What will we be covering in this review?
In this review of the Lincoln National Life Level Advantage Advisory annuity, we will be covering the following details:
- Product type
- Fees/charges to look out for
- Current rates
- Realistic long-term performance and return expectations
- How this annuity is best used
- Who may want to consider a different option
Annuities can be complex. That’s where having an Annuity Investigator who loves math comes in.
We make the complex, simple.
If you have been in the process of reviewing annuities because you want tax-deferred growth, along with the ability to receive a regular income in retirement, then the Lincoln National Level Advantage Indexed Variable Annuity could be a viable option for you.
But, before you go out and make a long-term commitment on this – or any other – annuity, it is highly recommended that you first have an understanding of exactly how the product works, and how it may, or may not, work for you and your objectives.
Annuities are complex products, and the more “bells and whistles” they offer, the more confusing they tend to be. Because of that, many consumers aren’t really sure what they are even getting – only to find out after they’ve purchased that the product really isn’t all that it was cracked up to be.
Unfortunately, though, by that time, it is typically much too late to get out of the annuity contract – at least not without incurring some significant surrender penalties. And going this route is definitely not the way to grow and/or protect your hard-earned savings.
That’s where the Annuity Gator comes in!
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information that You Can Trust
If this is the first time you’ve been to our website, then please allow us to personally welcome you here. We represent a team of knowledgeable annuity pros who are focused on providing our visitors thorough – yet non-biased – annuity reviews. We have been at this for a number of years now, much longer than our competitors. So, we have become a highly trusted source of annuity information.
If you have been in the process of seeking annuity information online, then it’s likely that you have at some point run across conflicting information regarding these financial vehicles. This, however, is not entirely surprising to us, because there are many, many annuities out there in the market place, and there are numerous opinions – both good and bad – about them.
If you have recently attended an annuity seminar or workshop, you may have – in return for a complimentary lunch or dinner – already heard some of the details about this, or another, annuity. Attending that even may even be what has brought you here to our site in search of additional details.
In your quest for annuity information, you may also have run across some of the other websites out there on the Internet that tout the benefits of their products. In fact, some of these sites make some pretty bold claims, such as:
- Highest annuity rates
- Lowest fees
- Top-rated annuity companies
- Get your quote now!
Yet, even though these sites may be able to provide you with some of the information that you need, we dare say that the website that you are on right now will provide you with much more of the in-depth information that is required for making a good, solid purchase decision.
We feel that you have to have the entire picture in order to truly make a decision that is right for you – and, because you can get “locked in” to an annuity, if you buy one of these products and then decide that you want to get out, it can cost you a great deal in surrender fees.
So, if you’re ready to begin the review, let’s get started!
The Lincoln National Life Level Advantage Advisory Indexed Variable Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||Level Advantage Advisory|
|Issuer||Lincoln National Life Insurance Company|
|Type of Product||Indexed Variable Annuity|
Opening Thoughts on the Lincoln National Level Advantage Advisory Annuity
Lincoln has been in the business of helping its customers grow and protect wealth since 1905, when a group of business leaders in Fort Wayne, Indiana, came together to create a life insurance carrier that was based on dependability, honesty, and service.
As of year-end 2018, Lincoln National is the 4th largest life and health insurer in the U.S., based on revenue. The company is also ranked as #205 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list (also based on revenue), and as #24 based on assets. Likewise, Lincoln is ranked as #316 on the 2018 Barron’s 500 list, based on the most revenue growth and cash returns.
On December 31st, 2018, Lincoln reported more than $238 billion, and 2018 operating revenues of roughly $4.4 billion. Lincoln Life is also ranked as the #2 seller of universal life insurance, #3 in total life insurance sales, and #1 in variable universal life insurance sales.
The company ranks #3 in variable annuity sales, #12 in fixed indexed annuity sales, #16 in total fixed annuity sales, and #8 in total annuity sales. It also stands in the #8 position in terms of 401k market assets, and #5 for 403(b) employer-sponsored retirement plan market assets.
Due to its financial strength and stability, Lincoln National Life Insurance Company has received high ratings from the major insurance carrier rating agencies, including a(n):
- A+ from A.M. Best
- A+ from Fitch
- A1 from Moody’s Investor Services
- AA- from Standard & Poor’s
While variable annuities have taken somewhat of a back seat to other, safer, alternatives like fixed and fixed indexed annuities over the past decade, there is a definite niche for these products – particularly with those who are seeking the opportunity for a higher rate of return, as well as the tax-deferred growth of assets.
Lincoln has hit somewhat of a sweet spot with its Level Advantage indexed variable annuity, given the product’s balance of growth opportunity and principal protection. We’ll touch on all of these components shortly.
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. Lincoln Life Insurance Company 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 variable annuities so that you can decide which may be the best on for you, click here in order to obtain our free truth about variable annuities report.
How Lincoln Life Describes the Level Advantage Advisory Annuity
According to Lincoln’s website, the Level Advantage indexed variable annuity is a long-term investment product that offers tax-deferred growth, along with access to a lifetime income stream, and death benefit protection.
Given its blend of features, this annuity provides a way to bring a balance of protection, growth potential, and tax-advantaged lifetime income into your financial plan in one single diversified strategy.
With its flexible options, you can essentially “customize” the annuity to fit your personal risk profile and investing approach with opportunities to adjust as your strategy changes over time.
As an indexed product, the Level Advantage Advisory annuity tracks several different market indices, including the:
- S&P 500
- Russell 2000
- MSCI EAFE
- Capital Strength
In addition, owners of this annuity have access to 14 fund options from various investment managers. You can also lock in a fixed rate for 1 or 6 years, or alternatively a 6-year annual lock, at protection level options of 10%, 20%, 30%, or even 100%.
With the i4LIFE optional income rider, you can assure yourself of lifetime income for the remainder of your lifetime – and also the potential for rising income in order to help keep pace with future inflation.
For the product fact sheet, you can go HERE.
Or, if you would like access to the full consumer product brochure, go HERE.
How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” this Annuity
If an insurance or financial advisor has presented this annuity to you, it is likely that he or she placed a key focus on the product’s flexibility. For example, while you have the opportunity to attain a market-like return, you also can lock in a set level of protection…just in case.
In addition, when the time is right for you, there is also the ability to transition the Level Advantage Advisory annuity into a dependable source of lifetime income that you can count on. So in all, this might seem like the best of all worlds – at least at first glance.
But there could also be some items that the advisor has merely glossed over – such as the fact that in lifetime income rider has an added charge, which could end up impacting the overall return that you get during the accumulation period.
Similarly, there is also an added cost to add the guarantee of principal death benefit. This option guarantees that your named beneficiary (or beneficiaries) will receive at least the full amount of your initial investment into the annuity.
Plus, while you can certainly opt for a certain level of protection from market loss, unless you go with the 100% option, there is still the chance that you will risk losing a significant sum of your funds in this annuity.
Also, as with many indexed annuities that are on the market today, the Lincoln Level Advantage imposes a “cap,” or maximum, on the growth that you are able to earn for an indexed term. What this means is that regardless of how high the underlying index(es) perform, the cap will limit – or basically place a ceiling on – the total amount that you can actually earn.
What About the Fees Associated with this Annuity?
Variable annuities have long been known for the long list of fees that they charge. So, before you commit to any annuity, knowing where you may be hit with added fees can be helpful. In the case of the Lincoln Level Advantage annuity, you will run into a(n):
- Account Value death benefit charge of 0.10%, and/or a
- Guarantee of Principal (GOP) death benefit fee of 0.30%
There is also a rider charge for the i4LIFE indexed advantage rider. The annual charge rate is 0.40%. This charge is in addition to the applicable death benefit charge that is assessed against the annuity’s sub-accounts, and the charge is based on your account value at the beginning of each rider year, less the periodic income payment(s) for that year.
For a full disclosure of all of the charges and fees that are associated with the Lincoln Life Level Advantage Advisory annuity, you can go HERE.
Or, to view the entire prospectus for the Lincoln Level Advantage Advisory variable and index-linked annuity, go HERE.
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Lincoln Life Level Advantage Advisory Annuity
Where this annuity works the best:
This annuity may be a good option for someone who is seeking market-linked growth, but at the same time wants to lock in at least some amount of protection in case of a significant market downturn. It can also be a potential vehicle for receiving income in retirement.
Where it works the worst:
If you have a low tolerance for risk, then the Lincoln Life Level Advantage Advisory product might not be a good fit. Likewise, if you do not intend on using the income feature on this annuity, there could be some better alternatives out there for you.
If you still aren’t 100% sure that a variable-type of annuity is right for you, it could mean that you need a bit more information. But it could also mean that there could be a different type of annuity that would better fit in with your short- and long-term financial objectives.
In any case, the purchase of an annuity should always be considered as a long term financial commitment – and if you do end up determining that a particular annuity just isn’t for you after you’ve purchased it, it can be fairly expensive to get out of it.
If you’re still leaning towards the purchase of the Level Advantage Advisory annuity from Lincoln Life, then know that there are definitely some nice advantages that you could attain. However, this annuity may also fall somewhat short – particularly if you are seeking safety of your principal.
The only way to really know for sure whether or not this is the annuity for you is to have it tested. We would be happy to provide this testing for you, at no cost or obligation. So, just simply contact us here via our secure online contact form now.
Do You Need Any Additional Info? Did You See Any Mistakes in this Annuity Review?
While we realize that this annuity review was a bit lengthy – and we appreciate you sticking with us through it all – we also feel that it is much better to “err” on the side of providing “too much” information than not enough. With that in mind, if you felt that this annuity review was helpful, then please feel free to forward it on to anyone else that you think may benefit from it, too.
Also, as humans will often do, we understand that information about annuities can change quickly. Therefore, if you happened to notice any details in this review that were out of date or that need correction, please let us know that as well, and we will get it fixed quickly.
Are there any other annuities that you would like to also see reviewed?
If you have checked out our list of annuity reviews and there is another annuity (or more than one other annuity) that is not currently in our annuity review database, but that you would like to see reviewed, please let us know the name of the annuity or annuities and our team of annuity “geeks” will get right on it. So, be sure to check back with us soon to see any updates.
The Annuity Gator
P.S If you would like to read more of our Lincoln annuity reviews here are some links to check out:
- Independent Review of the Lincoln Financial MYGuarantee Plus Fixed Deferred Annuity
- Independent Review of the Lincoln National Covered Choice 5 Annuity
- Independent Review of the Lincoln National Lincoln OptiChoice Fixed Index Annuity
- Independent Review of the Lincoln National Life ChoicePlus Assurance Fee-Based Variable Annuity
- Independent Review of the Lincoln ChoicePlus Assurance Variable Annuity
- Independent Review of the Lincoln National Life Core Income Built with iShares Variable Annuity
- Independent Review of the Lincoln Financial Lifetime Income Edge Fixed Index Annuity
- Independent Review of the Lincoln American Legacy Variable Annuity
- Independent Review of the Lincoln Life Insurance Company’s Level Advantage B Share Annuity