Life Insurance: An Additional Asset Class

Back in a January 11, 2009 Palm Beach Daily News, an article by R. Marshall Jones, JD, CLU, ChFC titled “Life Insurance: An Additional Asset Class in Difficult Times,” the author makes the following observations about whole life (or permanent) insurance companies in the wake of the 2008’s economic turmoil:

“Fortunately, the life insurance industry has almost none of the problems of Wall Street… Until recently, permanent life insurance was arguably the financial industry’s most complex instrument. Fortunately, due to its complexity, life insurance is highly regulated to assure there are always sufficient, safe assets to honor its guarantees. This is referred to as statutory accounting. For more than 100 years, every life insurance death benefit has been paid.

All life insurance companies use statutory accounting. In addition, publicly traded insurance companies use GAAP accounting. It allows them to report the expected profitability of products that require reserves to back their contractual liabilities.”

Mr. Jones doesn’t take the point of view that life insurance companies can fail, several have indeed failed.  But for the other 99% of them, they have a proven track record of stability.  In fact, of those few life insurance companies that have failed, the other insurance companies bought up all of the failed companies policies.  Whole life and universal life insurance products are highly regulated for payment stability and have successfully been through good times and bad.

So let’s look at how about 99% of us struggle to make ends meet.  Many of us are in a position where we think that our lifestyle is consuming all of our earnings.  The belief is that every time we achieve a greater level of affluence, we increase the level of spending to account for that new found level of income.  There is an entire school of research called “behavioral economics” that says a human will consume what it earns or all that comes into his or her personal economy.  This is why it makes it difficult to save.  We’ve got to become better savers for our future retirement.

At we educate people how to accomplish retirement savings and at the same time protect their loved ones with a life insurance product.  This can be an entirely new concept for many people who are accustomed to investing their savings in the highly volatile marketplace and losing lots of sleep watching it go up and down.

We hear that people think that insurance costs too much.  In a much published study, people know they need insurance but think they can’t afford it. However once educated on the true cost of insurance, they realize it is significantly less than they thought it was and they really can afford to protect their loved ones.  There are numerous choices of life insurance to choose from to protect and create a retirement plan; such as term life, universal, and indexed universal life insurance.

A universal life insurance policy is a perfect choice to begin a retirement plan.  Besides the obvious life insurance benefit, it force starts a savings plan that is guaranteed safe.  While term life insurance is obviously less expensive, the universal life policy is earning a higher rate of interest than any other safe investment product on the market today.  This savings element is compounded annually and if held for 10, 20, 30 or more years, it can yield a significant sum of money to supplement other retirement income sources.  Additionally, this money is tax deferred, safe from creditors in many states, has cash value you can borrow tax-free, and most likely has a living long-term care benefit.

At this point, would you say this is an expense or a savings? Is it a smart place to put your money? Any place you can save money is a smart place.  So the real question is, “is this a smarter place to put your money?”  Life Insurance Think Tank would suggest to you that buying a permanent life insurance policy that protects your family for the rest of your life is an excellent choice because it provides:

  • Living benefits of long-term care should you require it while you are alive
  • A death benefits when you pass away
  • Tax-free payment of proceeds to your beneficiaries
  •  guaranteed safe place to save money
  • An excellent place to earn compounded tax-deferred interest
  • The option of taking your cash out tax-free to for any purchase
  • The option to take your cash tax-free to supplement your income when you retire
  • Does not require you to pay it back into the insurance policy!

Permanent life insurance has stood the test of time and proven useful for a very long time.  Life insurance has been a common place for Americans to save money for decades.  But then the financial markets became all the rage to save money.  We’ve been through some difficult times with the markets and no one knows what’s going to happen in the future.  However, even during the previous rough market times, not one person who had their savings in a life insurance policy ever lost money.  Can you say that for anyone you know who was invested in the stock market?  Learn more about life insurance at www.lifeinsurancethinktank.comFind a Tax-Free Retirement Specialist here who can help answer your questions about creating a tax advantaged strategy for protecting your family and a retirement plan.

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