass Mutual had approximately $560 billion of life insurance in force. The insurer delivered $5 billion in benefits to its customers just in 2016.
The company has earned very high ratings from the insurer rating agencies, including a(n):
- A++ (Superior) from A.M. Best Company (#1 out of a total of 15 rating categories)
- AA+ (Very Strong) from Fitch (#2 out of a total of 21 categories)
- Aa2 (Excellent) from Moody’s Investor Services (#3 out of a total of 21 categories)
- AA+ (Very Strong) from Standard & Poor’s (#2 out of a total of 21 rating categories)
Given these figures, suffice it to say that Mass Mutual is financially strong and stable and that it has a good reputation for paying out its policyholders’ claims. The company will likely continue to do so, particularly in the area of fixed and fixed indexed annuities, as these products have become much more popular over the past decade or so.
If you own a fixed annuity such as the Odyssey Select 9, you can be assured that your money will be safe from market downturns, while at the same time growing at a set rate of interest. The growth of these funds will also be tax-deferred.
However, given the painfully low-interest rate environment, we have been living in for roughly the past decade, it could be very tough for your money in a fixed rate annuity to beat, or even to meet, future inflation. This could have a negative impact on your entire financial situation in retirement as your purchasing power can diminish more and more every year.
Is that really how you want to live in retirement?
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. Mass Mutual 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 Massachusetts Mutual Describes the Odyssey Select 9-Year MYGA Annuity
Mass Mutual describes the Odyssey Select annuity as a financial vehicle that is specifically designed for conservative investors. This is because fixed annuities offer unique features that can provide growth, income, and peace of mind.
The Odyssey annuity offers the following key benefits:
- Guaranteed fixed interest rates
- Steady growth
- Death benefit protection
- The ability to generate income for life
This annuity provides a two-year interest rate guarantee with each contract purchase payment you make. This interest rate is referred to as the “base rate.” Each time you make a purchase payment, the base rate that is applicable at that time will apply (which means that your base rate for different purchase payments into the annuity may differ).
In years 1 through 4, Mass Mutual may offer an enhanced interest rate on individual purchase payments that are received. If an enhanced rate is offered on a purchase payment, it would be based on rates that are in effect for one year from that date.
Once the two-year interest rate guarantee period ends, interest will then be credited to the purchase payment at a renewal rate for a period of time that Mass Mutual will determine. (At this time, renewal rates are guaranteed for one year – and these rates could be either higher or lower than the initial base rate).
As with other annuities, the Odyssey Select allows your funds in the account to grow on a tax-deferred basis. This means that there is no tax due on the gain until the time of withdrawal – which could allow your money to grow and compound exponentially over time.
This annuity has a couple of other “bells and whistles” on it, such as a death benefit, as well as a nursing home and hospital waiver, and a terminal illness waiver. With the death benefit, if the annuitant should die during the accumulation phase of the annuity (i.e., before the contract has been converted over into an income stream), then the funds will be paid out to a named beneficiary. Any death benefit that is payable during the annuity payout phase would be based on the annuity payout option that is selected.
The terminal illness waiver allows you to withdraw some or all of the annuity’s contract value without incurring a surrender charge. Likewise, if you are confined to a licensed nursing home or an accredited hospital for an extended period of time, you can also access some or all of the annuity’s contract value without a surrender penalty.
For all of the in-depth details on this annuity, you can take a look at the product brochure HERE.
How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” this Annuity
With so many investors who are saving for the future being concerned about growing their money – while at the same time keeping their funds safe – it is possible that an insurance or financial advisor would present this annuity as a vehicle for accomplishing both of those goals. Plus, there is also the option to choose income for life with this product, either for just one individual or for two individuals.
However, while it may be nice to know that your interest rate will be guaranteed (at least for a certain period of time) and that your principal won’t decrease, there are definitely some “tradeoffs” that you need to consider.
For example, given that we have been living in a painfully low-interest rate environment over the past decade or so, fixed-rate products such as this one won’t likely allow you to meet – much less beat – future inflation. This means that you may be required to cut back on purchasing the things that you need in retirement.
But is that really why you worked so hard to save all your life?
And then there are the fees….
What About the Fees on the Odyssey Select 9 Annuity from Mass Mutual?
If you have ever purchased a stock or mutual fund, then it is likely that you paid a sales commission. You may also have had to pay a fee when you sold the investment. Annuities will also have various charges and fees that you need to be mindful of – especially because these can have an effect on the amount of money that you end up with.
In the case of the Mass Mutual Odyssey Select 9 MYGA annuity, the fees will primarily come into play if you decide to withdraw most or all of your money from the contract. For instance, although you are allowed to withdraw up to 10% of the contract’s value each year penalty-free during the “surrender period,” if you take out more than that, you’ll be hit with a charge.
In the case of the Odyssey Select 9 annuity option from Mass Mutual, these surrender fees will last for a full 9 years as follows:
Odyssey Select 9 Surrender Charges
There could be a way to lessen the surrender charge on the Mass Mutual Odyssey Select annuity. This is by choosing to go with the Odyssey Select 7. In this case, you could reduce it surrender period to 7 years, from 9.
However, it is important that you know that the surrender period you choose will also determine the interest rate that is credited to your contract. In this case, the longer the surrender charge period, the higher the interest rate that is credited, and vice versa. With that in mind, be sure that you have your intended retirement time horizon included in your decision.
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Mass Mutual Odyssey Select 7-Year MYGA Annuity
Where this annuity works the best:
- If you want principal protection
- If you are seeking an interest rate guarantee
- If you plan to use the guaranteed income feature
Where this annuity works the worst:
- If you want the opportunity for a higher rate of return
- If you need access to your money penalty-free within the first seven years
- If you do not plan to use the income feature
There are a number of key factors that should be considered when determining which annuity may be right for you – or even if an annuity is the best option for your money. In any case, annuities are always considered to be long-term financial endeavors. Because of that, it is essential that you feel comfortable in knowing how an annuity may get you closer to your ultimate retirement goals.
When leaning towards a fixed annuity, these vehicles can provide you with the safety of your principal, as well as a guaranteed, ongoing income throughout your retirement – no matter how long you need that incoming cash flow. This can provide you with the security in knowing that you won’t run out of income down the road.
In the case of the Mass Mutual Odyssey Select 9 Year Annuity, there are some good features about it. However, it may also still fall a bit short, and quite frankly, there could be some better options that are available to you – particularly if you are seeking lifetime income, along with the opportunity for growth.
Should you have any additional questions regarding whether this particular annuity is the right one for you, or even if you just simply need some additional assistance in guiding you in the right direction, please feel free to reach out to us directly through our secure contact form here.
Have Any Additional Questions on the Massachusetts Mutual Odyssey Select 9 Year Annuity? Any Other Annuities You Would Like to See Reviewed?
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