Thursday, June 16, 2022

Can Life Insurance Be An Investment

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Cons Of Term Life Insurance

Life Insurance as an Investment

When you buy a term policy, all of your premiums go toward securing a death benefit for your beneficiaries. Term life insurance, unlike permanent life insurance, does not have any cash value and therefore does not have any investment component. If you’re still alive when the term ends, the policy simply lapses and you and your beneficiaries don’t see any money.

However, you can think of term life insurance as an investment in the sense that you are paying relatively little in premiums in exchange for the peace of mind knowing that in the event of your death, your beneficiaries will receive a relatively large death benefit.

If you are interested in a policy for a fixed period with a built-in savings mechanism that rewards you for your payments later on, a return of premium life insurance policy may be an attractive option. You’ll pay a flat rate for the duration of your policy, but unlike traditional term life insurance coverage, you’ll get all your money back at the end of the term.

How To Apply For Universal Life Insurance

The process of signing up for universal life insurance or any type of life insurance, for that matter is different from other insurance policies you may have purchased.

You cant simply complete the process online from start to finish. You may be able to get a quote online or over the phone in just a few minutes, but the entire process may take several weeks to a month. You usually have to go through an application process that may require a medical exam and an evaluation of your risk factors.

Heres a step-by-step guide to applying for universal life insurance:

When Your Assets Will Be Subject To An Estate Tax

People with particularly high net worths can benefit from permanent life insurance. If your heirs will have to pay an estate tax on your assets when you die, a permanent life insurance policy can help offset some of those costs.

In 2022, any assets above $12.06 million are subject to an estate tax. However, the death benefit of a life insurance policy is tax-free, as long as it pays out to a beneficiary, rather than your estate. So, for example, if your estate is worth $13 million and $940,000 of that is subject to an estate tax, you might take out a permanent life insurance policy worth $1 million so that money goes directly to your heirs â tax-free â when you die.

A permanent life insurance policy might also benefit your heirs if your estate consists largely of fixed or long-term assets, such as real estate. Your heirs will need to pay federal taxes on your estate within nine months of your death, which could be difficult if your assets arenât liquid. A life insurance policy with a death benefit large enough to cover the taxes your family will owe can ease that financial burden.

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How Variable Life Insurance Works

Variable life insurance is a form of life insurance. Like other life insurance, it provides a death benefit that may be significantly larger than the amount of premiums you pay.

With a variable life insurance policy, you will be required to pay premiums into an account. The amount of the premium payments that go into the account may be less than you paid because fees were taken out of the premium payments. The money in the account gets invested in a menu of investment optionstypically mutual funds that you can select.

In addition, you may be able to allocate part of your premiums to a fixed account. A fixed account, unlike a mutual fund, pays a fixed rate of interest. The insurance company may reset this interest rate periodically, but it will usually provide a guaranteed minimum .

The money in your account will vary according to the amount of premiums you pay, the amount of policy fees and expenses, and the performance of the investment options you choose.

Example: You purchase a variable life insurance policy with an initial premium payment of $100,000. You allocate 50% of that payment to a bond fund, and 50% to a stock fund. Over the following year, the stock fund has a 10% return, and the bond fund has a 5% return. At the end of the year, your account has a value of $107,500 , minus fees and expenses .

When Youve Already Maxed Out Your Retirement Funds

Can I use Life Insurance as an Investment?

For the same reasons that cash value life insurance isnât a great investment, relying on cash value to supplement retirement income isnât recommended for most people.

But high-income earners who have already maxed out their other retirement accounts might want an additional vehicle for tax-deferred savings. In these cases, a cash value policy could make sense if you also need life insurance coverage and can afford the high premiums of a cash value policy.

Consult with a financial advisor who can walk you through the specifics of how to use life insurance in your retirement planning.

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Can Life Insurance Also Be An Investment

Ever since the introduction of variable life insurance in the 1950s the debate over life insurance as an investment has raged on, and, to this day, the issue remains largely unsettled. Life insurance advocates can make a case for its unique properties tax deferred growth, tax free death benefit, low interest loan provisions, and varied investment options but then the critics can argue that it can be expensive and that there are better ways to invest your money. The reality is that, while both positions have merit, they also dont apply equally to all financial situations. Everyone needs t o invest for their future, and nearly everybody should own life insurance. So, the issue comes down to how individuals can best accomplish both. The answer is not so clear cut.

Emerging From A Serious Health Scare Dana Wonders If She Can Use Her Life Insurance To Replace The Bonds In Her Investment Portfolio

Q. I am 55 years old, recently finished a four-year battle with cancer, and will be retiring soon. I have a healthy portfolio, consisting of 60% in blue-chip stocks and 40% in fixed income, which will look after my husbands and my financial needs in the future. I also hold a $2-million life insurance policy that I pay approximately $15,000 per year for.

I am considering switching the policy to a guaranteed payout upon my death, but that would put the annual premiums up to around $35,000 per year. Because I hold 40% of a large portfolio in fixed income, Im thinking this would be a better alternative as the rate of return from my insurance policy would be much higher than I could achieve in fixed income.

Curious if you have had clients in the past whom this made sense for. I know my advisor will earn a lot on this policy, and I wanted to get your Coles notes on whether this would or could be something to consider.Dana

A. Congratulations on beating cancer, Dana. You refer to your battle in the past tense, so I assume that means youre in remission now.

Life insurance should generally be used to protect dependents from the risk of a breadwinner dying, so that a death benefit payout can replace their future income. Towards the end of someones career, life insurance may no longer be necessary from a risk management perspective, given that future income disappears at retirement.

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Shop Around For Quotes

If youve decided that universal life insurance is right for you, you can start shopping around for quotes. Many companies offer online quotes in just a few minutes, while others require you to speak with an agent to get an estimate.

The initial quote you get isnt a guarantee of your actual premium, but it can give you an idea of which carrier is most affordable. Youll still have to go through the application process and, in many cases, a medical exam to determine your actual costs.

Variable Life Insurance Fees And Expenses

Is Life Insurance A Good Way To Invest Your Money

You will pay several fees and expenses when you invest in a variable life insurance policy. Be sure you understand all the fees and expenses before you invest. These fees and expenses will reduce the value of your account and may require you to contribute additional premiums to your policy to prevent the policy from terminating. Often, they will include the following:

Other fees and expenses may also apply. You should ask your financial professional to explain to you all charges that may apply. You can also find a description of the fees and expenses in the prospectus for any variable life insurance policy that you are considering.


  • If you do not maintain sufficient cash value to pay your current policy fees and expenses, your policy may lapse .
  • Certain charges are based on your personal characteristics. These charges may be more significant if you present a greater risk to the insurance company .
  • The policy may quote fees and expenses on a monthly or yearly basis. Be sure you understand the amount of fees and expenses you are paying.
  • Policy fees may go towards your financial professionals compensation. That means they may receive higher compensation for selling some policies than for others.

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How Does Universal Life Insurance Work

Universal life insurance has two components: death benefit coverage and an accumulating cash value. When you pay your monthly premium, its split between the two parts of your policy, with a portion going to each. Similar to term life insurance, universal life insurance provides a death benefit to your beneficiaries when you die. Some universal life insurance policies offer a flexible death benefit, meaning your insurer may allow you to increase your death benefit which will in turn increase your premiums if you take another medical exam.

Typically, the death benefit component of life insurance is the most important part, since it gives your loved ones a financial safety net if you die and can no longer provide for them. For this purpose, experts say term life insurance is entirely sufficient.

The additional feature universal life insurance has that term life insurance doesnt is a cash value that earns interest over time based on the current money market rates. As the cash value increases, you can use it to pay your premiums, borrow against it, or withdraw it altogether.

Why Should Life Insurance Not Be Used As An Investment

Most Canadians may find term life insurance a better fit for their situation. Term life insurance is simpler and generally less costly. You pay premiums for a set period, and your beneficiaries only receive the death benefit if you pass away while the policy is in effect. This structure makes sense for those who plan to have little-to-no debts and substantial savings as they reach retirement age. You can also combine term life insurance with a smaller whole life policy generally to cover your own funeral costs or other expenses and remaining debts. This practice is called insurance laddering.

Additionally, life insurance isnt the ideal investment if you prefer managing your money independently. Even though universal life insurance provides different investment options, independent investing is still more flexible. Independent investing further has generally better returns since an insurance company isnt taking regular deductions.

Its common to only consider life insurance as a way to protect loved ones after your death. However, its also a good tax-free investment opportunity and a tool for estate planning. Its ultimately up to your life circumstances, objectives, and risk tolerance whether you choose participating whole life insurance, universal life insurance, or term life insurance. Life insurance is overall an important emotional investment that provides peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

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Making The Most Of Life Insurance

Wondering how to get the most out of your life insurance policy? There are a few things that you should keep in mind.

First, it can be a good idea to pay as much into your policy as possible through your life insurance premiums. This can help you build up the cash value of your policy quicker, which you can use later to cover your premium payments. This can help you save on your premiums over the lifetime of the policy. Once your cash value is high enough, you may also be able to take out a loan against your policy. The amount you take out as a loan will be deducted from your death benefit. But because cash-value loans typically come with lower interest rates than traditional bank loans, it might be worth it, depending on your circumstances.

You can also use the cash value of your life insurance policy to supplement your retirement income. The cash value of permanent life insurance policies is often guaranteed to grow tax-deferred for a period of time, which can work to your advantage.

Naming A Beneficiary Who Is Under Legal Age

How Life Insurance can Serve as a Lifetime Investment

If the beneficiary you name is under the legal age when you die, you may want to set up a trust and designate a trustee or administrator. This person can hold the proceeds of the death benefit in trust on behalf of the minor.

If you don’t name a trustee or administrator, the death benefit, plus any interest it earns, will be held in trust by the province or territory. It will be paid out when your beneficiary reaches legal age. Consult with a lawyer or financial advisor for more details.

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How Can Life Insurance Be An Effective Investment Tool

Investing in a life insurance plan can be a smart move. Definitely not because it just helps you save income tax, but many other aspects. Read on to know more about this effective tool here.

We all know that life insurance is primarily meant to provide security and assurance against lifes uncertainties. And, many financial experts also advice to buy term insurance and invest the rest. But, have you ever wondered if you can use insurance plans as an investment? Well, you are at the right place to seek an answer.

You invest in life insurance with a view to provide your family a financial security. But, life insurance policy is not just an essential protection plan but also can be an effective investment tool to achieve some of your long-term goals. There are life insurance plans that can help you build good amount of corpus for retirement and create wealth to meet various other life-stage needs. From some traditional insurance plans to some newly structured market linked insurance plans, there are plans for every customer of varying risk profile. You have diverse options available to invest in starting right from child plan to retirement plans. Not to forget, senior citizen life insurance policies make it an effective investment tool.

You must have seen child plans often being marketed as a way to save for your kids future. This would have put you in a struggle with a thought whether it makes sense to buy life insurance for kids or not!

Can You Use Life Insurance As An Effective Investment Tool

But, life insurance policy is not just an essential protection plan but also can be an effective investment tool to achieve some of your long-term goals. There are life insurance plans that can help you build good amount of corpus for retirement and create wealth to meet various other life-stage needs.

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Permanent Life Insurance Plans Offer Investment Benefits

Whole, universal and variable life insurance policies are all different kinds of permanent insurance.

These plans accumulate some form of a cash value against the premiums you invest in them. This cash value is not a fixed amount that remains unchanged, but one that offers a positive rate of return over the years. Interest gets re-invested, offering you the benefit of compounded growth, as well as guaranteed death benefits for your loved ones.

Here are some other financial benefits to consider:

  • The funds in these policies grow on a tax-deferred basis.
  • The policy remains in force as long as premiums are paid.
  • The cash value can be borrowed against, without taxes or penalties.
  • You can make withdrawals from the cash value in a financial emergency.

Heres how different kinds of permanent life insurance can help you meet your investment goals:

Is The Cost Of Whole Life Insurance Worth It

Life Insurance as Investment Tool | Cash Value Life Insurance

If you want permanent coverage but are on the fence about the high cost of whole life insurance, you may want to get quotes for a guaranteed universal policy. You can compare this to a quote for whole life insurance. You should also evaluate the guaranteed returns of the whole life insurance policy against an estimate of your returns if you invested the difference in cost between the two policies. Just make sure that you:

  • Compare prices between a whole life insurance policy and guaranteed universal life insurance policy, not a term life insurance policy. If you dont need permanent life insurance, dont buy it. If you do need permanent life insurance, it will cost more than term coverage and a guaranteed universal policy is the closest way to approximate your cost of coverage.
  • Use conservative estimates for your investment returns through a brokerage account. Some critics of whole life insurance compare using 8% to 10% annual expected returns, which are not realistic. In addition, these returns are not guaranteed and you can lose the money you invest. Whole life insurance guaranteed returns are quite moderate, but they are guaranteed.
  • Consider capital gains taxes. Investment gains in a brokerage account can be taxed at up to 20%.

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