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Independent Review of Jackson National Life BonusMAX Annuity

What’s Covered In This Review

In this review we’ll cover the following information on the Jackson National Life BonusMAX Annuity:jacksonlife300
  • Product Type
  • Fees
  • Current Rates
  • Realistic long term return expectations
  • How it is used
  • How it is most poorly used

Annuities can be complex. That’s where having an Annuity Investigator who loves math comes in. We make the complex, simple.

If you’ve been thinking about going with a financial product that can provide you with guaranteed lifetime income in retirement, along with a set return and safety while you are still in your working years, then the Jackson National Life BonusMAX annuity could be a viable alternative for you. This annuity provides a number of nice benefits, along with certain guarantees. But, before you move forward with committing yourself to this annuity – or for that matter, to any annuity – it can be beneficial for you to have a more in-depth knowledge of just exactly how these products work, as well as how it may – or may not – fit in with your particular financial situation. Over the past several years, fixed annuities have catapulted in popularity – primarily because they can offer a safe harbor from market volatility, and they can offer a set amount of guaranteed lifetime income in the future. Because of the growing interest in these annuities, the number of financial and insurance advisors who offer them has also increased a great deal. But this is not particularly a positive thing. This is because, even though most financial and insurance agents will work to do what is best for their clients, they may not always be providing you with the more in-depth details that you need in order to make a well-informed annuity buying decision. Also, due to the vast amount of interest in annuities today, the list of annuity products that are now available has grown substantially. However, while more options may allow you to essentially “customize” your annuity, many of these product offerings can be extremely confusing to understand – even for well-educated consumers (and financial advisors). Given this, you should take some additional steps towards truly understanding what it is that you’re getting into before moving full force ahead with a fixed annuity purchase – especially because you may be using a large portion of your overall retirement savings in order to obtain one. Plus, once you have purchased an annuity, due to the high surrender charges, it can be quite costly to get out if you happen to change your mind and find a product that better suits your needs.

Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information that Can Be Trusted

If you have never visited our website before, we would like to officially welcome you to We are a team of highly experienced financial professionals who are dedicated to offering you comprehensive and unbiased annuity reviews. We have been providing these reviews for a number of years – and much longer than any of our competitors. This has made us a trusted source of annuity information. It is possible that you have been seeking annuity information on the Internet – and in your search, you have probably run across a lot of conflicting details. This is not at all surprising. There are many annuities available in the market today – and there are also many agents and companies that would love nothing more than to sell you one. It is also possible that you have recently attended a seminar or workshops that discussed annuities – and afterward, you still had some additional questions or concerns. That may even be what has ultimately led you to our website now. But, although there are a number of very good websites that are devoted to marketing their annuities online, some of these tend to lure visitors in by offering claims such as the following:
  • Highest payouts
  • Lowest fees
  • Guaranteed income for life
  • Top Annuity Companies
  • Get an Annuity Quote Now!
While these claims might sound very enticing, it is absolutely crucial that you first verify that they are true. This would be the case if you were going to purchase any other high-ticket item – and since an annuity could virtually require a large chunk of your retirement savings, you want to know that what you’re getting will perform. Finding out the relevant details, though, could require you to wade through stacks of annuity “fine print.” But, if you really want to find out more details regarding the Jackson National Life BonusMAX annuity – without having to go through all of the details with a fine tooth comb, then you are certainly in the right place. In fact, we dare say that the website you are on at the moment is the only place where you can find out all of the pertinent details – which includes not just the good, but also the possible drawbacks. All of this information is important, though, as you need to it know whether or not this annuity will be right for you. Typically, the insurance sales agents that offer fixed annuities will paint for you a nice, rosy picture of how their products provide safety of principal, along with a lifetime income stream. But, in doing so, they may also leave out the information on the product’s potential drawbacks – which can make a big difference. So, prior to moving forward and putting a sizeable chunk of your hard earned savings into one of these annuities, it is important for you to learn the whole story. Just to be perfectly clear before we forge ahead, though, we do want to note that a fixed annuity can be advantageous for many people – provided that they fit in with your overall financial needs and goals. With that in mind, it is key that you know what it is that you will be getting with this annuity, as well as why you may be picking it over a long list of other potential alternatives. This annuity review is here to help you with better understanding all of the “fine print” so that you have a much more clear knowledge of whether or not the Jackson National Life BonusMAX Annuity will be right for you in achieving your ultimate retirement goals. So, if you’re ready to begin, let’s go ahead and dive in! [desktoponly]

Jackson National Life BonusMAX Annuity

Product NameBonusMAX
IssuerJackson National Life Insurance Company
Type of ProductFixed Annuity
Standard & Poor's RatingAA (Very Strong)
Phone Number(877) 565-2968

Opening Thoughts on the Jackson National BonusMAX Annuity

Jackson National Life Insurance Company has been in business ever since 1961. Although the company began as a small family-owned business, over time Jackson National Life has grown into a multi-billion dollar organization. Today, Jackson National is considered to be the 8th largest U.S. life insurance company as ranked by total statutory assets, as well as the 16th largest U.S. life insurance company ranked by general account assets per SNL Financial. The company has also received a number of awards and accolades over the years, and most recently it was named as the number 2 seller of annuities in the United States (during HY 2016) by LIMRA, the number 11 largest seller of fixed rate deferred annuities in the U.S. (during HY 2016) by Morningstar, Inc., and the 18th largest seller of fixed index annuities in the U.S. (during HY 2016) by LIMRA. Jackson National Life Insurance Company has earned high ratings from the major insurer rating agencies, including:
  • A+ (Superior) from A.M. Best
  • AA (Very Strong) from Fitch Ratings
  • AA (Very Strong) from Standard & Poor’s
  • A1 (Good) from Moody’s Investors Service, Inc.
Due in large part to the stock market’s volatility over the past decade or so, the demand for fixed annuities has grown a great deal, generally as a way for retirees and/or those who are nearing retirement to keep their assets safe. However, on the other side of the coin, because of the historically low-interest rate environment that we have been in for nearly the past nine years or so, the return that is offered on fixed annuities have been extremely low. In fact, in most cases, the returns on these products aren’t even enough to meet or beat the rate of inflation. Because of this, your future purchasing power could be affected in a negative way. This is particularly true if you are planning to use this annuity for a major percentage of your retirement income stream.

Before we get into the gritty details, here are some necessary legal disclosures…

This is an independent annuity product review. It is not a recommendation to purchase or to sell an annuity. Jackson National Life Insurance Company has not endorsed this review in any way, nor do we receive any type of compensation for providing this review. This annuity review is meant solely to be an independent review at the request of our readers so that they may see our perspective when breaking down the positives and the negatives of this particular annuity. Prior to committing to the purchase of any type of insurance and/or investment vehicle, it is critical that you do your own due diligence, and that you also talk with a properly licensed professional if you have any questions that relate to your specific situation. All of the names, materials, and marks that have been used in compiling this annuity review are the property of their respective owners. For additional information on how to compare fixed annuities so that you can decide which may be the best one for you, contact us in order to obtain our free annuity report.

How Jackson National Life Insurance Company Describes the MAX Fixed Annuity

According to the Jackson National Life Insurance Company’s literature on the BonusMAX, this is a flexible premium deferred annuity that can provide the following features:
  • Principal preservation
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Your choice of interest rate guarantee periods
  • Tax-deferred interest accumulation
  • Options for guaranteed retirement income – including income for life
In breaking down the BonusMAX product, this annuity can help you to preserve and grow your nest egg in three specific ways. These include the following:
  • First Year Bonus – The BonusMAX annuity offers a first-year interest rate bonus in order to help you with boosting your annuity’s accumulated value over the years.
  • Competitive Interest Rates – You may elect to have your initial interest rate – excluding the first year bonus – guaranteed for one, three, or five years.
  • Tax Advantages – Interest in the annuity will accumulate free of current taxation until you withdraw it.
There are other features, too, which may allow you and/or a loved one to access funds from the annuity contract, such as:
  • Accelerated Benefit – If you suffer from a qualified medical condition, you may be able to withdraw up to 25% of the annuity’s accumulated value, without incurring a withdrawal charge.
  • Extended Care Benefit – If you – or the joint owner of the annuity – are confined to a nursing home due to medical necessity, or to the hospital, for 90 consecutive days, then you may be able to withdraw up to 100% of the accumulated contract value without incurring a withdrawal charge.
  • Terminal Illness Benefit – If you have been diagnosed with a medical condition with an anticipated life expectancy of 12 months or less, then you may be able to withdraw up to 100% of your annuity contract’s accumulated value, without incurring a withdrawal charge.
  • Death Benefit – The entire amount of your annuity’s accumulated value can be paid out to your beneficiaries, who can elect whether they want to take these funds all at once, or rather as a series of payments.

How a Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” the BonusMAX Annuity

The Jackson National Life BonusMAX annuity is a fixed annuity that can provide you with a fixed rate of interest on your money, along with the safety of principal, and a guaranteed lifetime income stream in retirement. If an insurance or financial advisor has contacted you about this particular annuity, it is likely that they will focus on the positive highlights about the annuity, but they may also leave out some of the features that are viewed as drawbacks to it. As you have more than likely noticed, insurance and financial companies do a fantastic job of ensuring that their products sound very enticing. For instance, by reading the above list of benefits on the Jackson National Life BonusMAX annuity, you very well could have thought that this would be an ideal product for you. It is important to point out, though, that if you are being offered this annuity – or any other annuity, for that matter – by a commissioned sales person, then he or she is very likely to explain the product to you, highlighting all of its positive attributes. But, when taking a closer look at this annuity’s “fine print,” it could actually tell a different story. For instance, when you read of some of the footnotes in the product’s brochure, several of the product’s benefits have conditions. For example:
  • First Year Bonus – While the first year bonus sounds great at first, the fine print will tell you that, “as a result of the first year bonus, rates in subsequent years will be lower.”
  • Competitive Interest Rates – And, with regard to the annuity’s interest rate, if you elect to go with the 3-year or the 5-year period, the rate that is credited to your account will be lower than if the extended guaranteed period has not been selected. Also, the 3- and the 5-year extended guarantee periods may not be available in all states. So, it is important to know if you can even participate in this option.
  • Tax Advantages – There are also some states that will impose premium taxes. So, here again, it is important to know the status before moving forward.
In addition, the terminal illness and the extended care benefits are limited to an aggregate of $250,000 – so, here again, the benefit is much more limited than it sounds on the surface. And, if you own this annuity with another individual, rather than being able to use 25% of the contract value as an accelerated benefit, each party is limited to just 12.5% each. So, even though the safety of your principal and a guaranteed lifetime retirement income can definitely be important, the reality is that these features can be found on any fixed annuity – and, if you are able to find these features, along with the opportunity for a higher return on your funds, it may be worthwhile to take a closer look at other alternatives that are available to you. The bottom line is that yes the Jackson National Life BonusMAX annuity can offer some truly nice benefits. But, after you have locked up a sizeable sum of your hard earned savings in it, it may be too late for you to change your mind if a better option were to come along. Because of that, if you are still not 100 percent positive that this annuity is the right choice for you, and you would like to have answers to any additional questions or concerns that you have, please feel free to reach out to us via our secure contact form here. We know just how challenging it can be when you are trying to decide whether or not a particular annuity might be right for you. However, knowing what you need to look for in these products is critical, as they could comprise a significant percentage of your retirement funds. If you want additional assurance that you know what it is you are purchasing, then click here to download our free report on what you need to know before buying an annuity.

What About the Fees on the Jackson National Life BonusMAX Annuity?

In addition to having a good understanding of how your money may perform in an annuity, it is also wise to get a good grasp on how – and how much – in fees that you may be charged for a given product. Annuities can, and often do, charge fees – and these charges can occur during the product’s savings, or “accumulation”, period, as well as during the time that you are withdrawing your income down the road. These annuity fees can often times really add up, too, which can have a real impact on the amount of money that you are able to save in the annuity, and ultimately on the amount of income that you will receive in the future. Just some of the fees that are typically found on fixed annuities may include an up-front sales commission that is paid to the insurance or financial advisor who sold you the product, as well as various types of contract and administrative charges. Also, if you need or want to take out more than 10 percent of your contract value during the early years of purchasing it, you will also typically be assessed a surrender charge. [desktoponly] With regard to the Jackson National BonusMAX annuity, the surrender charges go on for the first full nine years that you own the product. These are outlined as follows:
Completed Years Since Receipt of each Premium Payment0123456789
Withdrawal Charge8.25%7.25%6.5%5.5%4.5%3.75%2.75%1.75%0.75%0%

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Jackson National Life BonusMAX Annuity

Where it works best: This annuity may work the best for those who are looking for:
  • Safety of principal
  • Guaranteed lifetime income in retirement
  • Guaranteed rate protection – at least for a short period of time after purchasing the annuity
  • Initial bonus to help boost accumulation
Where it works the worst: This annuity may not be a very good fit for you if you:
  • Want access to most or all of your funds within the first several years (during the surrender period)
  • Are seeking a high rate of return on your money
  • Do not intend to use the lifetime income feature
In order to truly know how to compare the best annuity options for you, click here so that you can download our free annuity report.

In Summary

There are many factors that you should ideally consider when you are deciding whether or not a particular annuity is right for you. But overall, an annuity should always be considered a long-term financial strategy. Because of that, it is important for you to really feel comfortable with knowing how the annuity will work to get you that much closer to your financial goals. If you are considering the purchase of a fixed annuity product, you can count on keeping your principal safe, as well as receiving a guaranteed income in the future, and in turn, if you choose the lifetime income option, you can be assured that you will not run out of income, no matter how long you may need it. In the case of the Jackson National Life Insurance Company’s BonusMAX annuity, there can be some positive features here. But, this annuity could still also fall a bit short – and quite honestly, there may very well be some better financial options that are available to you. This is especially true if you are looking for lifetime income, the safety of principal, and the opportunity to obtain a higher amount of return. If you still have any additional questions regarding whether this annuity is the right one for you, or even if you just simply need some additional assistance in guiding you in the right direction with regard to annuities, please feel free to reach out to us directly through our secure contact form here.

Have Any Additional Questions on the Jackson National Life BonusMAX Annuity?

We understand that this review may have been somewhat long – so we truly appreciate you sticking with us here. But, in providing you this information, we would much prefer to give you “too much” in terms of detail on specific annuities, rather than not enough. With that in mind, if you found this annuity review to be helpful to you, then please feel free to pass it on and to share it with others who you think may also benefit from it, too. In addition, we realize that, as with most other elements in the financial world, information on annuities can change often. So, if you happened to see that there was any information in this review that was outdated or that needs to be changed, please let us know and we will be more than happy to revise it as quickly as possible. And, if this review has in some way caused you to be more confused about how annuities work, and/or the regarding the details of the Jackson National Life BonusMAX product, please click here and let us know that, too. Are there any other annuity products that you would like to learn more about? If so, our team of annuity experts will get on the case and create in-depth reviews for these, too. Just click here to let us know the name(s) of these products and we will do our best to get the information on our website soon. Best, The Annuity Gator Independent Review of Jackson National Life BonusMAX Annuity

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