We take for granted the amount of investment and insurance companies that we have today. However, accessible and affordable life insurance was not always the norm. Organizations like Thrivent Financial began as proto welfare societies to aid their members.
As time went by, these welfare aid societies evolved into full-service life insurance companies that still hold true to the values that they were founded on. Our Thrivent Financial review will cover their history, but more importantly, is Thrivent Financial legit or a rip-off.
Here is a preview of some of the common Thrivent Financial questions we will answer:
Shall we begin?
Thrivent Financial History
In the early 1900s, there was no social safety net. If an accident or premature death happened, it could devastate a family financially. In the absence of any robust government program, mutual aid societies began to spring up to offer aid to their members in times of crisis.
In 1902, Aid Association for Lutherans (AAL) was chartered as a fraternal benefit society. Similarly, the Lutheran Brotherhood (LB) was formed in 1917. Both organizations were created to support their members who shared the common fraternal bond of Lutheranism.
Threw the years, both the AAL and the LB serviced the Lutheran community with mutual respect for each other. In 2001, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans was formed through the merger of AAL and LB.
After the merger, Thrivent Financial made the Fortune 500 list as a not-for-profit financial services company while continuing to support their member with even greater services than before.
In 2013, Thrivent members voted to overwhelmingly extend the common bond of membership beyond Lutherans to include all Christians. This was a historic decision that opened up an even bigger opportunity to serve the larger Christian community.
Thrivent Financial Ratings and Financial Strength
Is Thrivent a good investment company? While I cannot speak on individual investment products, the Thrivent Financial as a whole is in good financial shape.
A promise is only as good as the company backing it up. When considering an insurance company, you want a reliable insurer that is highly rated. Thrivent Financial is both reliable and highly rated.
AA+ (Very Strong)
Thrivent Financial received an A++ (Superior) rating from A.M. Best Company a third-party rating company. You cannot do better than A++, which is the highest of 16 ratings from A.M. Best.
If you want a second opinion, Fitch has awarded Thrivent Financial an AA+ (Very Strong) rating as well. Additionally, Thrivent Financial has a Comdex ranking of 99 out of 100, which is a composite of all the ranking Thrivent Financial has received.
It is safe to say that Thrivent Financial has an iron-clad balance sheet. From a customer service standpoint, Thrivent is solid as well. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has accredited and awarded Thrivent Financial a rating of A+
Is Thrivent Financial only for Lutherans?
Thrivent Financial was only for Lutherans in the past, but not anymore. Today, as long as you are a Christian, you can apply to be a Thrivent Member and have access to their products and services.
Thrivent Life Insurance Solutions
Thrivent offers its members many services ranging from banking and investment products to various insurance solutions. The bulk of our Thrivent Financial Review will be their flagship life insurance products specifically, but we’ll touch on the other products and services as well.
Thrivent Financial Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance changed the life insurance game making it affordable to purchase high death benefit amounts for temporary needs like mortgage protection. Thrivent Offers level term coverage in 10, 15, 20, and 30 years.
With level term life insurance, your monthly premium is locked in for the term period that you select. As long as you keep making your monthly payment, the life insurance company cannot cancel your life insurance or raise your premiums during the term period you select.
Thrivent’s term life insurance also has a built-in conversion option to convert to permanent life insurance. This means that you can exchange your temporary term policy with a permanent policy like whole life without having to redo underwriting.
Thrivent Whole Life Insurance
Whole life is as old school as life insurance can get. As the name suggests, whole life covers you for your entire life and is a permanent life insurance solution. Whole life is useful in situations where you need the death benefit to pay, like final expenses or estate planning.
Whole life’s cash value also comes in handy if you need money in a pinch. Your money grows tax-deferred, and you can take tax-free loans against the cash value. Also, Thrivent’s whole life is a participating whole life that is eligible to receive non-guaranteed dividends.
These dividend payments are not guaranteed but can be considered reliable. You have a few options with your dividend, such as lowering your premium. However, reinvesting the dividends in paid-up additions is a popular option since they grow both your death benefit and cash value.
In addition to reinvesting your paid-up additions to increase your death benefits, you can also add on a guaranteed purchase option (GPO rider) or guaranteed increase option (GIO). These option riders allow you to purchase more insurance without evidence of insurability in the future.
These riders are great for people who are just starting out and do not want to “over insure.” We see it all the time. Life happens, and you have another child or unexpectedly move and have a larger mortgage. Flexibility is never a bad thing.
Thrivent Whole Life Features:
Thrivent also offers a blended solution of whole life insurance with term life combined into one contract. This mix of term and permanent life insurance is a good way to sure up your long-term and short-term life insurance needs on a budget.
Thrivent Universal Life Insurance
Universal life insurance is another form of permanent life insurance. However, universal life insurance is all about flexibility. Whole life is very rigid. You have a set payment that usually needs to be paid for life in exchange for the strong guarantees.
Thrivent universal life insurance offers flexible premium payments that can be increased or decreased as needed. For example, you can even skip a premium if things get tight as long as the contract has sufficient fund in it.
However, you need to be careful. If you skip too many premiums, the policy could be underfunded and lapse in the future. Therefore you should review your policy periodically to make sure that it is in good shape.
Thrivent Variable Life Insurance
Variable universal life insurance is similar to universal life insurance except that you can choose to invest your cash value in several professionally managed subaccounts in stock or bonds.
These subaccounts act like mutual funds, and they can potentially increase your cash value growth if you can tolerate the risk of the stock market. Your cash value grows tax-deferred and can be accessed through tax-free withdrawals and loans if needed.
Variable universal life insurance can be a complex insurance product. You should review the details of your policy carefully. If the market does not perform as anticipated, your policy may be underfunded and lapse. Therefore it is wise to review your policy annually or bi-annually.
Other Thrivent Insurance and Investment Solutions
Thrivent offers a number of different investment and insurance solutions for its members ranging from mutual funds, IRAs, and disability insurance to health products like long-term care insurance and Medicare insurance.
Thrivent Disability Insurance
Disability insurance is a crucial, but often overlooked part of one’s financial plan. If you become sick or injured and are unable to work, this insurance replaces a portion of your wages. Believe it or not, the odds of you become disabled are actually higher than death and house fire!
Disability insurance can be complicated. The language in the contracts can vary. Everyone can agree on when someone is dead. Not everyone can agree when someone is disabled.
If you are passionate about your Christianity, it can be noble to support an organization that shares your values. However, depending on your profession it may make sense to compare the marketplace first before making a final decision.
Thrivent Long-term Care Insurance
Long-term care functions similarly to disability insurance. While disability insurance replaces your income while you are working if you become disabled, long-term care focuses on when care is needed for greater than 90 days or for chronic illness later, usually later in life.
When you can no longer do two out of six daily activities of living (see below) or have a cognitive impairment expected to last 90 days or longer, this insurance creates a pool of money to help care for you while you recover.
The Six Activities of Daily Living:
Thrivent Medicare Supplements
Medicare is a federal health insurance entitlement program that offers healthcare to seniors that meet the eligibility requirements. However, many people are shocked to learn that Medicare doesn’t cover 100% of medical care.
Medicare supplement insurance (Medigap insurance) picks up the out-of-pocket expenses that Medicare doesn’t cover such as deductibles or coinsurance. However, if the charge is not covered by Medicare than the supplement will not pick it up, for example, hearing aids.
Since these plans are highly regulated by the government, they all have identical benefits. To evaluate if you have a good plan, you want to focus on the financial strength of the insurance company and the cost of the plan itself, which can vary considerably.
Thrivent also offers annuities to its members. Annuities provide guaranteed pension-like income to you that you can never outlive. Life insurance is for if you die too soon, but annuities are for if you live forever.
Thrivent offers different types of annuities depending on what you are looking to accomplish. You can take income now, income later, principal protection, or tax deferral.
Thrivent Annuity Options:
Thrivent Financial Mutual Funds and Thrivent Financial Credit Union
Thrivent offers retail mutual fund investments to their members in brokerage accounts as well as retirement accounts like IRAs. A Mutual fund invests the money you use to buy fund shares usually in stocks or bonds.
You can purchase loaded shares of Thrivent’s mutual funds that pay the broker a commission or you can invest your money in fee accounts. Thrivent also has financial education available to help you make financial decisions.
Alternatively, you can use Thrivent Financial’s credit union for mortgage loan services as well. Thrivent Financial’s mutual fund performance and mortgage rates can fluctuate with the market.
The fees you pay to be in Thrivent’s investment and mortgage services are going towards an organization that furthers Christianity in America. If investing or banking with an organization that shares your values is important to you, then Thrivent Financial may be worth a look
How do Thrivent representatives get paid?
If you are going to put your trust in someone, you should at least be aware of how they are being compensated. Thrivent representatives are paid with product fees and commissions, which is the same way most brokers of insurance and investment products are paid.
A commission system is not necessarily a bad thing. If the commission were eliminated you, would still pay for the labor services one way or another. On the other hand, the fact that Thrivent can only offer you their insurance and investment products might be a conflict.
You see, while Thrivent may have some create insurance and financial service products, but it is difficult to be everything to everyone. If you have a pre-existing health condition or want no-exam term life insurance, Thrivent may not be your best option.
Final Thoughts: Is Thrivent Financial life insurance good or bad?
Thrivent is one of the largest fraternal benefit societies in the United States serving America’s Christian community with insurance, banking, and investment services.
A compelling reason for working with a fraternal organization, like Thrivent, is that you believe in the work that they do. Some people don’t mind paying a little bit more for their life insurance if they know that the proceeds are going towards a cause they believe in.
However, if your objective is to find the rock-bottom lowest price, then Thrivent may not be one of the best life insurance companies. It is worth it to compare the quotes from multiple life insurance companies, especially if you have an impairment that may affect your rates.
Thank you for reading our Thrivent Financial review. Please reach out to us with any questions.
FILED UNDER – INSURANCE COMPANY REVIEWS
Joe is a lifelong learner with a passion for sharing what he has learned with others. Joe has publicly spoken on life insurance in the past to both colleagues at industry conferences and to consumers in educational settings and as a contributor to industry blogs. Additionally, Joe is studying for certifications such as the CFP, CLU, and RICP to further his professional knowledge.