By BOB CUNNINGHAM
Since establishing this personal finance blog last spring, I’ve alluded to a superior approach for allowing anyone to save money in a way that allows for maximum safety, a respectable rate of return that is free of income taxes, and the liquidity to access the funds that build up – plus have those funds continue to earn interest for you even while utilizing the money for purchases simultaneously.
But while I’ve touched on these different factors… given you varied teasers, if you will… I haven’t gone into much detail about the strategy of using properly-structured, dividend-paying whole life insurance as your primary savings vehicle. And there’s a couple of different reasons for that. 1) I wanted to focus primarily on basic financial principles with this blog, because they aren’t taught with any degree of consistency but should be, with the idea that using the strategy I’m about to uncover is more of an advanced approach, and 2) Even though I’m a licensed insurance agent in California, I’m still learning about the specifics of this technique and its plethora of “living benefits” to go along with the traditional death benefit.
In previous posts, we’ve covered the evils of government-sponsored investment/savings programs such as workplace 401Ks, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), and 529 Plans for college education expenses. I explained how your lack of control over these instruments can subject your money to avoidable taxation, often ridiculously high fees, and an inconvenient (and needless) inaccessibility to your own funds.
We’ve also delved into the high-risk nature of investing in Wall Street via the equity markets; buying and selling real estate; commodities; collectibles; and just about anything else that will allegedly rise in value over time.
Despite the realities just mentioned in the preceding two paragraphs, the substantial majority of Americans continue to follow the herd and put virtually all of their hard-earned monies into these conventional accounts while holding their collective breaths wishing for steady appreciation and hoping not to get killed by taxes.
Simply answered, because no one has ever bothered to show them a better alternative. We hear, see, or read folks who purport to be personal finance “experts” (Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey, David Bach to name three) claiming the conventional, government-controlled approaches are the only way to go and assume what they’re pitching must make sense… because we simply don’t know any other way. These personalities tend to black-ball permanent insurance (of which whole life is a type), criticizing what they don’t know enough about and, frankly, likely have never taken the time to truly investigate.
So, myself and many who have preceded me have decided we will be the voices (or written words) of reason, truth, and logic.
And on that note, and without further adieu, allow me to briefly detail the advantages of utilizing the proper type of dividend-paying whole life insurance:
Enjoy an immediate death benefit, while building a nest-egg you can access anytime you want. When you open the right type of whole life insurance policy, your pre-determined death benefit is good from the first day in the event something happens to you (or whomever is the insured on the policy), and at the same time you begin building cash value that you can access whenever you want – no waiting until age 59 1/2 to avoid penalties like there is with the government -sponsored programs.
To be fair, the Roth IRA will allow you to withdraw your contributions at any time without having to pay taxes or a penalty, but that doesn’t apply to any gains the account may have made. With the whole life policy, you can access virtually all of your account with the right approach (either via withdrawal or non-qualifying policy loan). Refer to your individual agent for guidance on how to accomplish this.
Know, within a reasonable level of certainty, how much money you can build over a given period of time at essentially no risk. Although dividends are not guaranteed, the companies that issue the type of policy I am referring to here have enjoyed profits (and, therefore, dividends paid to policy owners) for well more than 100 CONSECUTIVE years. According to Pamela Yellen at www.BankonYourself.com, these companies have profited every single year since before 1900 – that includes during The Great Depression, times of war, The Crash of 1987, and the recession we endured about a decade ago.
Utilize the unique advantage of borrowing against your policy’s cash value, while it continues to grow as if you had never touched the funds. That’s because you don’t. Set up properly, these policies allow for the loan proceeds to come from the insurance company’s general fund, with your cash value as collateral, meaning that the cash value itself stays in place and continues to work for you, earning a rate of return plus dividends.
Loans are tax-free, and don’t have to be paid back on a schedule, or at all if you choose. The flexibility of this type of account is unheard of. You want to borrow from your cash value? Just let the insurance company know how much you need. And although a sensible, long-term financial plan utilizing these policies as retirement vehicles compels you to repay these loans (pay yourself back at a lower-than-market interest rate), you are NOT required to do so. Any unpaid loan balances still in effect at the time of the insured’s death simply results in that owed money being deducted from the impending death benefit.
In the coming weeks, we will cover more features – in more detail. Bottom line, you should be excited about what I’m introducing to you here. This immaculate alternative to conventional investing will greatly simplify your financial life, and benefit you multiple times over on multiple levels.
Until next time, thanks as always for reading.
DISCLAIMER: This post represents the author’s opinions only. In no way should any part of the content of this post be interpreted as official financial advice, nor does it represent an intention to solicit readers into a specific company or investment. Results are never guaranteed. Utilize the information as you see fit, make all money decisions at your own risk.