What will we be going over in this annuity review?
In this review of the Thrivent Financial Secure Retirement Builder Annuity, we will be discussing the following information:
- Type of annuity
- How the annuity works
- Pros and cons
- Where this annuity may or may not fit in a financial plan
Annuities can be complex. That’s where having an Annuity Investigator who loves math comes in.
We make the complex, simple.
If you are considering the purchase of an annuity because you would like to attain tax-deferred savings, along with the assurance that you will have an ongoing income stream during your retirement years, then the Thrivent Financial Secure Retirement Builder fixed indexed annuity could be a good option for you.
But before you run out and sign on the dotted line, there are some things you need to know about these types of annuities, because oftentimes when things sound “too good to be true,” they usually are!
Over the past decade or so, indexed annuities have become quite popular. This is due in large part to the fact that these financial vehicles can offer a guaranteed income stream during retirement. This, in turn, can give you the peace of mind in knowing that you won’t outlive your income, no matter how long you may live.
There are other nice benefits, too, when you own a fixed indexed annuity, such as:
- Tax-deferred growth of your money
- No loss of principal – even in a down market
- Additional options such as a death benefit, nursing home waiver, and/or terminal illness waiver
Because of the increased popularity of annuities these days, many insurance carriers are continuing to add new products to their proverbial shelves on a regular basis. There are also “new” ways to purchase annuities.
For instance, rather than sitting face-to-face with an insurance or financial advisor, many consumers get most (or all) of the pertinent information online. Yet, while this can be extremely convenient, it could also leave you with more questions than answers.
Likewise, there are more financial and insurance professionals who are offering annuities now – but this is not necessarily a good thing, either. One of the main reasons for this is because, even though advisors work hard to offer the best possible information for their clients, because annuity products are complex and have a lot of moving parts, even the insurance and financial advisors who sell them may not always be all that familiar with the intricate details about them.
With that in mind, because annuities can oftentimes require a large percentage of your overall savings, you really need to know how the product will work because if you change your mind later and want to get out of it, you will find yourself paying a pretty hefty surrender penalty.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information that You Can Trust
If this is the first time you have landed on our website, we would like to personally welcome you here to Annuity Gator. We are a team of annuity and retirement income specialists who focus on offering in-depth and non-biased online annuity reviews. We have an extensive annuity review database on our website that provides details on fixed, variable, indexed, and other types of annuities.
We feel that learning all you possibly can about annuities can end up saving you lots of money – and frustration – later on, especially if an annuity turns out to perform in a way that you did not anticipate.
When looking for details about annuities via the Internet, it’s possible that you have run across a lot of very conflicting opinions about them. This, however, is not really all that surprising. That is because there are many different annuity products available, and many people – both consumers and financial advisors alike – will often have differing thoughts.
It could also be that you have recently attended an annuity seminar where, in return for a free lunch or dinner, the presenter provided you with a great deal of information about various types of annuities.
In fact, you may have even set a follow-up meeting with the seminar presenter, which in turn, has led you here to the Internet in search of more detailed information about this company’s (and/or other annuities).
Even though there are a number of good websites online that provide information about annuities, there are some other sites that will try luring you in by making some pretty bold claims about annuities like:
- Lowest fees
- Highest income payouts
- Guaranteed lifetime income
- Top-rated companies
While it is easy to see why such claims are so inviting, the problem is that they are not necessarily always true! In fact, oftentimes they are based more on speculation that they are on cold, hard facts.
This is where the Annuity Gator comes in.
On our annuity review database, you will find the whole gamut of information about these products. This includes the good features, as well as the not-so-good. And, while discussing annuity drawbacks might end up turning some people away from these products, it is much better to know the whole story up-front, rather than making an expensive (and long-term) mistake with your retirement savings.
In order to be perfectly clear, we do want to let it be known that we like annuities, here at Annuity Gator. In fact, these products can provide some wonderful benefits – but this is really only the case if the product actually fits in with your specific financial goals.
This review that discusses the Thrivent Secure Retirement Builder fixed indexed annuity will help you to better understand all of the “small print” that is associated with these products. So, if you’re ready to begin the review, let’s get started!
Thrivent Secure Retirement Builder Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||Secure Retirement Builder|
|Type of Product||Fixed Index Annuity|
|A.M. Best Rating||A++ (Superior) The highest of 16 possible ratings|
|Phone Number||(800) 847-4836|
Opening Thoughts on the Thrivent Secure Retirement Builder Annuity
Thrivent Financial is a Fortune 500 Company that has been in business for more than a century. Starting as a membership for Lutherans, this non-for-profit membership organization of all Christians today has a focus on helping its members be wise with money, build solid financial futures, strengthen their communities, and to be good stewards of the gifts that God has given them.
As of 2018, Thrivent has more than 2 million members nationwide. It is considered a strong and stable company, with $136 billion dollars in assets under management (as of December 31, 2017). Represented by total surplus, Thrivent has one of the strongest capital positions in the insurance and financial services industry.
Thrivent has earned very high ratings from the insurer rating agencies. These include a(n):
- A++ from A.M. Best – the highest of 16 possible ratings
- AA+ from Fitch – the second highest of a possible 19 ratings
The company has also earned numerous awards and accolades, including:
- “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by Ethisphere Institute 2012 – 2018
- Ward’s 2016 50 Top Performing Life and Health Insurers
- America’s Top Workplaces (Workplace Dynamics 2015)
Due to the virtual disappearance of company-sponsored pensions over the past several years, annuities have become a great way to “replace” the ongoing income stream that retirees need. Yet, all annuities are not created equal. So, it is absolutely necessary to know what you’re getting into.
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. Thrivent 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 variable annuities so that you can decide which may be the best one for you, click here in order to obtain our free truth about variable annuities report.
How Thrivent Financial Describes the Secure Retirement Builder Annuity
Thrivent Financial describes the Secure Retirement Builder annuity as a fixed indexed product that allows tax-deferred accumulation and guaranteed interest in the first year.
This annuity offers a few other features, too, including a death benefit, whereby a named beneficiary will receive the full account value at the time of distribution (provided that the owner or annuitant passes away before receiving income).
There is also an optional Guaranteed Living Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB) that guarantees a minimum annual amount that may be withdrawn for life – even if the accumulated value of the annuity is depleted. This benefit can cover the individual annuitant, or both spouses in a married couple. (There is an added charge of 0.95% per year to add this benefit).
How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” the Secure Retirement Builder Annuity
Given the tremendous fear that retirees have about outliving their income in the future, it is likely that an insurance or financial salesperson will focus on the lifetime income feature of the Thrivent Secure Retirement Builder annuity.
In addition, due in large part to the rollercoaster stock market – especially following the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic – advisors may also make sure that you know that your principal is protected in a fixed indexed annuity in any type of market environment.
But, while these nice features are all fine and good, what a salesperson won’t likely highlight are the “tradeoffs” you may need to make in order to attain these benefits. For example, in order to provide you with safety of principal, fixed indexed annuities will typically impose a “cap,” or maximum, amount of return during times when the underlying index performs well.
In this case, let’s say that the annuity had a cap of 5%, but, in a given year, the underlying index that is tied to the annuity had a 7% return. Guess what – the return that is credited to your account would be 5%.
It’s things like this that make it so incredibly important to understand all of the “fine print” regarding an annuity you’re thinking about purchasing. That’s where talking with an Annuity Gator annuity specialist can be extremely beneficial.
And then, of course, there are the fees….
While the Thrivent Secure Retirement Builder doesn’t charge an up-front sales commission, you could incur a significant charge if you withdraw more than 10% of your contract’s value per year, over the first nine years that you own the annuity.
The surrender charge starts at 9% in Year 1, and it gradually reduces over time until it finally reaches 0% after the ninth year. So, if you think that you’ll need to access more than 10% of the funds in this annuity within a nine-year period, then this may not be the right annuity for you.
Thrivent Secure Retirement Builder Annuity Surrender Charge
In addition to the surrender charge, you may also be required to pay tax on your withdrawals. And there is also the possibility of incurring an additional 10% “early withdrawal charge” from the IRS if you make such a withdrawal (or withdrawals) before you have turned age 59 ½.
The good news is that there are loads of other annuities in the marketplace – many that offer similar features to the Thrivent Secure Retirement Builder, but with a much shorter surrender charge period. We can help you find these other options.
To check out and compare all of the annuities that are offered by Thrivent Financial, you can go to the Thrivent Retirement Product Comparison Guide HERE.
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Thrivent Secure Retirement Builder FIA Annuity
Given the many benefits associated with the Thrivent Secure Retirement Builder fixed indexed annuity, it could be a viable option if you are seeking the following features:
- Opportunity for growth
- Protection of principal in any market environment
- Lifetime income in retirement
Yet, even so, this annuity could still fall a bit short, and it really isn’t a good choice if you:
- Want the opportunity for limitless growth
- Want or need access to your money in less than nine years
- Do not plan to use the lifetime income feature
Annuities can be purchased for a multitude of different purposes. For instance, some people like knowing that they can count on a steady income in the future, while others like having an additional option for obtaining tax-deferred growth of their savings.
If you’re considering the purchase of a fixed index annuity like the Thrivent Secure Retirement Builder, know that you may or may not be able to gather all of the key information you need when making this purchase.
With that in mind, if you would like more information on how to go about choosing an annuity that will best fit your specific needs, simply click here so that you can access our free annuity buyer’s report.
There is a long list of criteria that should be considered when you are thinking about the purchase of an annuity. One of the primary reasons for that is because these products could require that you plunk down a large amount of your overall retirement savings. So, you definitely want to know that you’re making the right choice.
In any case, an annuity should always be considered as a long-term financial decision – and because of that, it is truly important that you are confident about how the product may or may not fit in with your specific financial goals.
Do You Have Any Additional Questions Regarding the Secure Retirement Builder Annuity from Thrivent Financial? Did You Find Any Mistakes in this Annuity Review?
We understand that this annuity review went a tad bit long, so we definitely appreciate you sticking with us thus far. However, in this regard, we would much rather that you have “too much” information than to not have enough. So, if you found this annuity review to be beneficial, please feel free to pass it on and to share it with other people who could also find value in it.
We also know that, just as with other financial products and services, the information about annuities – and the companies that offer them – can change quite frequently. So, if you happened to notice any information in this annuity review that may need to be updated or revised, then please let us know that, too, and we will be happy to make any of the needed updates.
Are there any other annuities that you would like us to review?
If so, great! Just give us the name of the annuity (or annuities), and our team of highly trained annuity experts will get to it as quickly as we possibly can.
The Annuity Gator.
P.S. If you would like to read more of our Thrivent Financial annuity reviews here are some links to check out:
- Independent Review of the Thrivent Financial Security Plus MYGA Annuity.
- Independent Review of the Thrivent Flexible Premium Deferred Fixed Annuity.
- Independent Review of the Thrivent Financial Security One Annuity.
- Independent Review of the Thrivent Single Premium Deferred Fixed Annuity.