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Independent Review of the Nationwide New Heights Select Fixed Indexed Annuity

What will we be covering in this review of the newly released Nationwide New Heights Select fixed indexed annuity?

In this review, we will be covering the following information:

nationwide_logo

  • Type of Annuity
  • Fees
  • Realistic short – and long-term expectations
  • Where this annuity may fit
  • How the annuity shouldn’t be used

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

Throughout the past several years, annuities have become a much more popular component of overall retirement planning. One reason for this is because, as people are living longer now, having a retirement income that lasts much longer (like 20 or more years) is necessary – and unlike any other insurance or financial product in the marketplace, an annuity is the only vehicle that can guarantee you an income for the remainder of your lifetime, regardless of how long that turns out to be.

Annuities aren’t just some new-fangled financial vehicle, either. In fact, annuities have actually been in existence ever since the Roman empire… although some people believe that they were initially created in Egypt, somewhere between the year 1100 BC and 1700 BC.

When the Great Depression hit the U.S. back in the 1930s, fixed annuities gained popularity as a safe place from volatile markets. They again became a go-to product during the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009 – primarily fixed and fixed indexed annuities – because they don’t lose value, even in a downward spiraling market. This is also the case during the more recent 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, where the stock market dropped by roughly 30 percent in the month of March (2020) alone.

But even though annuities can give you financial peace of mind, they can also be somewhat confusing – particularly the ones that offer a long list of “bells and whistles” like the Nationwide New Heights Select that, as of early 2021, has two new indices, along with some nice accumulation opportunities, and the opportunity for increased lifetime income payout.

So, before you commit a potentially large percentage of your savings to this Swiss army knife of benefits, it is recommended that you first have a good understanding about what this annuity can and cannot do for you.

That’s where the Annuity Gator comes in!

Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information That You Can Trust

If this is the first time you have visited our website, we’d personally like to welcome you to AnnuityGator.com. We are a team of experienced financial pros and retirement income experts who are dedicated to providing you with comprehensive and non-biased annuity reviews.

We have been offering these reviews for quite a few years now – much longer than our competitors have been – and because of this, we have come to be a highly trusted source of annuity information. We have hundreds of reviews in our annuity review database on our website. So, please feel free to spend as much time as you’d like looking over them.

If your search for annuities has been conducted via the Internet, it is likely that you have come across a lot of conflicting details about these products. This isn’t really all that surprising though, as there is a multitude of different annuities in the market today, and there are numerous opinions about them.

Even though there are a number of very good websites that are focused on marketing their annuities online, the reality is that some of these sites will work hard at luring you in by touting some pretty impressive claims, such as:

  •  Highest income payouts
  •  Top-rated annuity companies
  •  Guaranteed income for life
  •  Lowest annuity fees

Does this look familiar?

However, as nice as these claims are, it is absolutely essential that you treat them the same way you would if you were considering the purchase of any other “high dollar” purchase, like a new car or home.

In other words, you need to make sure that these claims are backed up before you move forward. This can oftentimes require that you look a bit deeper into the “fine print” about the annuity you are considering. That’s where we come in.

If you really want to know more about the New Heights Select annuity from Nationwide, you are definitely in the right place. As a matter of fact, we dare say that AnnuityGator.com is the only place where you can find all of the key details that you need – including both the advantages and the drawbacks – which can be extremely helpful in helping you to make the right decision as to whether or not this annuity is best for you.

Oftentimes, when an insurance or financial salesperson is trying to sell fixed indexed annuities, they will provide a nice and rosy picture of how these products can provide protection of principal (in any market environment), as well as the opportunity to attain higher growth than most other “safe money” alternatives.

However, in doing so, they can also tend to leave out some of the other important facts, which could be considered as drawbacks. With that in mind, remember to do what the famed radio personality Paul Harvey would say, and learn the “rest of the story.”

So, if you’re ready to know more about the Nationwide New Heights Select fixed indexed annuity, buckle up and let’s get rolling!

The Nationwide New Heights Select Fixed Indexed Annuity at a Glance

Product NameNew Heights Select
IssuerNationwide Financial
Type of ProductFixed Indexed Annuity
A.M. Best RatingA+ (Superior)
Phone Number(877) 669-6877
Websitehttps://www.nationwide.com

Opening Thoughts on the Nationwide New Heights Select Fixed Index Annuity

Nationwide has a history of strength that has lasted for more than 90 years, and today it is one of the largest insurance and financial services companies around the globe. The company specializes in providing annuities, as well as mutual funds, retirement plans, and life insurance coverage for both individuals and businesses.

There are numerous Nationwide affiliate companies, too, that are located throughout the United States, including those that specialize in property and casualty insurance, life insurance, financial services, and strategic investments.

Nationwide Life and Annuity Insurance Company has high ratings from the insurer ratings agencies, including a(n):

  •  A+ from A.M. Best Company
  •  A+ from S&P
  •  A1 from Moody’s

The New Heights Select is a recently released (2021) fixed indexed annuity that came about as a result of Nationwide joining forces with the premier independent designer of fixed indexed annuities, Annexus.

This annuity is operated on the chases of Nationwide’s New Heights fixed indexed annuity, but with a few added enhancements. But, before we get too ahead of ourselves here, it is important to add the following disclaimer.

Before we get into the gritty details, here are some legal disclosures we need to provide…

This is an independent product review, not a recommendation to buy or sell an annuity. Nationwide Financial has not endorsed this review in any way, nor do we receive any type of compensation for providing this review. This review is meant to be an independent review at the request of readers so that they may see our perspective when breaking down the positives and negatives of this particular annuity. Prior to purchasing any type of investment or insurance product, it is important that you do your own due diligence and that you consult a properly licensed professional if you should have any specific questions that relate to your individual circumstances. All names, marks, and materials that were used for this review are the property of their respective owners.

How Nationwide Describes the New Heights Select Fixed Indexed Annuity

The New Heights Select annuity from Nationwide is described as a financial vehicle that is built on the foundation of the #1 selling income fixed indexed annuity with a guaranteed roll-up.

In this case, the annuity offers more choices – which in turn, can equate to greater value for investors and retirees who own this particular product. The added features on the New Heights Select annuity include:

  •  Two new indices to track
  •  More ways to diversify the funds that are inside of the annuity contract
  •  Competitive accumulation opportunities
  •  Increased lifetime income payout percentages (via an optional product rider)

The SC Macro Compass Index is one of the first global multi-asset indices that has the ability to adapt to current market conditions. It does so by “pivoting” and leaning to growth assets when the markets are bullish and goes more towards defensive assets when the markets are down.

With the other new index option – the NYSE Zebra Edge ll Index – behavioral finance “filtering” is used for evaluating the 500 largest publicly-traded companies in the United States each quarter. In turn, the most volatile and riskiest companies are then removed, and replaced with those that have the potential for higher returns (but with less risk).

For those who are seeking income, there are two optional living benefit riders available with the Nationwide New Heights Select annuity. For example, the Nationwide High Point 365 Select Lifetime Income rider with Bonus offers a higher lifetime payout percentage with the flexibility for earlier withdrawals.

This rider includes a bonus of 10% of the purchase payment added to the Minimum Income Benefit Value at the time the annuity is initially purchased. In addition, the annuity’s Minimum Benefit Value is guaranteed to at least double. (Not something that can be done when purchasing stocks or mutual funds directly!)

How a Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” the Nationwide New Heights Select FIA Annuity

Because people are living so much longer today than ever before, having enough income in retirement has become a top concern for many retirees. With that in mind, the guaranteed income concept of the Nationwide New Heights Select fixed indexed annuity is most likely where an insurance or financial advisor would focus when presenting this product to clients or prospects.

In addition, the tax-deferred growth of your money inside of the contract can also be a plus – and it could even allow for an additional option for tax-advantaged accumulation, even if you have “maxed out” other alternatives like an IRA and/or employer-sponsored retirement plan.

But even with all of these awesome features, you really need to be careful, as there are some “tradeoffs” you may need to make with this product. For instance, even though you have the ability to obtain a positive return based on the performance of an underlying index (or indexes), the upward potential can be limited by crediting factors like caps, participation rates, and/or spreads.

In order to fully understand how this works, it can be helpful to discuss with an annuity specialist who can provide you with more details, as well as information about how a particular annuity like the Nationwide New Heights 10 may or may not fit in with your specific financial goals. Feel free to contact an Annuity Gator annuity specialist here.

Are there Fees on the New Heights Select Annuity from Nationwide?

For decades, most financial products have charged at least some type of fee – and annuities are often at the top of the list. This is particularly the case with variable annuities, which oftentimes have fees for investment management, administration charges, and agent or broker commission charges.

While fixed and fixed indexed annuities don’t typically gauge investors quite as much, this does not mean these financial vehicles are completely fee-free. In the case of the Nationwide New Heights Select annuity, there is an added charge for the optional income riders. So, it is important that you weigh out the “price” of lifetime income with the amount it can end up costing you on your overall return.

Plus, like most other annuities, if you surrender the contract – or even if you take out more than a stated maximum from the New Heights Select – you can incur a surrender charge. This is in addition to any of the taxes that would be due. Plus, if you do so before you have turned age 59 ½, it is also possible that you’ll get hit with an additional 10% “early withdrawal” penalty from the IRS.

Because of that, this (and for that matter, any) annuity should be considered a long-term financial commitment. So, the money that you contribute to this annuity should not consist of funds that you might need to access for an emergency in the future.

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on Nationwide’s New Heights Select Fixed Index Annuity

Where the New Heights Select annuity works the best:

Although this fixed indexed annuity offers many nice benefits, it will typically work the best for those who are seeking the following attributes:

  •  Safety of principal
  •  The opportunity for additional, index-linked growth, which can provide a higher return than a regular fixed annuity
  •  Guaranteed income for life

Where this annuity works the worst:

Conversely, there are some areas where this annuity may not be the best option. That may be for people who:

  •  Will need access to their funds within the annuity’s surrender charge period
  •  Do not intend to use the lifetime income feature

If you are still considering the purchase of the New Heights Select fixed indexed annuity from Nationwide, but you’re currently on the proverbial fence regarding whether or not it will be right for you, we can help you to “test” it, based on your specific scenario, at no cost or obligation.

Just let us know if this is something that you are interested in doing, and we’ll get on the case right away!

In Summary

While there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration when you are buying an annuity, one of the biggest concerns is making sure that the annuity is truly right for what you want – and need – it to do.

With regard to the Nationwide New Heights Select fixed index annuity, you can rest assured that you will have an income for life. But at the same time, depending on your other goals and needs, this product may still fall a bit short – and there quite frankly could very well be something else out there that is a better fit for you.

If you have any additional questions on this, or other income-related products, we are here to help. We can also run side-by-side annuity comparisons in order to determine how various annuities might perform. So please feel free to contact us directly via our secure online contact form here.

Do You Have Any Additional Questions About this Annuity? Did You Happen to Notice Any Mistakes on this Nationwide New Heights Select Annuity Review?

We realize that this annuity review of the Nationwide New Heights Select annuity may have run a bit long. But quite frankly, we would much rather that you have “too much” information on this product than to not have enough.

Therefore, if you found this annuity review to be beneficial, please feel free to pass it on and to share it with other people who could also find value in it. (And, if you found it to be confusing, please also let us know that, too.)

In addition, we are aware that information regarding annuities can, and often does, change. So, if you happened to notice anything in this review that should be updated or revised, let us know and we will be happy to make the necessary edits.

Are there any other annuities that you would like to learn more about?

If so, just give us a shout and let us know, and our team will get to working on them right away – so be sure to check back soon and take a look in our Annuity Review Database on our website.

Best,

The Annuity Gator

P.S. If you would like to read more of our Nationwide annuity reviews, here are some links to check out:

Independent Review of the Nationwide New Heights Select Fixed Indexed Annuity

 

 

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