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Posts from the ‘Investments’ Category

Universal Life Insurance: The Basics – Part 1

Introduction

I describe permanent life insurance as a multipurpose jackknife that combines many useful tools into a single sleek package. Universal Life (“UL”) policies are the ultra-deluxe version that includes enough attachments to do anything from performing minor surgery or opening wine bottles. On the other hand, unless you are supremely confident in your surgical skills or don’t mind a little cork in your chardonnay, perhaps this mythical pocketknife isn’t always the best tool for the job.

Arguably, the same is true for UL insurance; although it is capable of many different uses, which is a wonderful thing, it isn’t always the ideal solution for every problem. All the same, since we don’t always know what to expect when wandering through the forest that is life, having something in our back pocket that can be useful in a variety of different scenarios is a very attractive option. On a similar note, UL may sometimes be a secondary tool you can use in conjunction with your preferred implement to improve your overall results. Of course, in other case, despite these cautions, maybe sometimes a UL policy is exactly what you need.

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Participating Life Insurance – The Third and Final Chapter

For those of you waiting with bated breath, here is the third and final installment in my series on Participating Whole Life Insurance aka "Par Policies." The first and second chapters of this exciting story describe what these things are and how they work, including some information on what the insurer considers when determining what to pay you in policy dividends each year, and exploring your different choices for what to do with these things, along with the tax consequences. Today, we get practical. I'll talk about some of the different types of Par Policies currently available, how you can use them to help fund your retirement and, perhaps most importantly, what to consider when you're looking to buy a policy. With no further ado, here goes . . .

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Doing the Perm / Term Squirm – Part 3 Participating Whole Life Policies

Introduction

In some ways, life insurance is like fashion: today’s trend is next year’s embarrassment and next decade’s craze. Participating whole life (“par”) policies are a great example of this phenomenon. They have been around a long, long time but fell out of favour when universal life (a.k.a. “UL”) policies came into vogue. In fact, many of the larger companies even stopped issuing new Par Policies for several years until low interest rates, high investment management fees and rocky stock market returns made UL Policies a touchy subject in some circles and Par Policies an exciting “new” way to leave behind more for your heirs or to supplement your own retirement.

In order to spare you from having to endure 8 pages of info on this subject simultaneously, I'm going to break down my original article into small chunks so I can parcel it out to you in smaller doses. Here's the first installment.

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Doing the Perm / Term Squirm Part 2: An Introduction to Permanent Life Insurance

If you’ve read my first article in this series, you probably know more than you really want to know about term life insurance. It’s now time to talk about the other side of the equation: permanent coverage. To recap, while term insurance is a simple tool with a few add-on features, permanent life insurance is like a swiss army knife that can do pretty much everything except make your bed and laugh at your jokes. Of course, whether this is worth the extra costs that can go along with these features and whether it is the best tool for your situation is an entirely different question. Sometimes, permanent life insurance can be a game changer. Sometimes, it can do a pretty good job but there might be other products or solutions that do an even better one. Sometimes, the wrong permanent policy can even leave you worse off than when you started. This article (and my ensuing) articles are designed to help you make informed insurance choices.

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