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Thrivent Financial Review

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best...

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UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018

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Originally created as an aid organization for members of the Lutheran Church, Thrivent Financial has grown to become a major financial planning option that recently opened to all Christian denominations. As a non-profit organization, Thrivent operates differently from many financial institutions and is the largest fraternal benefit organization in the country.

Thrivent Financial Summary

In 1902, after several years of planning, The Aid Association for Lutherans in Wisconsin and Other States received a charter and began operations in Appleton, Wisconsin. Up until the 1960s, membership was limited to those who were members of a particular Lutheran denomination, the Missouri Synod, and Lutherans in fellowship. In the 1960s membership was opened to all Lutherans, and not until 2014 was it opened to Christians of any denomination.

Thrivent Financial was officially formed in 2002 with the merger of the original Aid Association for Lutherans and the Lutheran Brotherhood, another non-profit organization. The organization today is a Fortune 500 company offering a range of long-term planning insurance and financial products to members.

As a fraternal organization, Thrivent has over 1,400 chapters (although these are legally called lodges, Thrivent does not use this term). Each chapter makes local decisions on use of resources to provide aid to their communities. Among their charitable works, Thrivent supports Habitat for Humanity and sponsors scholarships.

Currently, Thrivent offers a range of products that includes life insurance, disability and long-term care insurance, Medicare supplement insurance, mutual funds, and annuities.

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Products

Thrivent provides products intended to help members prepare for the future, including a few insurance products as well as retirement planning.

Life Insurance

Thrivent writes both term and permanent life insurance products. The website provides a life insurance calculator as well as online quoting to help members determine who much coverage they need and quickly calculate costs.

Term Life products are designed to provide coverage for a specific period of time. Thrivent policies include the option to convert the policy to permanent at the end of the term.

Permanent Life products from Thrivent come in four forms:

  • Whole Life – guaranteeing death benefits and steady premium payments
  • Blended Life – combining features of whole and term life insurance to provide long-term coverage that is more budget friendly
  • Universal Life – allowing flexible premium payments, guaranteed death benefits, and the option to build cash value
  • Variable Universal Life – flexible payment options and a choice of investment portfolios to build cash value

Other Insurance Products

Thrivent has three additional types of insurance products, all aimed at providing care for the future. The available products are:

  • Disability Income Insurance – providing financial assistance in the event of a disability
  • Long-Term Care Insurance – assisting with the financial aspects of long-term health care needs
  • Medicare Supplement Insurance – helping cover medical costs that are not provided for under Medicare plans

Retirement Planning

Annuities

Thrivent offers a range of annuity options to provide a steady income for the future and the present. Both immediate and deferred annuities are available to meet the particular savings and income needs of members.

Retirement Savings

In addition to Annuities, Thrivent also offers other retirement savings products. Both IRA (Individual Retirement Account) and Mutual Fund options are available.

Thrivent offers Traditional and Roth IRA options and a variety of Mutual Funds to choose from. Managed Accounts are available to assist those who want professional guidance in selecting the right financial products and options.

Thrivent Financial Rates

Thrivent is a member-driven non-profit organization, which as a general rule, should point to affordable premiums for their insurance products.

A quick quote on the company website for a 20-year term life insurance policy with a $250,000 death benefit comes back at $25.16 per month for a 30-year-old non-smoking male living in California. That’s a reasonable rate for a relatively long-term policy with a decent death benefit.

As with all life insurance products, rates will vary greatly based on age, health status, and other factors, so it’s important to compare rates carefully based on personal needs.

Thrivent Membership

Thrivent is a membership-based organization, therefore those who wish to purchase their products must become a member. There are two types of membership.

Benefit Member

This level of membership is gained by application and by purchasing a Thrivent insurance product or an annuity product.

Associate Member

This level of membership is gained by application, $19.95 yearly fee, purchasing a product from a Thrivent affiliate, or by joining the Thrivent Credit Union.

Membership is open to Christians, spouses of Christians, and children being raised in the Christian faith. Members have access to a variety of benefits including discounts, fee services, and educational resources.

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Consumer Research and Complaints

Thrivent Financial has been Better Business Bureau accredited since 1999 and has an A+ rating, with only eight complaints having been reported in the last three years. Of the eight complaints, two have been closed in the past 12 months.

There are few reviews of Thrivent out there to be found. As with most companies, there are some negative reviews, mainly by people frustrated with procedures. Even these are very minimal, particularly for a company of this size.

The limited number of reviews is possibly based on the fact that the products sold by Thrivent are not those that are dealt with on a regular basis. Life insurance, annuities, and investments are all things people might pay into but not modify often. Unlike other types of insurance, where claims are more common, these types of products can see reduced interaction with customers resulting in less opportunity for a negative experience.

Financial Strength

Rating Company Grade Financial Outlook
AM Best A++ Stable
Fitch AA+ Stable
S&P N/A N/A

Bottom Line

Thrivent Financial is a good choice for those who need long-term planning insurance and financial products and are seeking a company that matches their personal religious beliefs. As they offer products only to people of the Christian faith, they are obviously not an option for anyone who is not a member of this religious group.

The company has a strong reputation and is financially secure, making them a strong bet for those who do fit the customer profile and who are in search of a different sort of financial services company from the for-profit financial institutions.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Review Information

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Thrivent Financial
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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

39 Comments

  1. My mother had an annuity with Thrivent. On her passing in Sept 2018, I was informed verbally and in writing by her agent that the funds would earn 3% interest until withdrawn and suggested I consider holding the funds at Thrivent for tax planning purposes.

    I did for five months, then asked for a payout in Feb 2019. The funds came with no interest paid.

    I contacted the agent three times over three weeks before getting a response that corporate would reply.

    Corporate did, saying they had on a recorded line that my agent was misinformed by corporate of the 3% rate.

    Corporate said the policy didn’t require payment and there was nothing they could do about it. I asked to have the case revisited by a manager.

    That was three weeks ago. No response. I have filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance.

    It is only $735, but I feel very poorly treated by Thrivent in this situation.

    Reply
  2. I had a life insurance policy with Thrivent on my husband who died suddenly of a massive heart attack back in 2000. As soon as I gave my rep the death certificate, it was paid promptly. I have had nothing but good experiences with Thrivent, the reps explain everything to me and show me the written verbiage in the policy. I receive monthly income on investments and whenever I’ve had a question, they are quick to respond.

    Reply
  3. I’ve been investing with [Redacted] of Thrivent for 10 years, and not once has she been in touch to review my portfolio. Happy to take my money and charge me fees, but can’t bother reaching out to give advice when I’ve been investing nearly 50K at a measly 2% return. Part my responsibility b/c it is my money, but really that’s what I’ve paid her to do too.

    I’m withdrawing my funds to invest elsewhere, in a different vehicle. Would not recommend.

    Reply
  4. The parent companies of Thrivent have been involved in previous lawsuits. I am considering initiating one myself. I would appreciate hearing from the many disgruntled people who also have had problems dealing with Thrivent. Send comments to my email listed below. Dr. Charles Dickson

    Reply
    • My problem was resolved so that is fine now BUT on another level~a big policy was aged out. I understand about the poor economy over the last 8 yrs, but why not just tell us and let us make a bigger payment rather than saying it would no longer be in force at 78? My fathers was to run out at 86 but because of the economy in his day, it was still in force at 92 and paid out well.

      Reply
    • We had a very difficult time during my husband’s illness, Parkinson’s among others, getting any help from Thrivent. Their customer service people were rude and of no assistance. Of his $170.000 fund, we spent $6,000 due to their outrageous, convoluted rules written for the benefit of the company. The salesman did not explain any of these caveats when we purchased the policy and refused to take my calls. Now I need some help, in-home, due to a broken foot but am told I have to pay for 90days of help before they will begin to pay, then need a doctor’s certification that I am disabled. There is a clause stating that if a licensed Health Care Practitioner has, with a 12 month period preceding that day, (what day?) certifies that the person has a physical impairment to last at least 90 days, but it doesn’t say anything else.I am about to go to my attorney, call my Congressmen and anything else to bring this company around. They keep a client’s fund separately but then, if not used, they abscond with it. It’s our money but they act like it’s theirs. They could keep the interest, but refund the premiums not used. It’s white-collar theft and they get away with it because they are a brotherhood. I would never have done business with this company.

      Reply
      • I have a long term care rider on an annuity with Thrivent also and was told up front and its also clearly written in my policy that payment for care wouldn’t start until a 90 day period is up. Meaning I would be paying for the first 90 days.

        Reply
    • I am working on a long-term care insurance benefit dispute for 9 months now. Thrivent refuses to pay the claim even though my mother is coming to the end of her life and is totally disabled. I received a letter today stating that Thrivent does not have to justify their reasons for not paying the claim.
      I attempted to resolve the claim through the Pennsylvania Dept of Insurance who did nothing but recommend we get an attorney. I also Issued a claim with the Better Business Bureau… another complete waste of time. Thrivent pays the BBB to post an A+ rating.
      Today I sent my dispute to the Attorney General’s office.
      Please… let’s not let this unethical organization take our parent’s money and then hide behind red tape and ambiguity when it is time for a payout. Has anyone contacted the Lutheran Synod to find out who is promoting these crooks? Does the Lutheran Synod know that Thrivent is not paying their claims?

      Reply
      • I am thinking about investing with Thrivent. My friend claims she always makes money with them. Can this be true?

        Reply
        • If you read the reviews, they speak for themselves.

          Reply
        • We invest with Thrivent because the profit comes back to the people. We both claim 2 Action cards a year for fundraisers etc. so that is a return of $500 each for our community.

          Reply
        • We invested with Thrivent and continually lost money. I would be very careful and consider other companies before giving Thrivent any money. When we invested, we were not given any counsel, just told to pick funds what we wanted. After several years of losses, we switched.

          Reply
          • You assume a lot not being present in the situation. We went to church with this person and felt he was a friend and would do the best for us. He and his son trolled the congregation and when it was not profitable, moved on to another Lutheran Church. Emotion had nothing to do with it. Statements mailed show the amounts invested and the returns so please don’t assume you know what happened in this case. This company does not widely circulate that they are a “brotherhood” and not subject to the same rules as are insurance companies. If it hadn’t been for another company’s rep looking at our statements, we would be broke by now looking at the returns on the funds invested in. There is nothing positive that I can say about Thrivent. If you read all the comments posted here and earlier, you see there are very few positive ones.

        • Of course not: Investments are not “guaranteed”. They have guaranteed but they are not “Investments”. If ANYONE tries to tell you their investment always makes money, including Thrivent, run the other way…they are lying. Your friend is talking “long-term”…3, 5, 7yrs. Any idiot that put money investing since the “crash” of 2008-2009 had better-made money. You should listen to your financial advisor-not your friends. Seriously. People invest on emotion and do stupid things. An advisor will look at facts, not emotion.

          Reply
          • The “investments” were made back in 1994. The person who sold us on what was then Lutheran Brotherhood gave us no advise, just said pick some funds. All he did was talk about his million dollars. No one ever contacted us until the time we sold the funds on the advice of another company whose rep was interested in whether we made money and put us in great funds.

          • Shame on that rep. As we both know, there is always another side of the coin: returns are dependent on the underlying portfolio. Small company stock portfolio’s return what small co’s return. Corporate Bond funds return what corp. bonds return. Funny to me, though, that you freely contacted another company but did not contact the company that your money was with for the “real” story. Way too many registered reps will move money to pad their own pockets without really telling you “why” your fund returned what it did. My experience is that people did not remember what they put in and reinvested or not or what kind of market they were in and it was only “emotion” or “perception” that gave them the sense their return was not good. My bet is the same here.

        • I have invested many thousands of dollars and I have only lost money.

          Plus the cost of what they charge me to “manage” my money, I have lost thousands. I would absolutely not recommend.

          Reply
      • Has this been resolved?

        Reply
    • My Mother paid for decades for LTC and when it came time to use it we found it was short $120 a DAY for LTC and we would have had to pay for 90 days before it would kick in the $60 a day the policy was to pay. She was not aware she did not have enough coverage that was going to be of value. When I got involved I had to cancel this policy of 20 plus years of payments because it was $70 a month for Nothing. The cheapest nursing home charged $5518 a month and after paying for 90 days herself they would then supposedly start paying her $1860 of the $5518 a month she would have to pay $3658 a month for 3 years the policy would last. She did not know about the 3 years either. She thought they would take care of her to EOL. She only makes $2900 in pension retirement. She is short. She also makes to much for Medicare. And she has another policy for Burial that Medicare says I must spend down. If I need help they do not provide legal advice. If I call Thrivent They say they can not talk to me over the phone. I send it POA and they say they need a Durable POA. Which My Mom would have to sign. She has Dementia. She cannot legally sign. I must go get a Guardianship. My county will not do a guardianship without a lawyer. Medicare is saying I am taking to long and she is rejected for over $2000 limit and I can not cash out policies that would cover her burial to get it off her resources and Was told I/We could not have cash it out for the last 5 years either without owing Medicare all that money?
      What the HeII has happened to this world where someone, not a trained legal and Insurance expert, lay person can not pre plan her EOL without all these Traps that make any purchase to cover expected expenses WORTHLESS when you need them? Where are Our people that are supposed to be watching out for us? Taking Kickbacks? Why is this not Main street media knowledge already and why is it dealt with in private and stays private and let the next fool learn the hard way like myself?
      Thrivent is supposedly more experts about this type of thing, LTC and should know of all the problems that are going to happen before they happened. But said nothing and all have words to tell us when we call them.
      We can not provide Legal advice.
      We can not provide anyone but the policy holding Info. Even when that person is now demented and unable to deal with finances NOW or 20 years ago intelligently when she bought this Worthless pile of insurance without intellectual information she should have had back then to know of all this mess in the future. This is how they make Billions of us by not ever having to pay out. Just receive check from ignorant people who mean good, and who do not want to leave a burden and try their best to pre-plan and Pay and pay and pay for Nothing. Absolutely Nothing. Insurance is of NO USE ever and a Big Scam and rip-off the government MUST know about already and lets it go on.

      Reply
      • I believe every word. The state of paying for long-term care today is a mess. As far as “90-day wait” and “only $60/day”, those numbers are plainly written on the very first page of documentation and anybody can plainly read them. Another side here, though. LTC insurance is never to pay “all” Expenses (Why? no one can afford the premium…your Mom’s premium would have been 3x what it was to get $120 more a day and she clearly cannot afford $210 a month.) LTC should be bought for 3 reasons: keep from liquidating an estate meant for kids or charities, to have a choice of facilities to use as a policy will get one into the best homes-Medicaid dependent will not as they pay home only a fraction of cost, and allow you time (3yrs) to get past the “lookback” period on transferring assets to you. It used to be 3 or 5yrs but it keeps getting longer). Unfortunately, the policy can only pay out what she paid for in coverage. It may have been enough 30+yrs ago when they came out, but unless she either paid a lot extra for COLA or had an estate that was expected to grow to cover the difference in nursing home costs, $60/day is dogmeat today. Example: New car costs on 1985 were $5500: today $25,000. Had she put a COLA of 5% inflation on her contract it would have covered her fully or more reasonably-so the fault here is NOT the LTC contract itself. The fault here is should she have accepted an LTC contract and was she a viable candidate for it. That I cannot turn back the clock for and hear her reasons for buying it. There are legitimate reasons for her purchase and there are a number of reasons she should not have purchased it.

        Reply
  5. They have no time frame for transferring money. You can turn your paperwork for an IRA transfer and it can take months.WTH? After this, I will move all my money. My poor rep has no knowledge, he is their puppet.
    This simple task is a nightmare! Why would they make things complicated.?

    Reply
  6. I have been having so many problems with Thrivent not being totally clear on what is being sold. A perfect example. I was told that if I take an annutiy out of another financial agency that it will guarantee make more in Thrivent. I took a 17K penaly for early surrender and then was told that it was awfull the length of time the surrender periods last only to find that Thrivent was two years longer. by the way I barely broke even and thats with a soaring market.

    Reply
  7. My complaint is minor but still annoying to me. I took out a Thrivent policy and assumed it would be an automatic draw on the same date as my other Thrivent products. Could of adjusted to another date but didn’t give it any thought as the paperwork(nurse ) had to come yet. She did come and couldn’t take blood so had to wait almost a month before the right one could come. BUT once I signed the papers, very shortly after they pulled the $191 from my account. Wasn’t expecting that so 3 small checks came thur and now was overdrawn. Till the message came in the mail my bill was $75@!#$!$!#$. I want my money back! If they already are drawing my money why did I need to be bothered with the nurses and TWICE too yet because they didn’t send the right one the first time. My time is worth money too. I contacted my agent and altho he has been very good in the past, all I get is, I’m working with the home office”.

    Reply
    • UPDATE
      After many calls etc. I did get a refund of the charges and $25 gift card for my troubles so I am again happy.

      Reply
  8. My Dad had a life Ins policy with Thrivent it was payed up when he turned 75. NO one from the company contacted him now he is 86 and the policy for 50,000 is no good they had been taking money from him every month since he was 75 now as of 10-5-17 he can cash it out for 1,086.00 Thrivent is crooked thank GOD I cashed mine in years ago! Now he has no life ins. SHAME ON YOU !!! Thrivent ! CHRISTIAN HA !!!!

    Reply
    • My Mom passed away and we were told the value of her account and what the payout would be. I received a Check for @ half the amount I was expecting along with a letter that said the amount was misquoted. Sorry for any inconvieniece. No phone call no explanation. Worst customer service and business practices in my opinion. Avoid them at all costs.

      Reply
  9. My mom just passed away so we called to go over the policies we had from Thrivent. We were told we would get a call back. Never received a call. My husband called again and was told to leave a message and [Redacted] would call back. No call once again. I sent an email and there was a generic response, no apology for not calling, nothing. We are so disappointed with this company and their customer service. We are now looking to move all of our accounts to another company. My mom had policies with Vanguard and they went out of their way to help. Thrivent’s customer service is horrendous.

    Reply
    • I would be happy to help.

      Reply
  10. Thrivent has been harassing my wife for over 3 years for an apparent policy that they claim her parents took out on her when she was 6 months old. The first she knew of any policy is when Thrivent sent a threatening letter demanding payment and had bill collectors calling our home. Both of my wife’s parents have passed and Thrivent claims they had not made all the payments on the policy. Thrivent has refused to correspond with our insurance adviser and declined to send my wife a copy of the policy that they say she is responsible for payments on.
    This is a bad company. Do not do business with them.

    Reply
    • I would suggest reaching out to a local representative. I find them able to answer my questions and past information you are requesting. I have received nothing but above expectations from our local rep. Best of luck, sounds like a sad situation all around.

      Reply
    • Sorry. any insurance company, including Thrivent, would not “send bill collectors” if the premium was not paid. Contract language says it can be “surrendered”, “Lapsed”, or something like “extended term insurance”. An insurance “contract” is a contract that when you pay, the company promises xxx…you don’t pay, there is no xxx. It is not a “bill” or services rendered, it is payment in ADVANCE. I was in the life insurance business for 30yrs and had thousands of policies with many different companies and NOT ONE bill collector!

      Reply
  11. After a year of paying out on my mothers Long-Term Nursing Claim, Thrivent has stopped. They continuously change their minds of what they require within the Plan of Care from the Nursing Home. This has been going on for 4-5 months now, with at least 6 different versions of the Nursing Plan of Care being submitted. Not only is this experience frustrating, expensive to now start paying Nursing Home expenses directly, they expect my mother and father to re-start paying the LT Care Premiums while we go through the appeals/Membership Resolution Process. The Claims Examiners lie/change their minds constantly to avoid paying out! Lawyer-Up people! 17 Years of paying premiums and now they want more years of premium payments to avoid paying out! Snakes!

    Reply
    • It has taken an escalation to one of three Senior Regional Vice Presidents in the entire company. This individual reviewed all the information related to my mother claim, supported our justification for her to return “back on claim” and receive payment on her LT Nursing Care Insurance. I am happy to say this very senior leader was able to reinstate my mother, with all back-invoices (4 – months) paid in less than a week.

      Moral of the story……Escalate jointly with your agent. The Claims Department and leadership need help in serving their Customers.

      Reply
  12. Thrivent is the Worst company I’ve ever had to deal with. They are lying [Redacted] who use deceitful business practices. I’ve been waiting a month for a payout that am told each day will be in my account “Tomorrow”. Customer service and claims people are [Reducted] who duck from accepting calls and keep saying they don’t have what they need to process the claim. The last lie was them saying they didn’t have my checking account info, but they did. In fact, they deducted a fee from my account three days prior. Stay away from Thrivent.

    Reply
    • My mom purchased long term care in 2000 and when she needs it, she can’t get it– Thrivent states that a “granddaughter” is IMMEDIATE family and will not pay for immediate family to get paid. My mom doesn’t want to go into an assisted living or nursing home, she would love to stay in her home where she is comfortable and well taken care of with her own money. When my mom purchased this piece of paper AAL gave her a book that stated family members can get paid taking care of the insured but………………… They still continue to make her pay for her piece of paper but won’t take care of her. It is sad for me that this was a Christian business not taking care of the elderly. Don’t buy Long Term care–

      Reply
      • I’m not currently a Thrivent agent and know nothing about your policy specifics but I will say family typically will not be paid for care, yet in some cases can receive a portion of the benefits paid out. But if she is indeed in need of care, and cannot perform 2 activities of daily living she should qualify to have premiums waived for now. Instead of complaining to the company I recommend speaking to an intelligent agent that specializes in long term care like myself or your current thrivent agent.
        Although we wouldn’t be paid to review your policy, it is our job and we’d be happy to do it.
        Cheers!

        Reply
        • I have heard recently – at least here in NYC that family members can be paid to take care of a spouse or relative. It may stem from so many companies popping up and not having ‘caring staff’ that family has to quit their job to care for someone….and it is a lotless expensive to stay in your own home

          Reply
          • Sorry- that’s New York State

        • Our parents paid for years for this type of coverage. My dad passed away at 93 and never needed it as my mom was able to care for him during the time his health declined. However, she is now 92 and in assisted living after suffering a fall and then another fall after moving into assisted living. She is unable to self-administer her meds and would not be able to care for herself independently. However, Thrivent denies any support, claiming she does not qualify. We have gone through many hoops and experienced much confusion and delays in hearing back, etc. We are very disappointed in Thrivent, to say the least.

          Reply

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