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  • Writer's pictureDavid H. Kinder, RFC®, ChFC®, CLU®

Can you save and fund retirement using ONLY life insurance?

Updated: Jan 20, 2023

Indulge me while I start out with this important fact:

The rate of return in cash value life insurance SUCKS!

And I don't care if you're talking about Whole Life or Indexed Universal Life or anything else.

So the question is basically this: Can I plan for a successful retirement using ONLY cash value life insurance and not doing any additional outside investing or leveraging my policy for other economic opportunities? Just the life insurance?

The answer is yes. How can we say this? It's simple. It's not the rate of return that matters.

It's the volume of savings and how the tax code treats it in retirement.

Now, let's suppose that you were doing traditional planning and you're barely saving $5,000 a year out of $100,000 of income? What if we could multiply your savings by a factor of 5 to $25,000 a year? You can have a far better situation than just saving $5,000 a year.

How do we find the money?

We do a complete inventory and assessment of your financial situation. We've identified as many as 36 kinds of "wealth transfers" that are designed to steal your wealth with your consent. From there, we figure out how to put YOU in the captain's seat of your financial planning so your wealth benefits YOU more than others.

Let me put it this way:

Traditionally: If you're a family earning $100,000 a year and you're able to save $5,000 a year... and you are choosing investments to earn an extra 2% increase... that's only an extra $100 a year improvement, but usually involves taking on more investment risks.

Redirecting wealth transfers: Let's say that we can help you save just 2% off the top of $100,000 a year... that's a $2,000 a year improvement... without risk.

Okay, that's the immediate benefit. What about the cash flow in retirement?

In short, the higher the cash flow against the life insurance, the higher the equivalent rate of return you'd need in a competing IRS Regulated Retirement Plan. I helped my parents retire last year and we're using a strategy to fund income today and cash flow in retirement after 10 years. To do the equivalent in an IRS regulated retirement plan, they'd have to either:

  • Earn over 11.5% a year, each year, indefinitely or

  • Have over $1.7 million in that plan to spend it in the same way.

That's why I tell people that "I can show you how to spend $460,000 in retirement as though it was over $1.7 million."

So yes, it can certainly be done... but to do the job right, we'd need to greatly increase the rate of savings. If you're comparing a "traditional planning" strategy and cash flow to fund life insurance and kept the amount of savings in the policy the same as another investment... it won't work. Remember: life insurance has a horrible rate of return. We can't treat it in a planning strategy like any other 'investment' or 'security'. It requires a higher level of thinking and savings to make it work.



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