Independent Review of Jackson National Life MAX XL Fixed Annuity
What’s Covered In This Review
In this review, we’ll cover the following information on the Jackson National Life MAX XL 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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We make the complex, simple.
If you are currently considering a financial product that is able to offer you safety and security, as well as an ongoing and stable stream of income in retirement, then the Jackson National Life Insurance Company’s MAX XL annuity could be a viable option for you – starting with the fact that this annuity provides principal protection, as well as various other guarantees that are included in the contract.
But, before you move forward with the purchase of this – or any other annuity – it can be beneficial to have a more in-depth understanding of how these products work, and how it may or may not fit into your specific financial situation.
Over the past ten years or so, annuities have become much more popular as a way to offer a guaranteed stream of income in retirement. Because of this, there has also been a vast increase in the number of financial and insurance reps who are selling these products. That, however, may not necessarily be a positive thing, because even though most financial advisors move to do what is best for their clients, they may not always be offering you the answers to the questions that you have with regard to how the product truly performs.
In addition, due in large part to the growing popularity of annuities in general, the list of annuity products that are now available in the marketplace has grown significantly. But many of these offerings can be really confusing to understand – even for well-educated consumers and financial professionals.
With that in mind, there are some additional steps that you should take so that you truly understand what it is that you’re considering – particularly as an annuity could require a large portion of your overall retirement income in the future. In addition, annuities are always thought of as long-term financial commitments, and once you have purchased one, it could be quite costly in terms of penalties if you want to get back out of it.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information that You Can Trust
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If you have been in the midst of seeking information about annuities via the Internet, then it is likely that you have run across some very conflicting details with regard to these financial vehicles. This, however, is not at all surprising, because there is a lot of information out there to digest.
You may also have recently attended an annuity seminar or workshop, where the presenter offered you dinner or lunch in return for giving you information about the Jackson National Life MAX XL, or some other annuity. This may well be what has ultimately led you to our website in search of more information.
While there are numerous very good websites out there that are focused on marketing their annuities online, some of these tend to lure you 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!
But, while these claims might sound enticing, just like when you purchase any other product or service, you need to determine whether or not they are really true. Sometimes, this can entail delving into a vast array of “small print” that in some cases, can make it even more confusing.
If you truly want to find out more information about the Jackson National Life Insurance Company’s MAX XL annuity, then you are certainly in the right place. In fact, dare we state that the website that you are on right now is the only place where you can find all of the key details – which of course include the good, as well as the bad and ugly, too. Knowing all of this information, though, is what can help you to really know whether or not this particular annuity is the best one for you.
Oftentimes, the insurance agents who are offering fixed annuities will provide a nice picture of how their products provide safety – but will often leave out the details on the potential drawbacks that products have. So, before you move a chunk of your hard-earned savings into one of these annuities, it is essential that you know the whole story.
In order to be perfectly clear here, we will say upfront that fixed annuities can be extremely advantageous – if they fit into your overall financial picture. With that in mind, it is key that you know just exactly what it is that you are getting, as well as why you are choosing it over a myriad of other financial options.
This annuity review is here to assist you with getting a clearer picture of the Jackson National Life MAX XL annuity by highlighting some of this product’s “fine print” – which can provide you with a much clearer picture of whether or not this particular annuity will help you to reach your retirement and/or other financial goals.
So, if you’re ready to get started, let’s go ahead and jump in!
Jackson National Life MAX XL Annuity
|Product Name||MAX XL|
|Issuer||Jackson National Life Insurance Company|
|Type of Product||Fixed Annuity|
|Standard & Poor's Rating||AA (Very Strong)|
|Phone Number||(877) 565-2968|
Opening Thoughts on the Jackson National MAX XL Annuity
Jackson National Life Insurance Company has been active in offering wealth accumulation and protection products since 1961. This insurer, which has its headquarters in Lansing, Michigan, actually started out as a small family owned business. But today, it is grown exponentially into a multi-billion dollar insurance and annuity provider.
In fact, according to LIMRA, Jackson National is actually ranked (for HY 2016) as the number two seller of annuities in the U.S. And, based on the company’s total statutory assets, SNL Financial has ranked it as the 8th largest U.S. life insurer.
Jackson National has also earned high ratings from the major insurance company rating agencies. These include:
- 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.
Due in large part to 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.
Unfortunately, though, because of the historically low-interest rate environment that the U.S. has been in since 2008, the return that is being offered via fixed annuities is extremely low – so low, in fact, that in many cases, it is not even enough to meet or beat the inflation rate. This could incur a negative impact on not only the return that you receive on your annuity’s account but also on the amount of income that you will ultimately be able to get in the future.
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 one for you, click here in order to obtain our free annuity report.
How Jackson National Life Insurance Company Describes the MAX XL Annuity
According to Jackson National Life Insurance Company’s product brochure for the MAX XL annuity, this product is a flexible premium deferred fixed annuity that can provide the following:
- Preservation of principal
- Competitive interest rates
- Your choice of interest rate guarantee periods
- Tax-deferred interest accumulation
- Options for guaranteed retirement income – including an income for life
The product literature about the Jackson National Life MAX XL goes on to state that this annuity will offer you a way to both grow and preserve your nest egg in a couple of ways. These include:
- Competitive Interest Rates – With the MAX XL annuity, you can elect to have your initial interest rate guaranteed for 1, 3, or 5 years. Then, following that time frame, the rate is guaranteed to never fall below the contract’s declared guaranteed minimum interest rate.
- Tax Advantages – The interest in the annuity will accumulate free of current taxation until you withdraw it.
Other benefits that are offered on the Jackson National Life MAX XL annuity include the following:
- Extended Care Benefit – With the extended care benefit, if you – or the joint owner of the annuity – are by medical necessity confined to a nursing home or a hospital for 90 consecutive days, you may withdraw up to 100 percent of the accumulated contract value, without incurring a withdrawal charge.
- Terminal Illness Benefit – Likewise, if you (or the joint owner, if applicable) are diagnosed with a medical condition that is anticipated to result in death within 12 months, then you may withdraw up to 100 percent of the contract’s accumulated value, without being subject to a withdrawal charge.
- Death Benefit – With the death benefit feature, your entire amount of accumulated value in the annuity can be paid out to a named beneficiary (or beneficiaries). The beneficiary may then elect to receive these benefits either in a lump sum or via a series of payments over time.
How Financial Advisors Might “Pitch” This Annuity
The Jackson National Life Insurance Company’s MAX XL annuity is a fixed annuity that provides protection, along with a fixed rate of interest on your money. You may also elect a guaranteed lifetime income stream, that will last for the remainder of your life, regardless of how long that may be.
If an insurance or financial sale rep has contacted you about this annuity, it is likely that he or she has explained the annuity to you by focusing on certain features about it, such as its safety and lifetime income benefits.
However, as you may have noticed, financial and insurance companies do an excellent job of making sure that their products sound enticing. As an example, by reading over the above list of bullet points about the Jackson National MAX XL annuity, you may be ready to move forward with purchasing it, thinking that these features are ideal.
But, it is important to note here that if you are being “pitched” this annuity – or any other annuity, for that matter – by a commissioned sales representative, then it is highly probable that they are going to explain it to you by highlighting all of its positive attributes, while leaving out the possible drawbacks.
But, by taking a closer look at this annuity, even though the features that if offers may sound great, once you have gone a bit deeper into the fine print, you may start to realize that it may not be all that it was cracked up to be.
In this case, when more closely examining the product’s “fine print” in the brochure, you are apt to discover the following:
- Competitive Interest Rate – If you should elect the three or the five year guarantee period, the rate that is credited to your annuity contract will be lower than if the extended guaranteed period had not been selected. In addition, the three and the five year guarantee periods may not even be available in all states – and, according to the brochure, these guarantees “are subject to availability.”
- Tax Advantages – With regard to the annuity’s tax advantages, there are some states that will impose premium taxes. So, it is key to find out whether or not your state does this, as it could very well rule out one of the primary annuity benefits.
- Extended Care Benefit – When taking a look at the fine print on the annuity’s extended care benefit, you will find that the benefit is limited to an aggregate of $250,000 – so it may or may not really offer you all that much value if it is needed.
- Terminal Illness Benefit – Likewise, there is an aggregate limit of $250,000 on the terminal illness benefit, so here too, it may not truly be all that it was cracked up to be.
With all of this in mind, even though principal protection and an income for life can be important and attractive benefits, the reality is that these features can be found on any fixed annuity – and, if you are able to find these features, along with the opportunity for a higher return on your funds, it may be worthwhile to take a closer look at other alternatives that are available to you.
The bottom line here is that, yes the Jackson National Life MAX XL annuity can offer some nice benefits – as long as it fits in with your particular goals. But, once you have locked up a sizeable sum of your hard earned savings in it, it may be too late for you to change your mind if a better option were to come along.
So, if you are still not completely convinced that this annuity is the ideal option for you – and you would also like to get answers to any additional questions about it that you may have – then please feel free to reach out to us through our secure contact form now.
We realize just how confusing it can be when you are trying to decide whether or not a particular annuity product may or may not 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 XL Annuity?
In addition to obtaining the in-depth details regarding how your money may perform when it’s in an annuity, it is also helpful for you 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.
Because annuities are long-term endeavors, these fees can often add up – which in turn, can have a negative effect on the amount of money that you’re able to accumulate in the annuity, as well as with regard to the amount of income that you will have in retirement.
Some of the most common fees that you can find in a fixed annuity include a commission that is paid out to the representative who sold it to you, as well as various contract and administrative fees.
In addition, if you need or want to withdraw more than 10 percent of the contract value within the first several years after purchasing an annuity, you will typically incur a surrender charge. On the Jackson National MAX XL annuity, the surrender charges will run for the first full six years.
|Completed Years Since Receipt of each Premium Payment||0||1||2||3||4||5||6+|
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Jackson National Life MAX XL Annuity
Where it works best:
This Jackson National Life MAX XL annuity may work best for those who are looking for:
- Safety of principal
- Guaranteed lifetime income in retirement
- Guaranteed rate protection – at least for a short period of time after purchasing the annuity
Where it works the worst:
This annuity may not be a very good 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 really know how to compare the best annuity options for you and your specific goals and needs, click here so that you can download our free annuity report.
There are a number of criteria that you need to consider when you are deciding whether or not a particular annuity is right for you. Or, for that matter, whether any annuity is right for you, based on what it is that you’re looking to accomplish.
In any case, annuities are always considered to be long-term financial endeavors. Because of that, it is essential that you feel comfortable in knowing how an annuity may get you closer to your ultimate retirement goals.
If you are leaning towards a fixed annuity, these vehicles can definitely provide you with the safety of your principal, as well as a guaranteed, ongoing income throughout y
our retirement – no matter how long you need that incoming cash flow. This can provide you with the security of knowing that you won’t run out of income down the road.
With regard to the Jackson National Life MAX XL annuity, there are certainly some very good features about it. But, the reality is that it could also still fall somewhat short – and frankly, there may be some better options out there for you, especially if you are looking for lifetime income, safety, and the opportunity for added growth.
If, after reading this annuity review, you still have any questions regarding whether or not the Jackson National Life MAX XL annuity is the right one for you – or, even if you just have questions about annuities and how they could work for you, please feel free to contact us directly via our secure contact form here.
Need Any Additional Information on this Annuity? Did You Find Mistakes In This Review?
We understand that this annuity review may have been a bit on the long side – so thank you for sticking with us. But, in truly taking a deep dive into annuity details, we would prefer to provide you with “too much” information rather than not enough.
In addition, we also realize that annuity information can change on a regular basis. So, if you happened to see any information in this review that may need to be revised or updated, please let us know and we will be happy to make any of the necessary corrections.
On the other hand, if this annuity ended up causing you to be more confused about annuities – or if by reading through it, you were prompted with any additional questions or concerns – then please click here and let us know that, too.
Are there any other annuities that you would like to know more about?
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