Life insurance offers multi-faceted retirement strategies.
Although some people view life insurance as a way to replace lost income or pay off debt after the passing of a loved one, it also can offer a number of potential benefits that may make it a valuable tool to accomplish different financial goals in retirement.
First and foremost, life insurance may provide peace of mind and a degree of comfort for the policyholder (the insured) that their loved ones (the beneficiaries) are taken care of financially in the event that they pass away. In addition, life insurance can be a sensible strategy for many small business owners to help protect the financial future of their business if something should happen to them.
In addition to a death benefit, however, life insurance is also one of a few types of products that may offer helpful ways to reduce or avoid certain taxes. Some of these benefits may include:
- Policy death benefits paid to beneficiaries may be income tax-free.
- Some life insurance policies may allow the death benefit to be accelerated out before the insured’s death due to terminal or chronic illness, and that benefit may be income-tax free.
- The insured may exchange their existing life insurance policy for a new life insurance policy and the investment gains on the original contract may be tax free.
- The insured may exchange their existing life insurance policy for an annuity and the investment gains on the original contract may be tax free.
Policy cash values:
- Cash values may grow tax-deferred during the insured’s lifetime.
- Income from cash value, when properly structured, may not be subject to income taxes.
As an independent insurance firm, we are able to shop dozens of insurance carriers to find rates and product solutions to fit your specific needs and goals, meaning we are not relegated to simply one line of products or one brand name like a captive agent. In addition, we offer complimentary reviews on your existing life insurance contracts.
Guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Policy loans and withdrawals will reduce available cash values and death benefits, and may cause the policy to lapse or affect any guarantees against lapse. Additional premium payments may be required to keep the policy in force. In the event of a lapse, outstanding policy loans in excess of unrecovered cost basis will be subject to ordinary income tax. Withdrawals are generally income tax-fee, unless the withdrawal amount exceeds the amount of premium paid. Policy loans are not usually subject to income tax unless the policy is classified as a modified endowment contract (MEC) under IRC Section 7702A. However, withdrawals or partial surrenders from a non-MEC policy are subject to income tax to the extent that the amount distributed exceeds the owner’s cost basis in the policy. Tax laws are subject to change. Clients should consult their tax professional. Keep in mind that most life insurance policies require health underwriting and, in some cases, financial underwriting.