May 5, 2016

IPB 025: Life Insurance as a Retirement Tool Part 1



One of the biggest problems for most Americans is understanding how to convert the balance they have saved in retirement plans, brokerage accounts etc. into an income they can use during retirement.

The financial services industry has done a masterful job at training “advisors” to help their clients accumulate cash. But very few advisors  Read More…

April 28, 2016

IPB 024: The Ultimate Guide to Paid Up Additions (podcast edition)



We love paid-up additions and if you've listened to us at all, you're not all that surprised. But we’ve made a little misstep in terms of being so broad in our discussion about them.

And we're always adding new people to our audience. So it bears repeating…

Not all paid-up additions are created equal.

While there are more characteristics with paid-up additions that are similar than different, there are some sharp contrasts that very much matter.

There are four key elements that you need to understand to make an informed decision before purchasing a whole life insurance policy using a paid-up additions rider:

1. Maximum annual paid-up additions payments

2. Lifetime maximum paid-up additions payments

3. Payment flexibility (can the policyholder adjust the paid-up additions rider up and down and can the policyholder make paid-up additions payments as lump sums throughout the year instead of systematically with the premium mode [annual, monthly, quarterly]?)

4. Paid-up addition rider load fees

You can’t just blindly assume that because a policy uses paid-up additions it meets the criteria that we would demand of a properly designed whole life policy.

If you'd like our definitive guide to paid up additions click the button below. Please note that if you already purchased this from us, do not buy it again…the information hasn't changed.


Here's a picture of the Table of Contents to give you a better idea of what's included:


If that looks like something you might find useful, please go over and purchase the guide here.

Edit: We are currently updating the guide and should have it available again soon.

April 27, 2016

2015 Operational Cash Flow Growth for Whole Life Focused Life Insurers


We’ve reported on operational cash flow among life insurers in the past and note that we hold this metric in high regard for a multitude of reasons.

Our philosophy is that operational cash flow shows us true profitability of a life insurance company, especially among whole life focused insurers. Why is that? Well, it's primarily because life insurers have a unique income reducing option at their disposal with policyholder dividends. Read More…

April 21, 2016

IPB 023: The Fiduciary Rule

The rule book

Well, the Department of Labor has finally rolled out their long awaited ruling on retirement accounts and a new “fiduciary rule”.

Rather than re-invent the wheel here in this post, I'm going to refer you to this piece I wrote last summer:

Can the government fix your retirement woes?

Also, if you want to read the opinions from both sides of the argument that were published in the last couple of weeks, here are three pieces that cover the new rule:

  1. Read the summary written by Kim O'Brien at Americans for Annuity Protection
  2. Read the summary written by Michael Kitces
  3. Read the summary written by Jack Marrion of the Advantage Compendium

Our big takeaway…the cheapest/least expensive option is not always the best option. What's best for  clients is entirely subjective.

April 14, 2016

IPB 022: Life Insurance Customer Service Pitfalls

life insurance customer service pitfalls

Today we're talking about one of the less glamorous aspects of our business…customer service. It seems like an obvious thing.

Surely a life insurance company that sells a particular product will be able to deliver service requests that are made by their customers. I wish that were always true.

It's not.

In fact Read More…

April 7, 2016

IPB 021: Actually, You Shouldn’t Buy That Policy On Your Kids

Asian boy with U.S . dollar bank notes


In the world of “financial advice” there is certainly no shortage of bad ideas. Today's podcast focuses in on one particular concept that we think is particularly dumb.

There are some savvy marketers out there that would suggest if you are not able to obtain life insurance coverage for yourself (for one reason or another) you can still benefit from all of the awesomeness that is cash value life insurance.

Yes, all you need to do is to use your child as the insured and then you can dump all the premium you would have paid to your policy into the policy for your kid.

Seems like a great idea…in theory.

In fact, we have had the idea pitched to us by so many people in the industry over the years that we now use at as a barometer of sorts to indicate a lack of experience from the person doing the pitching.  Why will it… Read More…

March 31, 2016

IPB 020: The Lump Sum Funding Option

hundred dollar bill on a pile of money


In today's episode we discuss the ins and outs of using a lump sum of money to fund your cash value life insurance policy (you can use universal life or whole life). With the paltry interest being paid by savings and money market accounts, life insurance can be a great place to warehouse cash that you don't need right away.

It's not the panacea but if you have time to wait, it is a viable way to do better with a portion of your net worth.

The most common problem we encounter is the strategy being implemented incorrectly. Yes, there is a right way and a wrong way to do this.

March 24, 2016

IPB 019: What About Variable Universal Life Insurance?

variable universal life a bad idea


We never talk about variable universal life insurance. It's true, the black sheep of the life insurance world isn't something we ever really discuss.

And occasionally someone comes along to ask us about it so we figured today was as good a day as any to discuss it.

There's not that much to say about it other than it's not a great idea and we think that it's a mistake to mix the world of traditional “investing” with your life insurance. There are so many wonderful things that life insurance brings to the table that are a fantastic hedge against the world of traditional investing in stocks, bonds, ETFs and mutual funds.

Why mix the two?

March 17, 2016

IPB 018: The Rich Man’s Roth

rich man's roth ira


Did you know that whole life insurance is just for rich people? Have you ever heard that? Do you agree?

It could be argued that all types of permanent life insurance (whole life and universal life) are better suited for those of higher income. But…

There's a problem with organizing these sorts of ideas into neat little boxes.  Read More…

March 15, 2016

Myth: Indexed Universal Life Insurance has Stock Market Exposure – Case Study

indexed universal life insurance case studyWhen we discuss indexed universal life insurance with new potential clients, they commonly mention that they already have stock market exposure, so they see no need to gain additional exposure to the market.

I understand the impression they often have, but assuming that indexed universal life insurance gives you additional exposure to the market is a misunderstanding that could lead you to the wrong decision–many clients have expressed their gratitude in our willingness to pause and discuss the product more to ensure understanding.

Read More…


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