November 10, 2016

IPB 050: Dividend Season 2016


It's that time of year again…time for companies that offer participating whole life insurance policies to make their dividend announcements for the coming year. (And yes, we realize these are technically the 2017 dividend announcements but since they're made in 2016 we refer to it as the 2016 season.)

So far, we've heard from Northwestern Mutual and Mass Mutual.

You can read our posts about those announcements here and here.

This year the “trend is not your friend” as both of the two companies that have made their announcements public have lowered their dividend scale by 45 and 40 bps respectively. So…what does that mean for the rest of the companies yet to announce?

Well, my crystal ball says that if they hold their dividend that will be great. But we're leaning more toward more lowering announcements. It's unlikely that we'll see any increases.

But…I'll be happy to plate up some cold crow if the announcements improve.

We'll do our best to keep you posted as the announcements roll in.

November 8, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: MassMutual Life Announces 2017 Dividend

Insurance News

The Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company announced its intentions to pay $1.6 billion in dividends to policyholders in 2017. This represents a decrease from 2016 of Read More…

November 3, 2016

IPB 049: Why 10 Pay Whole Life Is Not So Great


We are often asked about 10 Pay Whole life policies as a strategy to accumulate cash value at a more rapid rate. So, today were getting into why this might not be the best idea.

As a quick review a true 10 Pay Whole Life Insurance requires just 10 premium payments.  After those 10 payments it is contractually paid up requiring no further premiums. Agents and brokers often use this product for its higher than average cash accumulation capabilities and for the very short time period of premium commitment.


October 27, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: Northwestern Mutual Announces 2017 Dividend

Insurance News

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company has announced its intentions to pay $5.2 billion in dividends to policyholders in 2017. This represents a decrease from the 2016 dividend payout of $400 million. Read More…

October 20, 2016

IPB 048: When a Modified Endowment Contract Makes Sense



Most people think that creating a Modified Endowment Contract (MEC) is a bad thing. We discussed that at some length in last week's episode.

That's mainly because the tax advantages of using life insurance are pretty widely known and discussed my agents…ourselves included. So, why in the world would anyone want to intentionally make the cash value taxable by using a MEC?

Good question. Losing the tax benefits can be a negative thing…especially if creating a MEC was not your intention. Read More…

October 13, 2016

IPB 047: The Modified Endowment Contract




Note: The podcast is fresh and new but the written post below is a re-post of information that Brandon wrote a few years back on modified endowment contracts:

Anyone who has looked into cash value life insurance has probably come across the term Modified Endowment Contract (MEC). Those with flexible premium policies may have noticed a portion of their statements that stipulate whether or not the contract is a Modified Endowment Contract.

You may have even seen numbers indicating the amount of money that can go into a policy before it turns into an MEC. What does it mean, and why do we care? We’ll explain that and more today as we cover MECs in their entirety. Read More…

October 6, 2016

IPB 046: Life Insurance Has Never Caused a Financial Meltdown



In light of the recent developments with Wells Fargo opening accounts for people without consent and their CEO, John Stumpf, being skewered by Senator Elizabeth Warren…

We decided it would be a great day to point out how many times a life insurance company CEO has been trotted out to testify in front of Senate or House investigative panel.

Do you remember how many life insurance companies made big news for causing or playing a role in the last financial crisis?

Let me skip the suspense…zero.

In fact, the United States Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) published a report in 2013 titled, Insurance Markets: Impacts of and Regulatory Response to the 2007-2009 Financial Crisis

If you'd like to read it I've linked to the pdf here:

GAO Report of Insurance Markets–

To get our take on why the life insurance industry in particular hasn't had these problems, go listen to the full episode.


P.S.  I know some of you are thinking…”but what about AIG?” Listen to the episode to hear the truth about the role AIG played in the last financial crisis. 

September 29, 2016

IPB 045: Can We Just Leave Dave Ramsey Alone?


We're drawing a line in the sand here.

It's time for insurance agents to get over Dave Ramsey. He has his crowd, his fans, his followers or whatever you want to call them. And that's okay…get over it.


How many articles can you write about one guy who hasn't really said anything different in the last 15 years? Read More…

September 22, 2016

IPB 044: It’s All About the Taxes



In exploring what we should talk about in episode 44, we realized that we've somehow gone almost an entire year without dedicating an episode to a discussion of taxes in relation to life insurance. Oops!

Sometimes we get caught up in focusing on finer points and miss the big picture. But we are correcting that today.

We've actually published quite a bit of information on the topic over the last 5 years and for those of you who prefer the written word…carry on. You'll be please with what you find in the proceeding paragraphs. Read More…

September 15, 2016

IPB 043: The Indexed Universal Life Safety Review

With the current wave of companies lowering the caps on indexed universal life contracts, we thought it would be good idea to share our thoughts on that today.

Honestly, we've been “low balling” expectations on IUL contracts since we started offering them to our clients five'ish years ago. And that was back when some policies offered cap rates as high as 14%.

Now, I do hope that you all realize I'm being a bit tongue and cheek with the “low balling” comment above. Actually, we just believed that using a lower projected return was prudent. Read More…


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