Back to top arrow
Home » Wealth Strategies » Building Wealth » How Life Insurance Can Be a Surprising Tool for Building Wealth

How Life Insurance Can Be a Surprising Tool for Building Wealth

When most people hear ‘life insurance,’ they think of a payout upon someone’s death. True, the primary function of life insurance is to provide financial protection to your loved ones after you pass. But what if I told you that certain types of life insurance could be a secret weapon in building wealth? It’s not the most conventional approach, but bear with me.

Understanding Cash Value Life Insurance

To use life insurance as a wealth-building tool, we’re not talking about term life insurance. We’re focused on whole life or universal life insurance policies – these include a cash value component alongside the death benefit.

Cash value life insurance serves two purposes: it provides a death benefit and also acts as a savings account. The cash value grows over time, tax-deferred, and you can borrow against it or withdraw it during your life.

Building Wealth: The How-Tos

Here’s a rundown on how you can use this type of life insurance to help pad your financial portfolio:

Start Young

The sooner you get a cash value life insurance policy, the better. The cash value takes time to accumulate, so an early start gives your money more time to grow. Plus, premiums are typically lower when you’re younger and healthier.

Smart Borrowing

With a strong cash value, you can borrow against your policy tax-free. This is because you’re not actually withdrawing money but taking a loan from the insurance company using your policy as collateral. You can use these funds for investment opportunities, down payments on property, or to cover unexpected expenses.

Use Dividends

If you have a participating policy, your insurer may pay dividends. While not guaranteed, dividends can be taken in cash, left to accumulate interest, used to pay premiums, or to purchase additional insurance. Buying additional insurance increases your cash value and death benefit.

Tax Benefits

Here’s a sweet deal – the cash value in a life insurance policy grows tax-deferred. Even better, if structured properly, beneficiaries may receive the death benefit tax-free. Also, loans taken out against the policy aren’t taxable as income—provided the policy remains in force.

Retirement Income

Imagine if you had the ability to supplement your retirement income with tax-free life insurance loans or withdrawals, reducing the strain on your other retirement accounts. This strategy provides a source of liquidity during retirement and can be especially helpful if you find yourself in a high tax bracket later in life.

Estate Planning

Life insurance proceeds can provide funds to pay estate taxes, debts, and other expenses upon death, ensuring your assets are preserved for your heirs. Used in this way, life insurance becomes a powerful estate planning tool.

Real-World Cautions

Hold up, though – before you go cashing in that piggy bank, remember that using life insurance to build wealth isn’t foolproof:

  • Non-payment of premiums can lapse the policy, potentially leaving you without coverage and a hefty tax bill on any loans.
  • Surrender charges can apply if you withdraw cash value in the early years of the policy.
  • Borrowing against your policy reduces the death benefit and cash value until repaid.
  • High fees and commissions associated with some policies can eat away at the cash value.

The Bottom Line

Using life insurance to build wealth isn’t for everyone. It requires a strategy, discipline, and an understanding of the mechanisms at work. But for some, with careful planning and professional guidance, it can be an ingenious complement to a traditional investment portfolio.

Life insurance isn’t just about the death benefit – it can be a flexible financial tool if you know how to leverage it. So, consider chatting with a financial planner to see if this approach can fit into your wealth-building plan. Who knew a policy could do more than just pay out upon death? It might just help you live your life with a little more financial security.

You can also check out our video on How to use Life Insurance to build Wealth




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *