Tag Archives: life insurance

Buying Life Insurance Online? Think again…

It seems so simple. Type “cheap life insurance” in google and you get 24,300,000 hits.   “No Exam Life Insurance!”  “Rates from $4.80 per month.”  Marketing can be so misleading.  Lets look at the facts…

 

How your health affects rates-   Insurance companies rate you based on a number of factors. Generally, if you are of “normal” height and weight, take no medications, don’t smoke and have not had any significant health issues in the past, you will probably get preferred. While companies may use different names, the rating categories (best to worst) are superpreferred, preferred, Standard Plus, Standard, and then rated.

Can I really get “Super-preferred?”- In fact we got a client this rating today, so it does happen. However, internet rates are often bait-and-switch– they promise you a low price based on this great rating, only about 5% will actually qualify!  Why? To get this incredible rate, you not only have to be superhealthy-  you also have to have no moving violations, and no history of cancer, diabetes, or heart problems in your family.

Why you need a broker- Rates are filed and preapproved with the state, and they are what they are. Everyone accesses pretty much the same rate database, so no one has a “better rate.” However, there are a lot of variables. Insurance underwriters look at illnesses differently, so a company may rate you standard for your problem, and another one might rate you standard plus – with a cost savings. Your broker will know that, and may have a little pull if you are on the fence between two rating categories.

What about the big name insurance companies? There are a lot of companies that use “captured” agents- they can only sell their employers products. They advertise a lot, to get people to know their names. Fact is, advertising costs money, and that tends to raise rates. Furthermore, since they only have one outlet, they can only sell you their product, even if its not the best one for your situation.

How different are rates between companies?

If we look at a 30 year old man, purchasing $500,000 of 20 year term insurance, here is the range of monthly premiums for 21 carriers:

Preferred Plus-            $20-$38

Preferred-                   $26-$45

Standard Plus-             $33-$56

Standard-                    $38-$66

So, if you chose the right carrier, you could be at $26 a month, while another carrier might be $56 for the same coverage- because they rate you differently and have higher rates. This difference is similar across all ranges of age and coverage.

Speaking to a knowledgeable broker doesn’t cost you anything, but believing everything you read on the internet? It might!

 

 

 

 

Life Insurance Products with Long Term Care Riders

Are they worthwhile alternatives to traditional LTC policies?

 

Provided by Reeve Conover

 

The price of long-term care insurance has really gone up. If you are a baby boomer and you have kept your eye on it for a few years, chances are you have noticed this. Last year, the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) noted that married 60-year-olds would pay between $2,000-3,500 annually in premiums for a standalone LTC policy.1

 

Changing demographics and low interest rates have prompted major insurers to stop offering LTC coverage. As the AALTCI notes, the number of LTC policies sold in this country fell from 750,000 in 2000 to 105,000 in 2015. Not all insurers offer these policies. The demand for the coverage remains, however – and in response, insurance providers have introduced new options.1,2

 

Hybrid LTC products have emerged. Some insurers offer “cash rich” permanent life insurance policies that let you tap part of the death benefit to pay for long-term care. Other insurance products feature similar potential benefits.1,2

 

As these insurance products are doing “double duty” (i.e., one policy or product offering the potential for two kinds of coverage), their premiums are costlier than that of a standalone LTC policy. On the other hand, you can get what you want from one insurance product rather than having to pay for two.3

 

Another nice perk offered by these hybrid LTC products: sometimes, insurers guarantee that the premiums you pay will never rise. (Many retirees wish that were the case with their traditional LTC policies.) Whether the premiums are locked in at the initial level or not, the death benefit, coverage amount, and cash value are all, commonly, guaranteed.3

 

Hybrid LTC policies provide a death benefit, a percentage of which will go to your heirs. Do traditional LTC policies offer a death benefit? No. If you buy a discrete LTC policy, but die without needing long-term care, all those LTC policy premiums you paid will not return to you.3

 

The basics of securing LTC coverage applies to these policies. The earlier in life you arrange the coverage, the lower the premiums will likely be. If you are not healthy enough to qualify for a standalone LTC insurance policy, you might qualify for a hybrid policy – sometimes no medical exam is required. The LTC insurance benefit may be used when a doctor certifies that the policyholder is unable to perform two or more of the six activities of daily living (eating, dressing, bathing, transferring in and out of bed, toileting, and maintaining continence).4,5

 

Lump sums are no longer needed to fund many of these hybrid LTC policies. In the past, insurers would commonly require a single premium payment of $75,000-$100,000. No more. Most insurance companies let you fund these policies with monthly, quarterly, or annual premiums. When a lump sum is necessary, it may not be a major hurdle for a high net worth individual or couple, especially since appreciated assets from other life insurance products can be transferred into a hybrid product through a 1035 exchange.2,3,6

 

Are these hybrid policies just mediocre compromises? They have critics as well as fans. Detractors cite their two sets of fees, per their two forms of insurance coverage. They also point out that hybrid LTC policies are not inflation protected, so the insurance benefit is worth less with the passage of time. Also, while the premiums paid on conventional LTC policies are tax deductible, premiums paid on these hybrid policies are not.3

 

Funding the whole policy up front with a single premium payment has both an upside and a downside. You will not contend with potential premium increases over time, as owners of stock LTC policies often do; on the other hand, the return on the insurance product may be locked into today’s low interest rates.

 

Another reality is that many middle-class seniors have little or no need to buy a life insurance policy. Their heirs will not face inheritance taxes because their estates will not exceed the federal estate tax exemption. Moreover, their children may be adults and financially stable, themselves. A large death benefit for these heirs is nice, but the opportunity cost of paying the life insurance premiums may be significant.

 

Cash value life insurance can be a crucial element in estate planning for those with large or complex estates, however – and if some of its death benefit can be directed toward long-term care for the policyholder, it may prove even more useful than commonly assumed.

Reeve Conover may be reached at 843-800-8190 or reeve@reevewillknow.com

 

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

 

Citations.

1 – investmentnews.com/article/20160721/FREE/160729979/long-term-care-insurance-market-sees-rapid-decline [7/21/16]

2 – nytimes.com/2016/03/06/business/retirementspecial/hybrid-long-term-care-policies-provide-cash-and-leave-some-behind.html [3/6/16]

3 – today.com/series/starttoday/have-healthy-retirement-jean-chatzky-how-pay-long-term-care-t106862 [1/10/17]

4 – elderlawanswers.com/hybrid-policies-allow-you-to-have-your-long-term-care-insurance-cake-and-eat-it-too-15541# [4/5/16]

5 – elderlawanswers.com/activities-of-daily-living-measure-the-need-for-long-term-care-assistance-15395 [11/24/15]

6 – kiplinger.com/article/insurance/T036-C001-S003-tax-friendly-ways-to-pay-for-long-term-care-insura.html [8/16/16]

 

 

Why Life Insurance Will Always Matter in Estate Planning

With or without the estate tax, it addresses several key priorities.

 Provided by Reeve Conover

 Every few years, predictions emerge that the estate tax will sunset. Even if it does, that will not remove the need for life insurance in estate planning. Why? The reasons are numerous.

You can use life insurance proceeds to equalize inheritances. If sizable, illiquid assets make it difficult to leave the same amount of wealth to each heir, then the cash from a life insurance death benefit may financially compensate.

You can plan for a life insurance payout to replace assets gifted to charity. You often see this move in the planning of charitable remainder trusts (CRTs).

People use CRTs to accomplish three objectives. One, they can remove an asset from their taxable estate by placing it into the CRT. Two, they can derive a retirement income stream from the trust’s invested assets. Three, upon their death, they can donate a percentage of the assets left in the CRT to charities or non-profit organizations.1

When a CRT is fashioned, an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) is often created to complement it. The life insurance trust can be funded with income from the invested assets in the CRT and tax savings realized at the CRT’s creation. (The trustor can take an immediate charitable income tax deduction in the year that an appreciated asset is transferred into the CRT.) Basically, the value of the life insurance death benefit makes up for the loss of the CRT assets bound for charity.1

Life insurance can help business owners with succession. It can fund buy-sell agreements to help facilitate a transfer of ownership, regardless of how an owner or co-owner leaves a company. It can also insure key employees – the policy can help the business attract and retain first-rate managers and creatives, and its death benefit could help lessen financial hardship if the employee unexpectedly passes away.2

Life insurance products can also figure into executive benefits. Indeed, corporate-owned life insurance is integral to supplemental executive retirement plans (SERPs), the varieties of which include bonus plans and non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements.3

Lastly, a life insurance policy death benefit transfers quickly to a beneficiary. The funds are paid out within weeks, even days. A beneficiary form directs the process, rather than a will – so the asset distribution occurs apart from the public scrutiny of probate. Life insurance is also a backbone of trust planning, and assets held inside a trust can be distributed directly to heirs by a trustee according to trust terms, privately and away from predators and creditors.4

Reeve Conover may be reached at 843-800-8190 or reeve@reevewillknow.com

 

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

 

Citations.

1 – estateplanning.com/Understanding-Charitable-Remainder-Trusts/ [3/28/16]

2 – quotacy.com/protecting-the-future-of-your-business/ [8/17/16]

3 – nationwide.com/supplemental-executive-retirement.jsp [11/9/17]

4 – forbes.com/sites/markeghrari/2017/05/30/pass-on-your-assets-wisely-how-to-choose-the-right-beneficiaries/ [5/30/17]

 

Financial Priorities Young Families Should Address

piggy bank with graduation cap and money sticking out

Wise money moves for parents under 40.

Provided by Reeve Conover – Conover Consulting

As you start a family, you start to think about certain financial matters. Before you became a mom or dad, you may not have thought about them much, but so much changes when you have kids.

Read more ...

Life Insurance Products with Long-Term Care Riders

Life insurance concept with leaflets and magnifying glass in monochrome

Are they worthwhile alternatives to traditional LTC policies?

Provided by Reeve Conover – Conover Consulting

The price of long-term care insurance has really gone up. If you are a baby boomer and you have kept your eye on it for a few years, chances are you have noticed this. Last year, the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) noted that married 60-year-olds would pay between $2,000-3,500 annually in premiums for a stand-alone LTC policy.1

Read more ...

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Reeve Conover is a Registered Representative. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/dealer member FINRA/SPIC. Cambridge and Conover Consulting are not affiliated. Licensed in SC, NC, NY, CT, NJ, and CA.
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