1/11/2010

How to Use Life Insurance as an Investment

Everyone wants to be sure his family and loved ones are protected and safe. This is the main reason of so many companies offering you to insure your life. Life coverage is a reliable way to protect your spouse, children, family members and loved ones from financial hardships in case of your death or disability. But besides insurance features, there are more and more policies providing with additional benefits that have money distribution and investment features to the underwriter. And the question is whether it's reasonable to use insurance as a form of investment or there are better options for this.

Insuring your life as a form of investment

At first sight, having your life insured is a very good thing to do as you accumulate a good amount of money for your family that can be used for different purposes in case something happens to you. But there's more to it than just that. In contrast with term policies that have no investment options, cash value (also known as whole life) policies have additional benefits, which make them a good investment instrument. These benefits allow withdrawing money from your account after a certain period if time has passed. You can obtain these funds in different ways:

  • Withdrawing cash from the final coverage amount of the insurance policy. For example you have a $200,000 policy and want to withdraw $10,000. This means that the insurance company will pay out $190,000 in death benefit in case of your death.
  • Paying insurance premiums from the accumulated cash value of your policy. This is a good way to have a relatively cheap life insurance in terms of whole life insurance. And there are no penalties for doing so.
  • Using the cash value of your policy as a loan. This usually provides you with lower interest rates compared to loan products offered by lending institutions. You can even be free of any payments, however the money will be taken from your final death benefit, including a certain interest.

How much does it cost?

Of course, these possibilities give much food for thought as you may use the money withdrawn for multiple purposes, making your personal and your family's life better. However, all these options come with a certain price tag, lowering your death benefit, which is obviously the initial purpose of insuring your life in general.

Withdrawing money from your insurance account can be proportional to the amount of money your death benefit will be lowered by, However, in some cases it can cost you much more than that. Sometimes there are additional fees and interests included, making your death benefit even smaller than you would expect. From this perspective there's not much rationality in getting whole life policies, making them a simple waste of money.

And it's not only this. Experts state that such policies have lower return on investment if compared to other investment tools, and suggest that it's cheaper to get term insurance policies and an additional savings account or a loan rather than using costly cash value policies for that purpose.

However, it's always better to shop around. Use life insurance quotes to find a less pricey whole life insurance policy so that you could use all the benefits for a lower cost.

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