What’s Covered In This Review
In this review, we’ll cover the following information on the Jackson National Life OptiMAX Fixed Annuity:
- Product Type
- Current Rates
- Realistic long term return expectations
- How it is used
- How it is most poorly used
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If you have been considering going with a fixed annuity because you want to ensure that your money will be safe and that you’ll be able to collect a guaranteed, ongoing stream of income in retirement, then the Jackson National OptiMAX 100 fixed annuity may be a good choice for you. One reason for this is due to the product’s guarantees – both during the accumulation period, as well as the time that the annuity pays out its income stream.
However, before you dive headlong into this particular annuity, it is important to really know what you might be getting into with this fixed annuity from Jackson Nation. That’s because, while the OptiMAX 100 does offer some nice guarantees, this specific product may or may not fit ideally into your overall financial plan – and, because annuities can be extremely difficult to get out of once you get in, it’s key to know the good, the bad, and even the potentially ugly, so that you’ll know what you can expect.
Over the past several years – due in large part to the constant volatility of the stock market – fixed annuities have become more popular as a way of keeping principal safe, and of making sure that there is income flowing in down the road, month after month, regardless of how long you may live.
However, even though guarantees can be nice, there is usually something that you need to give up in order to get something. In this particular case, it means that the return you will generate will be quite low – so low, in fact, that your money and your future income may not be able to keep pace with rising inflation. This could be a problem- particularly if you plan to use the income from this annuity as a significant portion of your income later on. And, if you purchase this annuity without knowing what to expect – and you later find a different financial vehicle that would provide you with more of what you need – you will likely incur surrender fees if you want to get out of the original fixed annuity.
This review can help you to make a more informed buying decision regarding the Jackson National Life OptiMAX fixed annuity by providing you with both the positives and the negatives here.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information That You Can Trust
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While you may have noticed other similar websites on your quest for annuity information, we’ve actually been offering product reviews for many years – far longer than most of the other copycat sites. (Although, it has been said that imitation is the highest form of flattery).
You may have been presented the Jackson National Life OptiMAX 100 by your current financial advisor. Or, it could be that you recently attended an annuity seminar where the presenter talked about this or a similar annuity, in return for a “free” lunch or dinner. In this case, though, nothing is truly free. So, if you were persuaded to consider this annuity, it is essential that you first check it out.
In researching annuities online, you may have come across other annuity websites – many of which tout some pretty bold claims about their annuities, such as:
- Highest income payouts
- Low fees
- Top-rated annuity carriers
But unfortunately, rather than present you with all of the pertinent details about the annuities that they’re marketing, these sites would rather just highlight the good features, in order to get you to provide your contact information.
Yet, as appealing as some of these claims may be, you absolutely, positively need to know both sides of the story when it comes to annuities. This means understanding that, while the OptiMAX 100 certainly has some positive features, there are also some areas where this annuity will have some drawbacks.
Unfortunately, even though most insurance and financial services reps try to do what is best for their clients, they may only focus on the positive features of a product, while leaving out the bad and the ugly.
Our annuity reviews here on annuitygator.com will present you with both the good and the bad – which in turn, will allow you to make a much more well-informed decision as to whether or not the Jackson National Life OptiMAX 100 annuity will work for you.
So, if you are ready to get started, let’s begin!
Jackson National OptiMAX 100 Fixed Annuity
|Product Name||OptiMAX 100|
|Issuer||Jackson National Life|
|Type of Product||Fixed Annuity|
|Standard & Poor's Rating||AA (Very Strong)|
|Phone Number||(877) 565-2968|
Opening Thoughts on the Jackson National OptiMAX 100 Fixed Annuity
Jackson National Life Insurance Company has more than 50 years under their belt of providing annuities to their customers. Although it started as a small, family-run entity in the 1960s, over the years, it has grown pretty impressively. In fact, in 2016, according to LIMRA, Jackson was the number one seller of annuities in the U.S.
As one of the top 50 largest individual life insurers in the United States (based on statutory assets), Jackson National is actually on the upper half of the list as ranked by general accounting assets, as well as by statutory surplus assets valuation reserve and interest maintenance reserve.
So, this insurance carrier is definitely strong and stable from a financial standpoint – meaning that, at least as of now, you can be fairly assured that they’re going to pay out claims to their policyholders (which is inclusive of annuity income).
With a fixed annuity like the OptiMAX 100, you can also feel confident that your principal will be protected – regardless of what happens in the stock market – so you don’t have to worry that you’ll wake up one day and be hit with a substantial loss (or in this case, any loss).
Unfortunately, because interest rates have been historically low over the past several years, the tradeoff is that this annuity will likely only provide you with a minuscule return – one that likely won’t meet (and even more likely, one that won’t beat) inflation in the future. So, if you are planning to use the income from the OptiMAX fixed annuity for a large chunk of your retirement income, your future purchasing power will definitely be impacted.
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 on for you, click here in order to obtain our free annuity report.
How Jackson National Describes the OptiMAX 100 Fixed Annuity
According to Jackson National’s website, this annuity offers an initial rate guarantee, as well as several other standard benefits, including an extended care benefit, a terminal illness benefit, and a death benefit. You can also withdraw a small amount of your funds each year – 15 percent – without penalty (and when the surrender period is over, you can withdraw more).
As with other annuities, your funds will grow tax-deferred, and when the time comes to convert that annuity over into an income stream, you can opt for the lifetime option, which means that you’ll have a steady stream of income for the remainder of your life, regardless of how long that may be.
How a Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” This Annuity
Given its focus on safety and guarantees, it is likely that if you’ve been presented this annuity by an insurance or financial advisor, that he or she placed a fairly high focus on the principal protection aspect, as well as the minimum interest rate guarantee.
These features are certainly all well and good. However, there’s the rest of the story, too, that a commissioned sales rep may leave out of the discussion. For instance, in order to provide safety of principal, there generally need to be some tradeoffs. In this case, it is in the form of a low return.
Also, the interest rate guarantee on this annuity is only for one year (although you could opt for either a three or five-year rate guarantee, as an optional feature). So, following the first contract year, it is possible that your rate could go down – in turn, affecting a number of assets you’re able to build up, and thus, the amount of income you receive in the future.
So, unless you are 100 percent convinced that the Jackson National OptiMAX 100 fixed annuity is the one for you, then it could be beneficial to take a look around at some other, alternate options for you, as there could be something better out there – especially if you are seeking safety of principal, as well as the opportunity for a higher return.
It can be helpful, too, if you run the numbers based on your specific situation via our Jackson National Life fixed annuity calculator. This way, rather than reviewing a hypothetical scenario, you can plug in some actual numbers that best fit your financial picture.
As experts in the annuity arena, we can also offer you help with any additional questions or concerns that you may have – so please feel free to reach out to us at any time via our secure contact form here.
Knowing everything that you need to know about the OptiMAX annuity – or any other annuity, for that matter – could end up saving you a great deal of money and frustration, as knowing more of the details can help you to avoid products that do not truly fit your needs. Otherwise, getting into the wrong annuity could cost a great deal in surrender charges if you change your mind soon after purchasing one and want to get out of it.
Plus, if you would like some additional tips on what you need to know before you buy an annuity, you can also click here to immediately access our free report on shopping for annuities.
Are There Any Fees on the Jackson National Life OptiMAX 100 Fixed Annuity?
When considering any type of insurance or financial product, you would be hard pressed to find one that doesn’t have at least some charges or fees. Fixed annuities are no exception. In the case of fixed annuities, you will typically find an up-front commission that is paid out to the sale rep who sells you the annuity. There are usually also annual administrative charges.
You’ll also find seven years of surrender charges, meaning that if you want to take out any more than 15% of your contract value in the first seven years, you will be required to pay a percentage of the withdrawal amount in fees.
The surrender charges on the Jackson National OptiMAX 100 are as follows:
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Jackson National Life OptiMAX 100 Fixed Annuity
Where it works best:
- Safety of principal
- Guaranteed lifetime income in retirement
- Guaranteed rate protection – at least for a short time after purchasing the annuity
Where it works worst:
- If you are seeking a long-term rate guarantee
- If you are looking for a higher return
- If you do not intend on using the lifetime income feature
If order to really get an idea of what the best annuity options are for you, feel free to download our free annuity report.
If you’ve been teetering on the brink of purchasing a fixed annuity – or any annuity, for that matter – but you’ve been hesitant to move forward because you just aren’t sure which annuity might be right for you, it is important that you know all of the ins and the outs of a particular product before you sign on the dotted line.
This is because annuities should always be considered as a long-term financial endeavor – and, if you do find that an annuity isn’t for you soon after you buy it, it could be quite costly to get out.
The good news is that, if you are considering going with a fixed annuity, you can be assured that you will have principal protection and safety, as well as a set, ongoing income stream for life that you can count on.
With that in mind, when it comes to the Jackson National OptiMAX 100 fixed annuity, there are some nice features that are offered. Yet, this particular annuity could also fall somewhat short – especially if you’re hoping for a higher return.
If you have any questions about whether or not this annuity would fit into your financial plan – or, even if you just have a general question about annuities and how they work – please feel free to contact us. Our annuity geek team will be happy to help.
Need Additional Info? Did You See Any Mistakes?
We realize that this annuity review was a tad bit on the long side – and for that, we thank you for sticking with us. But we would much rather provide too much detail on an annuity than not enough. So, if you felt that this annuity review was helpful, then please feel free to forward it on to anyone else that you think may benefit from it, too.
Also, as humans will often do, we also understand that information about annuities can change quickly. Therefore, if you happened to notice any details in this review that were out of date or that need correction, please let us know that as well, and we will get it fixed quickly.
Are there any other annuities that you would like to also see reviewed?
If you have been shopping for annuities, it is possible that you’ve been presented with several different options. So, if you’ve come across any other annuities that are not included in our review database, please let us know that, too so that we can do our research and analysis, and add it to our site.
Likewise, if you would like to run a Jackson National Life fixed annuity calculator – or to run the figures for any other annuity – we’d be happy to help. We can provide you with an annuity stress test that is geared to your specific situation, and presented in a personalized spreadsheet – at no charge, of course.
We look forward to helping you with all of your annuity questions.
The Annuity Gator