As is the case with many annuity products, the Jackson National Perspective II Variable Annuity with Lifeguard Freedom Flex comes with various options – or riders – that can be added to the contract in order to help the product better fit your needs.
In this case, the LifeGuard Freedom Flex rider brochure states that it offers guaranteed lifetime income, while also allowing you to customize certain features in order to address your unique retirement needs.
In this case, the rider offers the following options that are designed for growing income during the annuity’s “accumulation” period:
- A variety of different investment options, which include several asset classes
- Annual step-ups that automatically “lock in” your investment gains
- A bonus of between 5% and 7% that can offer you growth – even in a down or flat market year
- A 200% guaranteed withdrawal benefit that guarantees to double your income, provided that you wait until the later of 12 years or age 70 to begin taking your withdrawals
In addition, once you start to take your income stream, the literature claims that you will also receive a number of great benefits at that time, including:
- Guaranteed withdrawals for life starting at age 59 1/2
- Annual withdrawals of 3.75% to 6%, depending on your age and the income option that you select
- An “income upgrade,” which can essentially increase your guaranteed withdrawal percentage even more
But if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. That’s why before you charge full steam ahead with the Jackson National Perspective II annuity and the accompanying Lifeguard Freedom Flex, you should learn, in the famous words of former radio personality Paul Harvey, “the rest of the story.”
To take a peek at the most updated “bells and whistles” that you can find with the Jackson National Perspective II Variable Annuity with Lifeguard Freedom Flex, go HERE.
Taking a Look at the Lifeguard Freedom Flex “Fine Print”
Although all of the points above may look enticing, the reality is that there is a great deal of fine print that is included here. For instance, that 5% to 7% bonus that’s referenced above will really only be applied in years when no withdrawals take place.
It’s a similar story with the 200% adjustment to the guaranteed withdrawal benefit – it’s basically a no-go if you make any withdrawals prior to the guaranteed withdrawal balance adjustment date. If you do, then no adjustment for you!
During the income phase of the annuity, there are also a few rules and regulations that need to be met in order to take advantage of all of the benefits that the Lifeguard Freedom Flex rider has to offer.
For instance, even though the product brochure states that you can attain between 3.75% and 6% annual withdrawals – and that you may even be able to increase this percentage as you age – if you end up withdrawing more, then the amount of your guaranteed annual income will be reduced.
And when you’re counting on a set amount of income in retirement, taking a pay cut is something that’s usually met with the same enthusiasm as getting a root canal.
So, once you’ve actually peeled away the curtain, is the Lifeguard Freedom Flex really all that flexible, then?
Our answer in a word is…no.
Want an Unbiased Opinion that Won’t Get You All Twisted Up?
While it is important to look closely at the fine print with any insurance or investment product that you’re considering, doing so can oftentimes make you feel like your head is spinning. Plus, if what you’re reading came from the company that is offering the product, it could be that the details are slightly slanted towards making the products look good in any light.
That’s where an unbiased opinion can be beneficial.
Even the very best performing financial products may not always be right for certain people. That’s because everyone’s financial goals are different and unique. So, if you have any questions or concerns regarding the Jackson National Perspective II annuity or the Lifeguard Freedom Flex annuity rider, feel free to reach out to us using the form below.
Our team of annuity “geeks” can help you to wade through the plethora of numbers and information, and drill down to whether or not this annuity product is truly right for you. Use the form below to get started: