Brighthouse Financial - Annuity Reviews

Brighthouse SecureAdvantage Fixed Index Annuity

byAnnuityRatesHQ Staff

Mon Feb 19 2024

Staff @ AnnuityratesHQ
Brighthouse SecureAdvantage Fixed Index Annuity.png

Exploring retirement investments? Our honest review of the Brighthouse SecureAdvantage Fixed Index Annuity dives into its guarantee against market slumps and growth potential. Is it the safe harbor for your nest egg? Read on for insights that could help steer your decision.

Key Takeaways

  • The Brighthouse SecureAdvantage Fixed Index Annuity offers potential for growth linked to market indexes without the risk of losses during downturns, tax advantages of deferred interest compounding, and high industry ratings for financial strength.
  • The SecureAdvantage annuity requires a 6-year commitment with limited immediate liquidity due to surrender charges but promises 100% protection against loss in market value and can provide a steady income with the option for guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits.
  • Despite the potential for strong annual returns the product’s growth is subject to caps, spreads, and participation rates, which may limit earnings. It’s also RMD friendly, which can be beneficial for retirees, and is targeted towards conservative investors seeking long-term financial security.

Product Details

AttributeDetails for Brighthouse SecureAdvantage 6-Year Fixed Index Annuity
Product NameBrighthouse SecureAdvantage 6-Year Fixed Index Annuity
Product NameBrighthouse SecureAdvantage 6-Year Fixed Index Annuity
Issuing CompanyBrighthouse Life Insurance Company
AM Best RatingA (Excellent) - 3rd of 13 ratings
Moody’s RatingA3 (Good) - 7th of 21 ratings
Fitch RatingA (Strong) - 6th of 21 ratings
S&P RatingA+ (Strong) - 5th of 21 ratings
Withdrawal Charge Period(s)6 years
Maximum Issue Age80 years old
Minimum Initial Purchase Amount$50,000 (for both qualified and non-qualified plans)
Maximum Purchase AmountUp to $1 million without prior Brighthouse Financial approval
Surrender Charge Schedule6-year decreasing: 8%, 8%, 7%, 6%, 5%, 4%, 0%
Crediting Period and Strategies6-Year Term with options: Annual Sum with Cap Rate, Annual Sum with Participation Rate, and Point-to-Point with Participation Rate
Plan TypesPersonal, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP-IRA, SIMPLE-IRA, 403(b)
IndexesS&P 500® Index, Russell 2000® Index, Credit Suisse truVol® US Target Sectors Index
Free WithdrawalsUp to 10% of the purchase payment every contract year, including the first contract year; withdrawals to satisfy RMDs also permitted
MD FriendlyYes
Death Benefiteneficiaries receive the greater of the contract value or the Guaranteed Minimum Surrender Value upon the annuitant's death
Surrender Valuereater of Accumulated Value (less any applicable withdrawal charges and Market Value Adjustment) or the Guaranteed Minimum Contract Value
Special Waivers of ChargesNursing Home Waiver (not available in CA or SD) after 1 year if confined for 90+ days; Terminal Illness Waiver (not available in CA) after 1 year if expected to live less than 12 months
Market Value AdjustmentApplies if withdrawals exceed the free amount, can be positive or negative based on current vs. issue interest rates, never below Guaranteed Minimum Surrender Value (not applicable in CA)
Guaranteed Minimum Surrender ValueMinimum value received upon full surrender, death benefit payment, or annuitization, adjusted for withdrawals and taxes
Index Accounts Available at Issuennual Sum with Cap Rate, Annual Sum with Participation Rate, Point-to-Point with Participation Rate for a 6-Year Index Term
Fixed AccountPays a fixed rate of interest, if available
RenewalsOptions after the initial 6-Year Index Term include 1-Year Index Terms with Cap Rate, Step Rate, and Fixed Account
Additional FeaturesPerformance Lock available with the 6-Year Point-to-Point with Participation Rate Index Account; Daily Performance Value reflects potential index-linked interest; Various payout options for retirement income

Brighthouse Life Insurance Company, known for its financial strength, is no stranger to the annuity market. Their SecureAdvantage Fixed Index Annuity boasts:

  • Protection against losses during market downturns
  • Linking gains to a positive change in market index
  • A chance for interest to compound on a tri-fold basis due to the deferral of taxes on earnings

This product offers a tempting prospect for conservative investors looking for an alternative to traditional fixed-income investments. But can it be trusted to deliver on these promises, or is it just a well-crafted fiction, a mere story crafted by skilled writers? We set out to find out.

The Brighthouse SecureAdvantage Fixed Index Annuity offers the following benefits:

  • Safeguards your current funds
  • Facilitates future growth
  • Rated A (Excellent) by AM Best
  • Rated A+ (Strong) by Standard & Poor’s

With these credentials, Brighthouse strives to connect and earn your trust through its history. Let’s delve into the details and explore their request process.

"First Steps to Financial Assurance"

Investing in Brighthouse’s SecureAdvantage 6-Year Fixed Index Annuity entails a 6-year commitment. Now, this might sound like a long time, but it’s crucial to remember that this is a product designed for long-term financial security. One thing that investors should consider is the immediate access to funds is limited due to the product’s surrender charge schedule.

However, Brighthouse goes all out in ensuring that your investment is secure. The SecureAdvantage product offers 100% protection for the purchase payment against market downturns. These features combined provide a level of financial assurance for retirees’ investment, creating a sense of safety and stability for your finances in your retirement years.

"Crafting Confidence: The Annuity's Blueprint"

Crafting Confidence
Crafting Confidence

The Brighthouse SecureAdvantage is more than just a financial product; it is a carefully designed tool to support individuals in their retirement. The annuity promises a reliable stream of income with the option to receive guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits, ensuring a steady payout during your golden years.

"Structural Soundness"

The SecureAdvantage annuity is designed to offer a blend of stability and growth potential, with features including:

  • A combination of fixed interest and index-linked interest, aiming to balance the security of fixed returns with the growth potential of equity markets.
  • The potential to provide a steady income stream for retirees, making it a consideration for those seeking long-term financial security in retirement.
  • Access to a variety of index account options, including innovative Annual Sum Index Accounts, which provide diverse strategies for growth based on the performance of well-known market indices.
Annual Sum
Annual Sum

"Ease of Navigation"

The SecureAdvantage annuity is not just structurally sound, but also user-friendly. Its simplified product structure, along with clear terms and conditions, makes it easy for consumers to understand their investment.

Brighthouse offers easily understood resources and literature, helping consumers get to grips with the annuity’s features and benefits. The company goes the extra mile providing educational materials, offering guidance and helping consumers make informed decisions about their retirement investments with the SecureAdvantage annuity.

"Features in Focus"

The SecureAdvantage annuity’s growth potential is tied to the performance of selected indexes like the Russell and S&P 500. However, it is subject to certain limitations imposed by factors like spreads, caps, or participation rates that manage the trade-off between return potential and market loss protection.

The annuity includes:

  • Principal protection without the costs commonly associated with an income rider
  • Enhanced benefits from favorable market trends
  • A lump sum payment option

These features distinguish it among fixed indexed annuities.

"The Proof Is in the Performance"

The Proof Is in the Performance.jpeg

But can the SecureAdvantage annuity live up to its promises? We undertook a test to find out.

"Real-Life Returns"

SecureAdvantage employs a fixed index strategy, linking potential growth to the performance of market indices, which aims to blend growth opportunities with principal protection. Unlike direct investments in the equity markets, this approach provides a level of protection against market downturns, making it a more conservative option compared to traditional market investments.

The actual growth potential of the SecureAdvantage annuity is influenced by a range of factors including the chosen index, cap rates, and participation rates, as outlined in the product's terms. It's important to note that returns are not guaranteed and are subject to the performance of the underlying indices and the annuity's specific contractual features and limitations."

"Weathering the Market Storms"

The SecureAdvantage Fixed Index Annuity’s key feature is its ability to balance growth potential and protection against market downturns through adjustment. The annuity mitigates risk during market downturns by allowing investors to partake in some index gains without directly incurring the losses.

While the product does offer annual loss protection, it’s important to note that this protection is limited to 10%, unlike some other fixed index annuities that guarantee no losses or offer a bonus.

"Longevity and Limits"

Investing in the SecureAdvantage annuity means committing to a 6-year term and potential charges for early withdrawals, which can be considered a penalty. While this might seem like a long time, it’s crucial to remember that this is a product designed for long-term financial security and requires careful planning, including understanding the implications of the contract in writing.

However, Brighthouse Life does have the ability to alter annuity terms during its tenure, which may have implications for the annuity’s long-term returns. This product is primarily aimed at conservative investors seeking safety and security for their own life funds.

"Securing Your Sunset Years: Worth the Investment?"

The SecureAdvantage offers a unique benefit of being RMD friendly, which can be a crucial advantage for retirees over 72 who are mandated to take required minimum distributions. Considering its RMD-friendly feature, the SecureAdvantage annuity may be particularly suitable for retirees seeking a retirement product that fits into their broader financial strategy involving various retirement accounts subjected to RMDs.

So, would investing in the Brighthouse SecureAdvantage 6-Year Fixed Index Annuity be worthwhile? That would depend on your financial goals and individual circumstances. If you’re a conservative investor looking for a balanced growth potential and risk management solution, this product might be a good fit for you.

Company Details

When considering an annuity, it's important to understand that these financial instruments are not covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or any other federal agency. Instead, the security an annuity offers is fundamentally tied to the financial strength and credibility of the issuing insurance company. This makes the insurer's background and financial stability paramount considerations before proceeding with an annuity purchase.

Brighthouse Financial, established as an independent company following its separation from MetLife in 2017, is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. It has quickly cemented its reputation in the insurance and financial services sector, focusing primarily on life insurance and annuities.

As a specialist in these areas, Brighthouse Financial offers a range of products designed to help clients achieve financial security, including various types of annuities and life insurance policies. The company serves customers across the United States through multiple distribution channels.

The financial robustness of Brighthouse Financial is highlighted by its ratings from major credit rating agencies:

Rating AgencyRating
AM BestA (Excellent)
Moody’sA3 (Good)
FitchA (Strong)
S&PA+ (Strong)

These ratings indicate Brighthouse Financial's solid ability to fulfill its ongoing insurance and annuity obligations, underpinned by a stable financial foundation. The company's commitment to financial health is evident in its substantial financial metrics:

  • Total assets amounting to $230 billion
  • Managing $198 billion in assets under management, comprising total investments and separate account assets
  • Holding a strong financial position with total liabilities at $224 billion

With its focused expertise in life insurance and annuities, strong financial ratings, and a commitment to providing financial security to its clients, Brighthouse Financial stands as a dependable choice for individuals looking to secure their financial future through annuities.

For further details on Brighthouse Financial's financial performance and product offerings, reviewing their official financial statements and annual reports is recommended.

Summary

In conclusion, the Brighthouse SecureAdvantage Fixed Index Annuity offers a compelling mix of growth potential, protection against market downturns, and a unique RMD-friendly feature. However, like any financial product, it’s important to thoroughly understand its terms and conditions and to consider your financial goals and circumstances before investing.