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Independent Review of Jackson National Life MAX One XL Fixed Annuity

What’s Covered In This Review

In this review, we’ll cover the following information on the Jackson National Life MAX One XL Fixed Annuity:

  • Product TypeIndependent Review of Jackson National Life MAX XL
  • 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 have been considering a financial vehicle that can offer you security, along with a stable stream of income in the future, the Jackson National Life Insurance Company’s MAX One XL Annuity just may be a viable option for you – starting with the fact that it offers protection of principal, along with other guarantees that are built directly into the annuity contract.

But, prior to going full steam ahead and purchasing this particular annuity – or purchasing any other annuity, for that matter – it can be extremely helpful to first have a clearer understanding of just exactly how fixed annuities work, and how one may or may not fit into your overall retirement portfolio.

Throughout the past several years, annuities have seen a real upward spike in popularity. This is due in part to the fact that many companies have done away with defined benefit pension plans – so people are looking for a way to obtain a guaranteed stream of retirement income. A fixed annuity can offer that.

With interest in annuities high, the number of insurance and financial advisors offering these products has increased dramatically. However, this is not necessarily considered a positive thing. For one reason, even though advisors will usually try to do what is right for their clients, they may not always be giving you all of the information that you need in order to make a well-informed annuity buying decision.

In addition, because of annuities being more popular these days, many insurance companies that offer them have added to their product lines. Here again, not always a positive – primarily because the more “bells and whistles” that are added, the more confusing these products can be to understand – unless, of course, you enjoy wading through pages upon pages of annuity “fine print.”

Today, even well-educated consumers need to take additional steps in order to fully understand what it is they are buying. And with annuities, this is particularly critical, as you could very well be plunking down a sizeable amount of your hard earned savings into it. Plus, even if you realize that a particular annuity isn’t right for you, if you’ve already made your deposit, it can be quite costly to get out within the first several years, due to the surrender charges.

Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information that Can Be Trusted

If you have never visited our website before, we would like to personally welcome you to We comprise a team of experienced financial pros who are focused on providing you with in-depth, comprehensive, and nonbiased annuity reviews. We have been doing this for many years – far longer than our competitors – and because of that, we have come to be known as a highly trusted source of annuity information.

If you have been seeking more details about annuities via the Internet, it is likely that you have stumbled across a myriad of conflicting details about these financial vehicles. This, however, is not at all surprising, as there are a lot of details to be seen.

You also may have recently attended an informational seminar or workshop about annuities. In this case, the presenter may have offered you dinner or lunch, during which he or she discussed the many reasons why a particular annuity could be right for you. That may even be what led you here to our website, in search of more information.

Although there are many very good websites that are geared towards marketing their annuities online, some of these tend to lure their visitors in by making claims such as the following:

  • Highest annuity payouts
  • Low fees
  • Guaranteed income for life
  • Top Rated Annuity Companies
  • Get an Annuity Quote Now!

Even while these claims might sound highly appealing, though, it is absolutely essential that you find out whether or not they truly have any validity – or if they are instead “inflated” and based upon a lot of “maybes.” So, just as you would likely do before purchasing any other high dollar item, you will want to find out more before you move forward with an annuity purchase.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Jackson National Life MAX One XL annuity, then you have certainly come to the right spot. In fact, we will take it one step further and say that this website that you are on right now is the only place where you can find out all of the nitty-gritty details – which doesn’t just include the good, but also the bad and the ugly. This, however, is really the only way for you to determine whether or not this particular annuity will be best for you.

In many instances, the insurance and financial sales people who offer fixed annuity products will paint you a nice and rosy picture of how these vehicles offer safety and ongoing income. However, they will often times leave out the other details on some (or all) of the possible drawbacks that the product could have as well. So, prior to moving a large amount of your retirement savings into an annuity, be sure that you are privy to the whole story.

Also, just to be clear, we believe that fixed annuities can be quite beneficial – provided that they actually fit into your specific financial plans. So, given that, it is important for you to understand what it is that you are considering, as well as why you may be opting for one particular annuity over other alternatives that are available to you.

This annuity review is here to help you with getting a better understanding all of the “fine print” so that you have a much more clear knowledge of whether or not the Jackson National Life MAX One XL Deferred Fixed 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!

Jackson National Life MAX One XL Fixed Annuity

Product NameMAX One XL
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 MAX One XL Annuity

Jackson National Life Insurance Company, which is headquartered in Lansing, Michigan, has been in the business of providing insurance and financial products since the early 1960s. Although the company began as a small, family-run operation, today it is a large, multi-billion dollar company.

In fact, Jackson National was recently rated by SNL Financial as the 8th largest life insurance company in the United States, based upon total statutory assets, and as the 16th largest when ranked by general account assets. Also, according to LIMRA, Jackson National has also been rated (during HY 2016) as the second largest seller of annuities in the U.S.

Due to its strong financial foundation and positive reputation for paying our policyholder claims, Jackson National Life Insurance company has the following ratings from the insurer rating agencies:

  • 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.

Because of the increased market volatility over the past decade or two, the demand for fixed annuities has grown substantially as a way for retirees and/or those who are preparing for retirement to keep principal safe.

Yet, because of the low-interest rates that we’ve seen – primarily since the 2008 economic recession – the return that you will find on fixed annuities today is quite low. In many instances, the returns on fixed annuities are not even enough to meet the inflation rate – which could, in turn, negatively impact your future purchasing power, and the ability to buy the goods and the services that you need in retirement, especially if you plan to use the income from a fixed annuity as a primary source of your retirement income.

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 more detailed 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 Life Insurance Company Describes the MAX One XL Annuity

According to the Jackson National Life brochure for the MAX One XL annuity, this product is a flexible premium deferred fixed annuity that can provide:

  • Preservation of principal
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Your choice of interest rate guarantee periods
  • Tax-deferred interest accumulation
  • Options for guaranteed retirement income – including income for life

The MAX One XL annuity can help you to preserve and grow your nest egg in three key ways, including its:

  • First Year Bonus – The MAX One XL annuity offers a first-year interest rate bonus to help with boosting your annuity’s accumulated values over the years.
  • Competitive Interest Rates – You may also elect to have your initial interest rate, not including the first year bonus, guaranteed for 1, 3, or 5 years. After that, the interest rate is guaranteed never to fall below the contract’s declared guaranteed minimum interest rate.
  • Tax Advantages – Interest in the annuity accumulates free of current taxation until you withdraw it.

The MAX One XL annuity also offers added features, too, such as a:

  • Terminal Illness Benefit – If you are diagnosed with a medical condition and meet other qualification factors, you may be able to withdraw up to 100 percent of your annuity contract’s accumulated value without incurring a withdrawal charge.
  • Standard Death Benefit – Your entire accumulated value in the annuity will be paid out to a named beneficiary.
  • Earnings Max – An optional death benefit, the earnings max, may be chosen. This can help to lessen the impact of taxes to your heirs. Here, if you are up to age 69, the Earnings Max will pay your beneficiary an additional 40 percent of the contract earnings. (If you are between age 70 and 75 at the time you purchase the annuity, the Earnings Max is calculated at 25 percent of contract earnings.

How Financial Advisors Might “Pitch” This Annuity

The Jackson National Life MAX One XL Annuity is a flexible premium deferred fixed annuity that can offer you a number of benefits, including principal protection, tax-deferred accumulation, and several different options for obtaining a guaranteed stream of income in retirement.

If an insurance or financial advisor has approached you regarding this particular annuity product, it is likely that he or she has stressed certain features that the annuity offers, such as safety and guaranteed income.

But, as an educated consumer, you have no doubt noticed that financial and insurance companies do an excellent job of making sure that their products look and sound very enticing. For example, if you focused on just the benefits that are listed above, you may feel that the MAX One XL fixed annuity is the ideal product for you.

It is important to note, however, that if this annuity is being offered to you by a commissioned insurance or financial representative, then it is highly likely that they are going to highlight all of the product’s positive attributes while leaving some (or all) of its drawbacks out.

That’s why it is key to know what the small print says, as well. in this case, when you take a deeper dive into the information about the Jackson National Life Insurance Company’s MAX One XL annuity, you may begin to realize that it isn’t all that it was initially made out to be.

As an example, if you take a look at the footnotes in the MAX One XL brochure, you may discover the following:

  • First Year Bonus – The footnote after the first year bonus description will state that “As a result of this product’s first year bonus, rates in subsequent years will be lower.”
  • Competitive Interest Rates – The annuity literature’s fine print goes on to state that, “If you elect the 3-year of the 5-year guarantee period, the rate credited to your contract will be lower than if the extended guaranteed period had not been selected.” Also, depending on where you live, you may not be eligible for the 1, 3, or 5-year rate guarantee, as this benefit is not available in all states – and it is also “subject to availability” overall.
  • Tax Advantages – In terms of the annuity’s tax advantages, there are some states that will impose premium taxes – so it is important to know here whether or not you will be subject to these.
  • Terminal Illness Benefit – While the terminal illness benefit also sounds advantageous at first, the amount of this benefit is limited to an aggregate of $250,000 on all of the company’s contracts.
  • Death Benefit – Likewise, the death benefit may also not be all that it was cracked up to be up front. This is because the amount may be preselected, based on the type of contract that you have.

So, even though the safety of principal and the opportunity to obtain lifetime retirement income may be great, the truth is that these features can actually be found on any fixed annuity product – and, if you are able to find an annuity that is appealing to you that has these features, along with the ability to get a higher rate of return, then it very well could be worth your while to look more closely at some of the other alternatives that are available before locking yourself into this particular annuity.

This is because, once you have deposited what will likely be a large percentage of your overall retirement savings into this product, it could be very costly for you to get out of it if you happen to change your mind down the road.

So, if you are still not completely sure of whether or not the Jackson National Life MAX One XL annuity is best for you – or, if you still have any additional questions that you would like to have answered – then feel free to reach out to us through our secure contact form right here.

We are aware of just how confusing it may be when you are trying to decide whether or not a particular annuity may be right for you. But, 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 Fees on the Jackson National Life MAX One XL Annuity?

In addition to knowing 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 – which can occur during the product’s savings, or accumulation, period, as well as during the time that you are withdrawing.

These fees can often times really add up, too, which can have an impact on the amount of money that you are able to save, and ultimately the amount of income that you will receive in the future.

A few of the fee types that you could run into with a fixed annuity include an upfront commission to the sales person who sold the product to you. There can also be various administrative and/or contract related fees.

Plus, if you do need to access all (or a large portion) of your funds from the account, you will also be hit with a fairly sizeable surrender charge if you do so in the early years. For instance, with regard to the Jackson National MAX One XL annuity, the surrender charges are as follows:

Completed Years Since Receipt of each Premium Payment0123456+
Withdrawal Charge6%5%4%3%2%1%0%

Jackson National Life MAX One XL Annuity

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Jackson National Life MAX One XL Annuity

Where it works best:

This Jackson National Life MAX One XL annuity will usually work the best for those who are looking for:

  • Safety of principal
  • Guaranteed lifetime income in retirement
  • Guaranteed rate protection – at least for a very short period of time after purchasing the annuity

Where it works the worst:

This annuity may not be an ideal 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 a number of key factors that you should ideally consider when you are deciding whether or not to purchase an annuity – or even if an annuity is right for you in general. For example, in all instances, an annuity should be considered a long-term financial commitment – and because of that, you should be very comfortable in knowing how a particular annuity will – or won’t – move you towards you financial and retirement-related goals.

If a fixed annuity is something that you are seriously considering, you can be sure that your principal is safe, and that you will be able to receive an income in retirement. So, when looking at the Jackson National MAX One XL, there are some features that are beneficial. But, this product could quite honestly also still fall a bit short, as there may very well be other options that are better for you – particularly if you are seeking safety and the ability to earn a higher return.

If you still have any questions or concerns about whether this particular annuity is the right one for you, or even if you just simply need some additional assistance in guiding you in the right direction regarding annuities, then please feel free to reach out to us directly through our secure contact form here.

Have Any Additional Questions on the Jackson National Life MAX One XL Annuity?

We realize that this review was a tad bit on the long side. However, we would much rather provide you with too much information about the annuity products we review, as versus not enough. With that in mind, if you did find this annuity review beneficial, then please feel free to pass it along and to share it with anyone else who you feel may also benefit from this information.

We also understand that – just as with any other element in the financial arena – the information regarding annuities can change with some regularity. So, if you happened to notice any mistakes or details that are outdated, please do let us know and will we make the necessary corrections.

If this annuity review ended up causing you to be more confused about this annuity – or even as to whether or not an annuity is right for you – please let us know, and we will be happy to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.

Any other annuities you would like to have us review?

If there are any other annuities that are not currently on our website, but that you would like to see reviewed, please let us know that, too. By providing us with the name of the annuity (or annuities) that you are interested in learning more about, our team will get on it and get the details on our website as quickly as possible.


The Annuity Gator

Jackson National Life MAX One XL Annuity

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