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Independent Review of the Jackson National Life Perspectives ll / Lifeguard Freedom 7 Net Variable Annuity – [November 2018 Update]

What will be covered in this annuity review?

In this annuity review, we will be discussing the following information about the Jackson National Life Perspectives ll variable annuity with the Lifeguard Freedom 7 Net income rider:
  • Product TypeIndependent Review of the Jackson National Life Perspectives ll / Lifeguard Freedom 7 Net Variable Annuity
  • Fees
  • Current rates
  • Realistic long-term return expectations
  • How this annuity is best used
  • How the annuity is used the worst

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

If you have been in the process of looking for information on the Jackson National Life Perspectives ll variable annuity with the Lifeguard Freedom 7 Net rider, then what you may have already noticed is that all variable annuities will do certain things very well. However, there are some other areas where this type of annuity vehicle may not perform well at all. With that in mind, it is important to truly understand how these products work and to not rely solely on what your current financial or insurance advisor tells you (especially if this individual is not someone who focuses on annuities). Annuities have a lot of moving parts, and this can make them highly confusing. Because of that, investors will oftentimes dive into an annuity, thinking that they are getting certain benefits, only to find out later that they aren’t. So, before you move what may be a significant portion of your retirement savings into an annuity, be sure that you understand what you are getting into.

Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information You Can Trust

If you have been looking for annuity information online, then you have likely become well aware that there is no shortage of annuity review websites. Many of these websites, though are much more interested in giving you only the basics, in return for getting your contact information. If you have stumbled across our website for the first time, and you aren’t sure what we do, then please allow us to welcome you here to We comprise a team of annuity experts who focus on providing our website visitors with comprehensive and unbiased annuity reviews.Independent Review of the Jackson National Life Perspectives ll / Lifeguard Freedom 7 Net Variable Annuity We have been doing this for a long time now – far longer than many of the “copycat” annuity review sites that you may already have come across. Because of that, we have become a highly trusted source of annuity information. It is also possible that you recently have attended a seminar about annuities, where the presenter offered you a “free” lunch or dinner, while he or she delved into the details regarding the Jackson National Life Perspectives ll or some other similar annuity. Unfortunately, we all know that nothing in life is really free. In this case, it’s probable that the presenter wanted to “follow up” with you individually in order to determine whether or not an annuity is right for you. If this is the case, then you may even have landed here on our website seeking more details before you commit to moving forward. This could prove to be a very good move. As you read through the annuity reviews on our website, you will soon find that we don’t just paint a nice, rosy picture of how annuities work. In fact, we make it a point to also include the details that would be considered as drawbacks. We do this for the purpose of providing you the whole story about these products, and not just the “good parts.” In doing so, you will be in a much better position to make a well-informed decision regarding whether or not this is the right annuity for you. So, if you’re ready to proceed, let’s dive in!

Jackson National Perspectives ll Variable Annuity at a Glance

Product NamePerspectives ll
IssuerJackson National Life
Type of ProductVariable Annuity
S&P RatingAA (Very Strong)
Phone Number(877) 565-2968

Opening Thoughts on the Jackson National Perspective ll Variable Annuity with Lifeguard Freedom 7 Net

Jackson National Life Insurance Company has been in operation since 1961. Since its inception, this company – which began as a family-owned entity in Lansing, Michigan – has grown into a multi-billion dollar insurance carrier. In fact, within a relatively short time for an insurer, Jackson National has become the second largest seller of annuities in the U.S. (according to LIMRA). It is also the eighth largest life insurance carrier, based on its total statutory assets (based on research from SNL Financial). Jackson National has actually added quite an array of accolades throughout the years, including:
  • Ranked first among variable annuity providers for Brand Equity and Overall Brand Awareness
  • Ranked first among variable annuity providers for CoRe Score, a single measure of company strength and momentum
  • Achieved the top ranking among variable annuity providers in the Variable Annuity Ownership category, a weighted metric for market performance and the proportion of current users who consider a firm to be their primary provider.
Throughout the past several years, the demand for annuities has picked up. One of the biggest reasons for this is due to annuities’ ability to provide an ongoing, guaranteed stream of income in retirement – something that other financial vehicles just simply cannot provide with a degree of certainty. The variable annuities that are offered by Jackson National should be considered as long-term investments. These products allow the tax-deferred growth of the funds that are inside of the annuity. However, unlike fixed annuity products, variable annuities are prone to investment risks due to market volatility – and because of that, they could lose value based on the performance of their sub-accounts. Jackson National offers a family of variable annuities, including the:
  • Elite Access and Elite Access Advisory
  • Perspective Advisory
  • Perspective ll
All of these annuities have slight differences in the benefits they offer, the allowable initial investment, and the living and death benefit options, as well as in the surrender fees and other fees that are charged.

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

This is an independent annuity product review. It is not a recommendation to purchase or to sell an annuity. Jackson National Life 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.

How Jackson National Describes the Perspectives ll Annuity with Lifeguard Freedom 7 Net

Jackson National describes the Perspective ll as an annuity that allows you to create and adapt your portfolio based on your needs, with no asset allocation or bundling requirements. This product offers more than 110 professionally managed investment options in a wide range of investment classes and styles. There are also systematic withdrawal options that allow you to choose either a specific amount or percentage – or even to take your earnings – on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annual basis. There are also some additional bells and whistles included, such as a death benefit, a nursing home waiver and a terminal illness benefit, as well as the “Jackson Accelerated Benefit,” which allows you to make a one-time withdrawal of up to 25% of the contract value without a withdrawal charge if you are diagnosed with a particular disease. With the added Lifeguard Freedom 7 Net living benefit, you can obtain a guaranteed amount of income that lasts as long as you need it – without having to compromise your investment strategy. In fact, you can withdraw a minimum annual amount for the remainder of your lifetime – regardless of what happens in the market. To go directly to the Jackson National Perspective ll prospectus, just click HERE. Jackson National is great about providing a myriad of information about their annuities. So, if you are a glutton for “small print” punishment, or if you really want to know the in-depth in’s and outs of the Jackson National Perspective ll annuity, you can find all of the most updated disclosure information right HERE. This will give you more detail on the Jackson National Perspective ll performance over time – which also includes a listing of all of the investment options that you can find associated with this annuity.

How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might Pitch this Annuity

Although variable annuities are not quite as popular as they were a decade or so ago, these financial vehicles still offer some beneficial features for many investors, such as the opportunity to increase return based on an upward moving market, and the ability to ensure that you have income that can last throughout retirement. When it comes to the Jackson National Life Perspective ll variable annuity with the Lifeguard Freedom 7 Net rider, then, it is likely that an insurance or financial advisor would pitch some of the product’s key attributes, such as:
  • Increasing growth based on upward market movements
  • Guaranteed lifetime income in the future – regardless of what happens in the stock market
However, this is where looking at the “whole picture” can come in really handy – and can also prevent you from committing to a product that may not necessarily perform the way it was described to you (and that can also be pretty expensive to get out of if you change your mind after you have purchased it). For example, many investors get the withdrawal rate and the guaranteed lifetime rate on variable annuities confused. (Don’t worry – it is actually easy to see why this is difficult to sort out, given all of the “small print” that is associated with these products. In fact, the more “bells and whistles” these products offer, the more an already confusing product becomes even more so!) With an income rider, the percentage that is stated is not money that you can actually take. This, instead, is really just a guaranteed increase in the income value – and because of that, when push comes to shove, most investors feel a tad bit disillusioned when they find that they aren’t going to get this percentage on the whole of their annuity. Also, as with most other equity-related “performance” figures, insurance and financial companies can essentially choose any period of time to illustrate the return on various investments…and then conveniently slap on the disclaimer that says “past performance is no guarantee of future return.” Hmmm. So in reality, because there are just so many “what ifs” in play here, your actual future return on this annuity is really anybody’s guess – until, of course, the future (when it’s far too late to do anything about it). As an example, during the 1990s, the returns garnered on equities were, for the most part, pretty stellar. So, if an insurance company uses this particular time period to illustrate “past performance,” then, of course, things will look pretty great. But unless this performance is replicated in the future, nobody knows how much – or even if – their variable annuity will attain the same return.

What About the Fees on the Jackson National Perspective ll with Lifeguard Freedom 7 Net?

And then there are the fees. Variable annuities have long been lambasted as being one of the most expensive financial products out in the marketplace – and for a very good reason. They are typically riddled with a myriad of charges and fees. Unfortunately, the Perspective ll is no different. You will find fees in a number of places where fees are incurred with this product – including the agent’s commission, as well as operating fees of the annuity itself, and the management fees that are associated with each of the investment options. All told, these can add up to more than 2.8% per year, which is a pretty significant amount, given that the annuity may not even end up returning anywhere close to that amount annually. This, in turn, means that you’ll be losing money, while you also endure sleepless nights, wishing away any market downturns. The fees on this annuity include the following:
  • Mortality & Expense Charges (M&E) – 1.15% per year
  • Administration Charge – 0.15% per year
  • Lifeguard Freedom Rider – 1.5% per year
But these fees do not include the fees that are charged by each of the individual, underlying investments that are inside of the annuity. Here, you’ll have funds where the expenses can range anywhere from 0.55% up to 2.18% per year. These fees are added to the others – and in essence, the total can add up to more than 4% per year. Ouch! As with most other annuities, this one also has surrender charges that you’ll incur if you opt to withdraw more than 10% of your contract value within the first seven full years. These begin at 8.5% in Year 1, and they grade downward from there over time.

Surrender Charge Schedule

Contract Year12345678+
Charge %
A Jackson National Perspective ll commission schedule, along with withdrawal charges, and other important fee information, can all be found in the annuity’s prospectus.

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Jackson National Life Perspective ll with Lifeguard Freedom 7 Net

Where the annuity works the best: This annuity could still be a viable option for those who are seeking the following benefits:
  • Market-related growth
  • Diversity of underlying investments
  • Lifetime income, regardless of how long it is needed
Where the annuity works the worst:
  • For investors with a low-risk tolerance
  • For those who do not want to use the lifetime income feature

In Summary

When considering any type of financial product, it is important to first have a good idea of what your overall short- and long-term goals are – and how that particular product may or may not end up fitting in with them. The Perspective ll variable annuity with Lifeguard Freedom 7 Net from Jackson National could be a good fit if you are still leaning towards the opportunity for higher growth than you’d get with a fixed annuity, along with the ability to receive lifetime income. But it is also important to consider any of the tradeoffs that you’ll need to make in order to obtain these benefits. And there is also always the underlying market risk to consider. With that in mind, the only way to really know if this annuity may be a good fit for you is to have it tested. We offer this service, so if you are interested in this additional information, just simply contact us and we will be happy to run these figures based on your specific situation and financial goals.

Any Additional Questions? Did You See Any Mistakes?

While this annuity review was somewhat long, we would much rather provide our readers with more details than not enough, as this is really the only want to make a well-informed decision about these products. If, however, after reading this annuity review you still have any additional questions or concerns, then please feel free to reach out to us directly via our secure online contact form here and we’ll be happy to help. Likewise, if you found the information in this annuity review to be beneficial to you, then also feel free to forward the review and share it with anyone else that you think may also benefit from it, too. If you happened to notice anything in this review that may be outdated or in need of revision, please let us know that, too and we will make the necessary updates as soon as possible. Are there any other annuities that you would like to have us review? If so, let us know the name of the annuity (or annuities, if there is more than just one), and our team of experienced annuity geeks will get on it! Best, The Annuity Gator

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