Review of THRIVENT FINANCIAL
Thrivent Financial is a top rated insurer that should be considered as a viable option in the life insurance marketplace. In the following Thrivent Financial review, we will take a closer look at the company’s history, financials, ratings, products and services. Is Thrivent Financial the right choice for you?
About Thrivent Financial
Back in 1902, a company named Aid Association for Lutherans (AAL), a fraternal benefit society, launched in Wisconsin. Around fifteen years later, Lutheran Brotherhood (LB) formed in Minnesota. For a long time, the two operated separately but with very similar goals. While offering superb products to those in the community, they also had a passion for helping the locals wherever possible.
In 2001, after years of conversation and praising the services of one another, the two insurers combined and became Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Currently ranked #316 on the 2017 Fortune 500, this non-profit company helps to support families in numerous ways (including their many life insurance products).
Interestingly, a huge vote in 2013 pushed the company in a new direction by choosing to integrate all Christians into the fold, instead of focusing exclusively on the Lutheran denomination. Now, they are proud to serve millions of people all around the United States and the change in direction led to a name change. Today they are known simply as Thrivent Financial.
Thrivent Financial Finances
With a history spanning 115 years how do their finances fair after around 15 years as a single entity? Every year, Thrivent Financial is growing and they now have an ‘asset under management’ figure of nearly $120 billion. In terms of insurance in-force, they’re now knocking on the door of $200 billion and this makes them one of the biggest companies in the US today.
Elsewhere, we can also look at their annual surplus to get an idea of how much money they have in the ‘rainy day’ pot. In 2016, this stood at $9 billion. If you want an insurance company who has history and finances that suggest continued success for another century, Thrivent Financial is certainly showing all the signs of being a superb choice.
Thrivent Financial Ratings
A.M. Best – With the strong finances we’ve already seen in the first section, this ratings section could be the most redundant we’ve ever written when it comes to our life insurance reviews. However, we feel compelled to inform you of their A++ rating with A.M. Best. If you aren’t well-versed with the ratings from A.M. Best, A++ is the very best rating and it’s not one you’ll see too often.
With all life insurance companies, we advise at least an A- (sometimes B++, if the company is strong) but normally they settle at A or A+. Nowadays, it’s very rare for A.M. Best to give their best rating but it pays complement to the company’s strong financial position. Not only does the company have this rating now, it’s had it for over two decades which means it’s one of the most trustworthy life insurance providers in the industry.
Fitch – Following up on this strong rating, we have Fitch who agree with A.M. Best from a credit point of view and have given a rating of AA+. Considered ‘Very Strong’, this is the second-highest rating from a total of 19 and it suggests overall financial security. For us, as customers, it means they don’t have any issues paying all liabilities and claims.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) – Finally, we always like to look at the customer service side of a business and the BBB gives us an opportunity to do this. Judging companies on various criteria, including customer complaints and their activity in the market, the BBB gives a rating based on a score from 0-100.
For Thrivent Financial, they are an accredited business and their rating is A+ which is the best possible. On the aforementioned scale, they fall in somewhere above 97 and this should give you even more confidence in choosing the company. Although this top score with the BBB is less rare than the highest score with A.M. Best, it’s still a positive sign.
Products offered by Thrivent Financial
Over the years, individually and as a combined company, Thrivent Financial has been developing their products and now offer annuities, individual retirement accounts, mutual funds, and life insurance policies. Today, we’re going to assess all your options with a particular focus on life insurance so you can protect yourself as well as your family moving forward.
Thrivent Financial Life Insurance
Thrivent has a good selection of life insurance policies. When you are considering coverage it is important to understand the differences between term vs whole life insurance in order to get a proper understanding of what does what.
Term Life Insurance
Starting with term life insurance, Thrivent Financial allows you to choose between 10, 15, 20, and 30 years. Generally speaking, this is initially the most affordable life insurance you can buy that offers a lump sum death benefit paid to your beneficiary so long as you keep paying premiums and you pass away within the term. If you outlive the term, the policy comes to an end and you lose the protection.
Although they don’t provide access to face amount details or other figures online, you can fill out an online form to receive a fast life insurance quote. After entering your gender, rate type (tobacco or non-tobacco), residential state, and some other details, you’ll receive a quote online for their term life insurance policy.
For the duration of your policy, the premium will stay exactly the same and you’ll also have opportunities to convert your term life to a more permanent solution should you think it necessary at any point.
Permanent Life Insurance
Thrivent offers both types of permanent life insurance: universal and whole life.
Whole Life Insurance
With the first permanent policy, it’s the most basic form you’ll find and it allows a death benefit to reach your beneficiary when you die. With Thrivent Financial, the death benefit, premiums, and cash value are all guaranteed. Over time, the policy will accumulate cash value growth.
You can borrow against your cash value by taking out a life insurance loan. Loans are a great tool and provide income tax free access to your cash value for whatever purpose you desire, including investing in passive income opportunities.
The policy is participating whole life so you may even have an opportunity to earn dividends during the life of the policy. Dividends can be used to grow your death benefit through the purchase of paid-up additions.
Whole Life Insurance Plus Term Protection
If you’re feeling a little confused by the name of this policy, you aren’t alone but it’s actually the perfect hybrid of term life and whole life insurance coverage. If you know you need something more permanent than term life but you don’t want to sacrifice the death benefit, combining term life and whole life into one policy is a great option.
Over time, the policy will accumulate cash value growth. Although the growth rate is a little slower than the previous policy we assessed, it’s still useful to have and may just provide a use. Finally, you may earn dividends which could end up paying for the term protection itself.
Universal Life Insurance
As you may know, universal life insurance is generally seen as the most flexible option for those who want a permanent policy. Along with the cash value building as time goes on, the universal life option from Thrivent Financial allows all policyholders to make adjustments as their life changes.
If you have spare cash, you can choose to pay more premiums, while paying less in times of trouble is also an option. If money gets really tight, you might even be able to skip a payment (this will affect your cash value and maybe even the death benefit). If you have children, see them go off to college, buy a car, move home, and experience life as most do, this flexible way of purchasing insurance can be ideal.
Variable Universal Life Insurance
Although similar to the previous option, there’s one key difference in that the cash value builds after you choose from a number of managed investment sub-accounts, similar to mutual funds. With the premium payments flexible as before, the investment selections will depend on your tolerance to risk.
If you’re younger and have more time, you might go for a aggressive portfolio and allow the money to grow faster over time. If you’re older, you might want the money to grow at a slower, more conservative rate. Or vice versa. It is your choice as you choose where to allocate your premiums. Just be aware that you are directly investing in the markets via the sub-accounts and there is risk involved. You could lose your money, including your principle.
Disability Income Insurance
Thrivent is one of the best disability insurance companies in the country. Disability insurance is one of the unsung heroes of the insurance world. The statistics show that 1 in 4 twenty year olds will become disabled by the time they reach retirement. And disability is very expensive, wreaking havoc on households across the U.S.
One of the ways to combat the financial ruin associated with disability is to protect your livelihood with individual long term disability income insurance, which provides income replacement when you become totally or partially disabled. If you are disabled, the policy pays out a monthly income benefit for a determined benefit period. The benefit period can be as short as 1 year or last up to age 67, or conditionally to age 75.
Check out our DI Guide for more answer to why you need disability insurance.
Individual Retirement Account
First, an IRA with is a tax-advantaged account and one that allows regular contributions. After initially investing, your money will be invested in several ways whether this comes through mutual funds, annuities, bonds, or stocks. If you need help with this process, Thrivent Financial has financial representatives at the end of the phone just waiting to provide advice for your unique position.
In a similar way, the insurance provider can also provide assistance if you need to save some money. With the Thrivent mutual funds, you can choose from a variety of options depending on whether you have a conservative or aggressive approach. As with an IRA, your investment will go towards a selection of opportunities but the main focus will always be on stocks and bonds.
At Thrivent Financial, you have a group of professionals who’ll take control of your money and ensure you don’t have to think about it every single day. Every so often, you can assess your assets and talk to a financial representative about any action you might want to take.
Annuities are another way to save money but this time to provide a stream of income in retirement. Over time, your money will grow until you eventually have enough to provide a steady income stream when you retire. At all times, you’ll remain in control of when you want to take your income as well as how you wish to take it. You have two options with Thrivent Financial annuities;
Immediate Annuities – With this first option, you can invest a lump sum of money and you’ll start seeing a return immediately. From the very beginning, you select whether you want to receive payment until a specific date or until death. As soon as the money has been invested, it turns into income and allows you to plan ahead. With several payout options available, this policy may also pay a death benefit but it depends on your choices.
Deferred Annuities – Secondly, this is an annuity that allows you to invest now before then seeing the benefit when you retire. In the meantime, the money will grow on a tax-deferred basis. Within this policy, you have numerous options including the single-premium deferred fixed annuity, fixed index annuity, flexible-premium deferred fixed annuity, flexible-premium deferred variable annuity, deferred income annuity, and the managed account variable annuity.
With each offering benefits and drawbacks, you’ll need to see which one best meets your needs so you can enjoy a healthy and happy retirement.
Although these are the main options, there’s also some specialized policies depending on your needs including Long-Term Care Insurance and Medicare Supplement Insurance.
With life insurance, the benefit normally comes after death but what about when you’re still alive? With the Disability Income Insurance policy, a portion of your income will be replaced if you happen to experience sickness or a serious injury.
With Long-Term Care Insurance, you can protect your family and have care in place if it’s needed as you get older.
Finally, the Medicare Supplement Insurance does exactly as the name suggests. If there are certain expenses not covered under Medicare, this policy steps in and this includes coinsurance and deductibles.