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Independent Review of the Nationwide Life MarketFlex Advisor Variable Annuity

What is covered in this annuity review?

This annuity review will cover the following information about the Nationwide Life MarketFlex Advisor Variable Annuity:


  • Product Type
  • Fees
  • Current Rates
  • Realistic long-term expectations
  • How this annuity is best 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.

For anyone who is in the process of considering a variable annuity, it is necessary to keep in mind that, even though there is a long list of benefit that can be attained, there are also numerous risks that you need to be aware of. Without knowing just exactly what it is you are getting into, you may find that the product doesn’t always work the way you expected it to – which in many cases, could have a negative impact on your future financial situation.

While there is a great deal of information that insurance companies provide for these types of annuities, many investors will oftentimes bypass wading through all of the “small print” details, and instead just rely on the information they get from their insurance or financial advisor.

This could prove to be a big mistake.

That’s because, unless your advisor has a key focus on annuities, he or she may not be able to provide you with all of the insight that you may need – and in turn, many investors end up finding out too late that the annuity they chose is not going to perform the way they expected it to.

If you have been thinking about purchasing the Nationwide Life MarketFlex Advisor variable annuity, then you may have noticed that, as with other annuities, it can perform well in some areas, but there are other areas where it may not perform up to par.

This is where we come in.

We can assist you with sorting out what you need to know about the MarketFlex Advisor annuity from Nationwide, which in turn, can allow you to come to a more well-informed conclusion as to whether or not this is the right annuity for you.

Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information That You Can Trust

If you have never visited our website in the past, then please allow us to welcome you to We make up a team of annuity experts who focus on providing highly comprehensive, yet non-biased, annuity review. We’ve been at this for quite some time now, far longer than our competitors have, and we’ve become a trusted source of annuity information online.

If you’ve spent any time researching annuities via the Internet, then it is likely that you’ve come across many conflicting details about these products. This really is not all that surprising, though, as there are numerous opinions about annuities – from consumers and financial advisors alike.

You may also have attended an annuity seminar in the recent past where, in return for a “free” lunch or dinner, the presenter provided you with a lengthy array of details about the Nationwide Life MarketFlex Advisor, or some other similar annuity. If this is the case, and you set up a time to meet with the presenter afterward, you may have come here to our website in search of more information prior to moving forward.

In any case, in your quest for more info, you likely have come across other websites online that promote their annuity provides. Yet, even though there are some very good websites out there that provide this type of information, a lot of them are really only after your contact information – and they tend to lure people in by making some pretty bold claims about the annuities they offer, such as:

  • Lowest Fees
  • Highest income payouts
  • Guaranteed lifetime income
  • Top-rated companies

Sound familiar?

But, as enticing as these claims might sound, it makes it even more important for you to verify that they are actually true before you commit to placing a large chunk of your retirement savings into such a product.Independent Review of the Nationwide Life MarketFlex Advisor Variable Annuity

There are a fair number of these sites that will also provide you only with the basics, which you can get here – plus so much more. And, while we appreciate that imitation is the highest form of flattery, relying solely on information from a “copycat” may not necessarily be the best idea when it comes to making key financial decisions.

If you have ultimately landed here at in search of more details on the Nationwide Life MarketFlex Advisor annuity, then you are definitely in the right place. In fact, we dare say that this is the only place online where you will find all of the information that you need – which includes the good, as well as the bad and the ugly.

Why? The main reason is that we feel that providing only the good and positive attributes of any financial vehicle is not presenting you with the whole story, and can actually be a detriment to making a well-informed financial decision.

In fact, if you have conducted any amount of research in the past with regard to insurance or investments, you may have noticed that financial and insurance advisors tend to give you all of a product’s nice, rosy benefits, yet they will simply gloss over the disadvantages – if they even discuss them at all.

For instance, when it comes to variable annuities, these products allow you a way to obtain a higher return than that of a fixed annuity – and you can also do so without having to pay tax on your gains each year (until the time you make withdrawals). However, because there are also certain costs and risks that are involved with variable annuities, you really need to know exactly what you’re getting into, and what to expect, before moving forward.

Just to be entirely clear here, we want to express that annuities can – and often do – provide investors with some very enticing benefits. But, such products are only right for an individual if they fit in with their long and short-term financial goals.

That being said, the review that you are in the process of reading right now was created with the intent of helping you to better understand the “fine print” with regard to the Nationwide Life MarketFlex Advisor variable annuity.

So, if you’re ready to get started, let’s dive in!

Nationwide Life MarketFlex Advisor Variable Annuity at a Glance


Product NameMarketFlex Advisor
IssuerNationwide Life
Type of ProductVariable Annuity
S&P RatingA+
Phone Number(800) 882-2822

Opening Thoughts on the Nationwide Life MarketFlex Advisor Variable Annuity

Nationwide has been in the business of offering financial and insurance solutions for more than 90 years. The company is listed on the Fortune 100, and it offers a long list of products, including annuities, life insurance, mutual funds, and retirement plans.

With more than $26 billion in operating revenue in 2015, Nationwide has a long history of financial stability – and the company has earned high ratings from the insurer rating agencies, including:

  • A+ from A.M. Best
  • A+ from Standard & Poor’s
  • A+ from Moody’s

In general, a variable annuity is really just designed to do two things. These include growing principal, and producing income. But in reality, variable annuities are not really all that good at producing income – particularly due to the risk that they present to investors, as well as to the insurance companies that offer them.

Because the value of a variable annuity tends to fluctuate so much, insurance companies can really only guarantee a lower amount of income than that of a fixed annuity – which, by the way, provides protection of principal, albeit a “low” return (and a lot less sleepless nights worrying about a market correction).

So when you think about it, for every dollar that you place into a variable annuity, it is only going to promise you less income than that of a fixed annuity would do…for the exact same money! Given that, if your primary goal for purchasing an annuity is to produce an income stream in retirement, then a variable annuity may not be the best choice for you.

On the investment side, a variable annuity can offer investors the opportunity of unlimited growth. But along with that also comes downside risk. There are also a number of fees. First, within a variable annuity, you are typically invested in mutual funds. These will generally have their own fees within the funds themselves. With the Nationwide Life MarketFlex Advisor variable annuity, this is the case.

You can also run into a plethora of fees, which in turn, can lower the overall return that you end up with – which can make it even more difficult to grow your account value for generating income in the future.

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. Nationwide 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.

For additional information on how to compare annuities so that you can decide which may be the best one for you, click here in order to obtain our free annuity report.

How Nationwide Life Describes the MarketFlex Advisor Variable Annuity

Nationwide Life describes the MarketFlex Advisor variable annuity as an individual deferred variable annuity.

As a tax-deferred investment vehicle, investors can protect their gain from taxes while still in the account, which can also help the account to grow faster, as these funds can be reinvested and thus compounded.

The annuity also offers some additional features, such as a standard death benefit – which offers the return of the contract’s value if the annuitant should pass away – or an enhanced death benefit option, which offers spousal protection and pays on the death of either spouse and allows the surviving spouse to continue the annuity contract at the death benefit level.

In addition, there is also an optional Extra Value Rider which offers the choice of either 3% credited to all year-one purchase payments, or 4% credited to all year-one purchase payments – depending on which option is chosen by the annuitant.

How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” this Annuity

Because the MarketFlex Advisor is a variable annuity contract, it could be well-suited for long-term investment management strategies. The returns could also be enhanced due to the tax-deferred nature of the contract. And, like other annuities, this vehicle offers lifetime income.

With that in mind, an insurance or financial advisor might pitch this annuity as a way to continue receiving tax-deferred growth, even if an investor has already maxed out his or her IRA and/or retirement accounts.

Due to the underlying market investments, the annuity allows the opportunity for additional market-related growth – provided that the investments associated with the contract perform well. Unfortunately, this can also work in reverse, incurring added risk to principal during market downturns. For that reason, those who invest in this annuity should ideally have a higher risk tolerance.

It is also important to keep in mind the plethora of charges and fees on this annuity – which include fees for various options in the annuity itself, as well as charges within the mutual fund investments that are associated with it. Because of these fees, returns could be negatively impacted.

Fees Associated with the Nationwide Life MarketFlex Advisor Variable Annuity Contract

As with most other variable annuities, the MarketFlex Advisor from Nationwide Life has a list of fees and charges that are associated with it. These include the following:

Recurring Contract Expenses

Mortality and Expense Risk Charge – 0.25%

Administrative Charge – 0.20%

Return of Premium Enhanced Death Benefit Option Charge – 0.20%

Extra Value Options:

  • 3% Extra Value Option Charge – 0.40%
  • 4% Extra Value Option Charge – 0.55%

Note that only the Extra Value Option that is chosen, if any, will be charged to the annuity contract.

In addition to the above, there is also underlying mutual fund annual expenses. These are expenses that are deducted from underlying mutual fund assets, including management fees, distribution (12b1) fees, and other expenses, as a percentage of average underlying mutual fund assets. As of year-end 2016, these fees range from a minimum of 0.32% and a maximum of 3.69%.

In addition, if during the first seven years of owning the contract more than 10% of the contract value is withdrawn, you will incur a surrender charge. (If you are under the age of 59 1/2 when this withdrawal occurs, you could also be charged an additional 10% “early withdrawal” penalty by the IRS). There may also be a forfeiture of the Extra Value amount for withdrawals beyond 10% during the first seven years of this contract.

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Nationwide Life MarketFlex Advisor Variable Annuity

Where it works the best:

  • For those who want the opportunity for higher, market-related returns
  • For those who are seeking a lifetime income
  • For those who want to continue depositing funds into a tax-advantaged vehicle, even after they have maxed out their IRA and/or employer-sponsored retirement plan(s)

Where it works the worst:

  • For those who don’t want to endure market-related risk
  • For those who do not plan to use the lifetime income feature

In Summary

When you are considering the purchase of any financial product, it is important to determine what your overall goals are first. For example, some investors are seeking the opportunity for growth over protection of principals, while others would prefer the latter. In any case, it is essential to have a good understanding of what you may be getting, and what you may be giving up in order to obtain such benefits.

In the case of the Nationwide Life MarketFlex Advisor Variable Annuity, there are a number of nice features, such as the diversification of investment options, as well as the future lifetime income stream that can be obtained.

But, there are also various tradeoffs that you will need to consider – which include being exposed to market-related risk, as well as the numerous charges and fees that are involved with variable annuity products such as this one.

With this in mind, the only way to truly know if this particular annuity will be a good fit for you is to have it tested. We offer this service for free – so just contact me and I will use the calculator from the video in order to provide you with a better illustration of what this annuity could return for you.

Do You Have Any Additional Questions? Did You Notice Any Mistakes in this Review?

We understand that this annuity review went a tad bit on the lengthy side, so for that, we thank you for sticking with us thus far. However, we believe that it is important to provide “too much” information, as versus as not enough.

If, after reading through this annuity review, you still have any questions or concerns about the Nationwide Life MarketFlex Advisor variable annuity, we encourage to reach out to us directly via this secure online contact form. Our annuity experts will be happy to walk you through any of the information that you need.

Also, if you benefitted from this annuity review, please feel free to share it by forwarding it on to anyone whom you know that may also benefit from it. We are always happy to help others in determining whether or not a particular annuity may be right for them.

Also, 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 annuity geeks will get on it!


The Annuity Gator

Independent Review of the Nationwide Life MarketFlex Advisor Variable Annuity

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