Ameriprise Annuity Question

Discussion in '401k, IRA and Retirement' started by MalorieJX, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. MalorieJX

    MalorieJX Well-Known Member

    Feb 2014
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    Need advice regarding old Ameriprise annuity.

    My wonderful (not really) CPA referred me to an Amerprise advisor. Due to my total ignorance, he sold me some type of annuity for around $200,000 back in 2003. It was the RiverSource Retirement Advisor Advantage Variable Annuity.. It is in an IRA. Mortality and expense (he called it) of .85% and who knows what else.

    Back in 2009 (or when everything went down) I never got a call back from him over the course of the downslide and so when my balance went down to just under $100,000, I panicked and moved it all in their Money Market account with a guaranteed 3%. And (please don’t make me feel worse than I already do) I left it there until now. So I lost over 50%. But, the “death benefit” Is still at $194,000 so this is a plus. And I’m not paying anything more in for it and getting additional insurance now due to my health would be expensive but do I really need it with no kids at home and being retired? This account is paying out a “guaranteed” minimum of 3% yearly. (but probably netting a lot less than that with admin fees, etc.) All I know is that the balance has not grown over the past few years – even though it is supposed to pay 3%. I asked him about it and he is “checking” on the expenses/fees.

    My question: I just sold my business and am retired. I am consolidating and just had a preliminary discussion with a Vangard advisor. I’m going to have more questions as I move over about $1 million in taxable and 401K monies (also have $500K in PenFed 3% CD's) but for now I’m addressing this annuity and I have three options:

    • Sell/move/close the annuity (IRA) completely and just move the “current value” of $98,730 into an IRA at Vanguard. This will cause me to give up or lose the death benefit of $194,000. My advisor is checking to see if that stays the same (has for past many years) or if it is built to possibly go down after so many years.) There is a minimal surrender fee ($30) but I have to do it this month on anniversary.

    • Keep it the same as it is… leaving it as fixed income so that I can pretty much preserve the principal and this keeps the life insurance/death benefit in place.

    • Keep it but move some or all of the $98,730 into equities. I asked him about that today – no index funds – they are all mutual funds with high expenses/loads.

    What would you do? This is only about 5% of my assets. I really want to move it from Amerprise but I'm thinking that giving up an additional $100K in death benefit might not make sense.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2016
  2. JR Ewing

    JR Ewing Super Moderator Staff Member

    Feb 2014
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    I'd sit down with several different advisors from several different firms and show them your entire portfolio, what your specific goals, timeframes, risk tolerances, etc are. Let each of them put together a plan and go from there.
  3. Penny

    Penny Well-Known Member

    Jun 2015
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    I agree, this is a complex and high dollar situation. It would be well worth getting at least two recommendations from fee-only financial advisers ("fee only" meaning they make money just from your up front fee payment, not from recommending some service that pays them a kick-back). I would recommend choosing NAPFA members: napfadotorg

    You should find they give you broadly similar advice but perhaps suggesting different specific providers and plans of the same basic type. That should give you the confidence that you are on a sensible path.

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