When Families Change, Life Insurance Needs Can Change Too
When someone takes out a life insurance policy in their ‘30s, ‘40s or ‘50s, that purchase is predicated on assumptions about the future of the policyholder’s family. But unexpected changes to the family structure can occur over the years, and for seniors those changes might lead to the consideration of a life settlement.
Insurance For Your Family: What you must know
The most common family change, with obvious insurance ramifications, is divorce. Often a person buys life insurance, names their spouse as a beneficiary and later gets divorced, voiding the need for a policy that will support the surviving spouse. If the policyholder is over 65 and paying into premiums unnecessarily, a life settlement can turn that situation around and provide a windfall rather than burdensome expenses.
In the same way, a senior who undergoes a divorce and then gets remarried later in life may want to schedule a life insurance check with their broker to guarantee that the coverage serves the needs of the policy owner and his or her new spouse. A new policy with a new beneficiary might not be practical or affordable if the remarriage happens late in life, but that new family could be eligible for a cash windfall through a life settlement that they can enjoy in their retirement years.
Insurance Policy Review
If an insurance policy is structured to benefit children or grandchildren, the addition of family members through birth or adoption could prompt an insurance re-evaluation. Some policyholders, particularly seniors, opt to sell their policies and use the proceeds for college funds or other legacy investments rather than an insurance policy that will pay out after their death. Seniors who create educational funds for their grandchildren can have the benefit of watching those young people take advantage of higher education and make steps toward building their futures.
Life Events Lead to New Insurance Needs
Change is inevitable in life, and changes to families—whether welcome or unwelcome—can create new investment and insurance needs. Seniors with a thorough understanding of their financial options will provide the richest opportunities for themselves and their loved ones, and those facts are available from trusted financial advocates or specialists like the ones at Magna Life Settlements. If you have seen changes in your family and believe that a life settlement could be a better use of your resources than an unneeded life insurance policy, set up a call with a Magna advisor or try our simple life settlement calculator today.
Whether or not they prepared financially for it during their working years, the need for long-term care is a reality that most seniors must eventually face. Every situation is different, but most people as they age will either need long-term care themselves or find that their spouse needs it. Without proper planning, that can be a sobering truth indeed.
Long-Term Care Insurance Options for You
A 2017 study by Genworth Financial shows that long-term care, independent of medical bills, costs seniors anywhere from $18,000 a year (adult day care) to $97,000 a year (private room in a nursing home). And it’s a scenario the majority of seniors will face; about 70 percent of 65-year-olds will incur some type of long-term care costs in their lifetime, at an average cost of $138,000 per person.
For those who start thinking about long-term care resources in their ‘50s, purchasing a long-term care insurance policy could be a prudent option. But the premiums generally cost between $2,500 and $5,000 a year, and a senior will need to keep paying for the insurance after retirement. As with all insurance, it’s a gamble to theorize whether the expenditures in your younger years will be worthwhile, since no one knows how healthy their retirement years will be.
Other Options for Long-Term Care
Another option, and a relatively new product, is a life insurance policy with a long-term care rider. These policies are structured to allow for life insurance payouts when the policyholder is younger and has beneficiaries to protect, which will turn into long-term care coverage in that person’s later years. The rider accumulates the most value when entered into in a person’s ‘40s or ‘50s.
When a senior faces a dire need for long-term care, other options do exist to help fund that expense even if that individual didn’t plan for it in his earlier years. Some seniors liquidate assets like houses and cars, which they no longer need if they are moving into a care facility, to pay the bills. Others, if their assets have become depleted, can use Medicaid to help pay for continued care. But those who don’t wish to drain their resources or find themselves restricted to Medicaid-accepting facilities might find themselves in a bind with a pressing need for an alternative income source.
Life Settlements for Long Term Care Needs
Enter life settlements, in which seniors sell unwanted life insurance policies and receive a cash windfall that can be used for long-term care needs. Not every individual qualifies for a settlement, but declining health can often increase the odds that a settlement will be favorable. To learn whether you or your loved one could pursue a life settlement, try Magna’s simple life settlement calculator, or schedule a call with one of our specialists today.
Letting the Light In: The Value of Transparency for Life Insurance Policy Owners
It’s not entirely realistic to expect that consumers have a thorough understanding of every decision they make; for instance, a heart surgeon doesn’t need to explain every technical aspect of a procedure before a patient agrees to it. But when it comes to life insurance, transparency is a reasonable expectation.
With a host of different types of insurance covering varying payment options and coverage periods, life insurance has become increasingly confusing over the last few decades. But a recent study shows that most individuals who buy and sell life insurance believe it is their right to understand the product, its benefits and its limitations.
The 2017 Insurance Barometer Study, conducted annually by LIMRA and Life Happens, polled insurance consumers on the improvements they believed should be made to the life insurance process. Of those surveyed, 83 percent said that the most crucial factor in choosing life insurance was having a product that was “easy to understand.” The study also found that 70 percent of insurance customers would like insurance to be offered without a physical exam, and 67 percent are looking for more transparency regarding risk and price when they shop for life insurance.
Just as consumers are owed a transparent process when they are purchasing life insurance, they should also have all of the facts when an insurance policy is no longer serving their needs. A life settlement is often a favorable option for seniors looking for extra resources in exchange for a burdensome insurance policy. As the life settlement market grows, so does transparency around consumer options when it comes to surrendering their life insurance policy. Recent legislative efforts, such as the life settlement regulation statutes that have been passed in 43 states, seek to make sure consumers have all of the facts about the life settlement option when considering giving up their life insurance policy. Consumer disclosure is a key component of many of those life settlement laws.
Life insurance, both at the beginning and the end of the policy’s life cycle, can serve both Americans and their beneficiaries, but consumers are not well-served when providers seek to obfuscate or inadequately inform them about the risks, benefits and parameters of an insurance policy. Similarly, consumers should have access to full information about their options regarding the sale of a policy. Try Magna’s simple life settlement calculator to understand how much value your policy could have and learn more about selling your policy by exploring our FAQs.
How Selling Your Life Insurance Policy May Help Your Retirement
Planning for your retirement can be a daunting experience. There is so much to think about, especially the amount of money you need in order to retire comfortably. Generally, the rule of thumb is that the money you may need when you ultimately retire should fall somewhere between 70 to 85 percent of your income.
To estimate how much money you may need for your retirement years, you could estimate approximately how much you would be spending in the future. There are certain expenses you probably won’t have to worry about once you’re retired, including expenses related to your children. Your mortgage may be paid off, and you may not have to worry about commuting or other work-related expenses.
At the same time, there could be new expenses, such as healthcare costs. And you may also travel more after retirement since you will have free time that you didn’t have when you were working.
You should maximize your income flow during your working years so that you can be comfortable after you retire. Following are some of the key ways to increase your retirement income.
Retirement Calculator: How to figure out your retirement score:
Social Security Benefits
Avoid withdrawing money from your Social Security benefits until at least the retirement age of 65 or 67 if you were born in or after 1960. If you continue working until 70, you will receive an additional benefit of eight percent for each year you wait to retire after age 65.
If your employer offers company benefits, you can take advantage of them and choose those that can give you the maximum income after retirement. You can choose the right investments to reflect your age and risks in a 401k plan. Be wise about when you withdraw so that you can get the most benefit from the plan.
You can use your personal savings toward your retirement income, but the better option is to make deposits to mutual funds, which can give you considerably more money in the future as they grow.
Whole Life Insurance
If you have a whole life insurance policy, borrowing against the cash value and investing the balance can give you more income when you retire.
A reverse mortgage can benefit you if you are 62 or older. It lets you free equity in your home and ensures that you don’t have to make future payments.
Finally, another good way to ensure that you can retire comfortably is to avoid the trap of debt. Be smart when using credit cards and when taking out loans. Always pay the maximum toward your balance on both in a timely manner. Avoiding getting into debt can help you enjoy full control over your finances. You can also live stress-free when your finances are in good condition. As a result, you have a better opportunity to retire with a sense of security.
New Bill HR 7203 Would Allow Life Settlements to Fund Long-Term Care
A new bill being weighed by the U.S. House of Representatives would make provision for the tax-free rollover of life settlement proceeds into tax-free accounts dedicated to long-term care. The bill, H.R. 7203, was sponsored by Rep. Kenny Marchand (R-TX) and referred to the House Ways and Means Committee on November 30.
H.R. 7203, known as the Long-Term Care Account Act, would provide a significant benefit for seniors who are facing the daunting costs of long-term care. If those individuals have a life insurance policy that is no longer serving them, the bill would permit them to easily use the money from a life settlement to fund an assisted care facility, in-home care or other treatments deemed medically necessary.
The provisions of the Long-Term Care Account Act include
Tax-free transfer of funds
The tax-free transfer of funds from a life settlement into accounts used exclusively for long-term care expenses. That money can be used for long-term care insurance or any “qualified health expenses” that a medical practitioner would recommend to treat health impairments or maintain health for retirees.
– As long as the distributions from life settlements into the long-term care accounts are used for their stated purpose, they will be exempt from any tax. If funds are used for unauthorized purposes unrelated to long-term care, those expenditures will be subject to both income tax and a 20 percent excise tax.
– If the funds distributed to the accounts from life settlements are not spent on long-term care expenses, they can remain in the account untaxed until the death of the account holder and that person’s spouse.
H.R. 7203 is a win-win for seniors
The Long-Term Care Account Act is a win for seniors looking for new revenue sources, pairing the prime opportunity of a life settlement with the pronounced need of long-term care. Rising health care costs during retirement are one of the chief reasons people over 65 investigate life settlements, and the passage of this legislation would link the two in a way that will provide tangible benefits to Americans seeking to make the most of their retirement years.
Please don’t hesitate to urge your elected representatives to support this important bill. For more information about life settlements or the pending legislations, you can contact a Magna representative by scheduling a call today.
Every year more seniors realize the benefit of exploring a life settlement to get an immediate benefit from an unneeded life insurance policy. As settlements become a more popular option, consumers are realizing that they can investigate and enter into life settlements themselves if they choose, without going through an advocate. But to go through that process, they must first understand the steps of a life settlement and define the terms of the industry. One of the most important steps is obtaining an in-force illustration.
An in-force illustration might sound like a concept only understood by insurance professionals, but in fact it is quite straightforward and a critical step in the life settlement process. After a person over the age of 65 does preliminary research into a life settlement using Magna’s simple calculator or through a phone call with a Magna settlement advisor, the next step is to obtain an in-force illustration from the insurance provider and submit it to Magna.
Important facts about the in-force illustration
Projects the future costs of premiums
It projects the future costs of premiums through maturity of the policy, allowing a policyholder to accurately compare the costs and benefits of keeping a policy versus selling it in a settlement.
Comes from the life insurance carrier at the request of the life settlement provider
The in-force illustration finds the minimum premium liability until the policy matures (typically at age 100) and the net value of the policy is $1,000. Because the illustration uses current interest rates, it often produces results very different from the projections at the time when the policy originated.
It is a valuable tool for both consumers and settlement providers
Our Magna life settlement provider will schedule a call with a client, and together they will call the insurance company to request the in-force illustration. The results will inform both the client and Magna’s representatives about the suitability of a life settlement, and if the client decides to move forward the next step is a comprehensive review of the policy and an informal offer from Magna.
In-force illustrations are valuable for anyone with a life insurance policy
They keep consumers informed and eliminate unwelcome surprises if interest rates and premiums go up. But for those considered a life settlement, these illustrations are a critical step that illuminates the costs and benefits of holding onto a policy versus selling it for a cash windfall. Schedule a call with Magna’s life settlement expert today to learn more.
Skyrocketing Premiums Present Challenge For Universal Life Policy Holders
Older Americans today have many excellent reasons to pursue the sale of a life insurance policy in a life settlement, but one of the most prevalent reasons is the prohibitive cost of paying premiums. And for those maintaining a universal life policy, a recent Wall Street Journal article reports that some are paying double or even triple their original premiums because of an historic drop in interest rates.
According to the piece by Leslie Scism in the September 19, 2018 Wall Street Journal, many policyholders are finding that universal life hasn’t held up well over time, especially when a decade of low interest rates have depleted the tax-deferred savings account linked to the policies. The savings accounts are designed to offset the cost of renewing the insurance each year, but as interest rates have stayed down the accounts have been insufficient to stave off skyrocketing premiums.
The article cited one case study in which a 55-year-old had purchased a $1 million policy in 1988 with an annual premium of $12,000. By the time that individual turned 80 in 2013, the savings account was gone and the premium had jumped to $50,000 a year. In another case, an 85-year-old retired teacher was paying $30,000 a year for his three universal life policies—three times the premiums when the policies were issued.
One expert on the insurance industry, John Resnick, told the Wall Street Journal that many seniors “are sitting on a ticking time bomb, and they don’t even know it.” The article goes on to say, “Universal life is among the reasons Americans are approaching retirement in the worst shape in decades.”
Those who believe they are stuck paying exorbitant premiums while also trying to fund retirement costs like healthcare and housing must be educated about options like life settlements. Rather than surrender a policy, an individual faced with prohibitive premiums might be able to sell his policy for a much higher payout.
Seniors shouldn’t let prohibitively high premiums chain them to a policy that is doing them more harm than good. Depending on the health impairments of the insured and the cost structure of the original policy, a life settlement could yield a windfall considerably higher than the surrender value. When premiums become burdensome or the purpose for originally purchasing the life insurance policy no longer exists, a life settlement can turn a liability into an instant asset.
Providers like Magna stand ready to answer any questions seniors or their advocates may have about life settlements, and they can even access our simple life settlement calculator to determine their eligibility for a sale of their policy.
Designing Spaces on Lifetime Television featured Magna Life Settlements in November! During the episode, an older couple explored the process of a life settlement, the advantages of pursuing a sale of a life insurance policy and the various ways the cash from a settlement can meet the family’s needs during their retirement years. Clay Gibson, Magna’s senior vice president for origination, shared how families can benefit from life settlements.
The Joels, who were featured on the episode, are a retired couple looking to make their golden years golden. Mr. Joel started buying life insurance shortly after the couple got married, but the premiums became too expensive and he was considering either selling or surrendering the policy.
When their daughter Donna Eichner comes over to discuss the possibility, the Joels explain the possible benefits of selling a life insurance policy. Taking a life settlement would allow them to have additional funds for their retirement years. Mrs. Joel speculates on the ways they could use the extra money generated by a life settlement, including travel plans an donating to charity.
Clay Gibson explained, “Life insurance is actually property, and it’s property that can be sold. Half a million insureds are lapsing their policy every year, and that’s half a million insureds that could have come to Magna Life Settlements and received an offer above and beyond what the insurance carrier would have paid them for their policy.”
Mr. Joel enters his information into Magna’s life settlement calculator, and after viewing the results the Joels and their daughter conclude that a settlement is the wisest choice for their family. Their daughter, Donna, said, “I know myself and siblings are well taken care of, and now my parents can do what they want to do.” For the Joels, a life settlement will take an insurance policy that had become burdensome and convert it into a financial asset.
For families who, like the Joels, are seeking to make the most of their financial situation in their senior years, Magna life settlement specialists stand ready to offer information on the benefits of life settlements. Call today to consult with a Magna specialist, or visit the FAQ section of our website for more information on the particulars and process of settlements.
According to the National Institute for Retirement Security, the deficit of retirement savings in the United States is between $6.8 and $14 trillion. As the cost of retirement precipitously rises, it’s more important than ever that seniors stay informed about sources of extra income like reverse mortgages and life settlements.
The features and requirements of reverse mortgages and life settlements are different, but each is a vehicle to create a source of extra cash for retirement. Seniors shouldn’t hesitate to do their own research and ask their financial advocates for information about these two opportunities that create immediate resources from long-held assets.
What follows is a look at the primary differences, along with some similarities, between reverse mortgages and life settlements:
A life settlement turns the liability of an unwanted life insurance policy into an asset through the sale of that policy for a cash payout. A reverse mortgage allows homeowners to convert part of the equity in their house into cash. Both create opportunities for seniors to find value from investments they have already made.
In most cases, life settlements are available for individuals over 65, although in some cases younger policyholders can qualify if they have certain health impairments. Reverse mortgages are generally a possibility for homeowners who are age 62 or older. Unlike life settlements, which are more favorable for seniors with health impairments, reverse mortgage eligibility has nothing to do with medical status.
Whereas both tools can help meet financial needs in retirement years, they differ in the amount and delivery of the cash payout. Life settlements are distributed in one lump sum, whereas reverse mortgages often come as a regular payment from the lender to the mortgage holder (hence the term “reverse mortgage.”) Another difference is the determination of the transaction value; in a life settlement, the amount paid to the policyholder is determined by the settlement market, while the payout in a reverse mortgage is determined by the appraisal value of the home. Both products have factors that can reduce their payout amount—the price structure of the policy and health of the insured for life settlements, and the presence of liens on the property for reverse mortgages.
Both life settlements and reverse mortgages are gaining in popularity among retirees, and seniors can find peace of mind in the fact that both are regulated—reverse mortgages by the Federal Housing Authority and life settlements through growing state laws that now cover 90 percent of the U.S. population. For more information on the requirements and potential benefit of a life settlement, visit Magna Life Settlement’s FAQ today.
How A Life Settlement Can Help Resolve Key Man Insurance Issues
Key man insurance is often a common strategy to protect the interests of a business, particularly a small business that could be in peril if its founder, president or other key employee passes away suddenly. But what options do a company or retiring key employee have when that policy is no longer necessary? In some cases, a life settlement can provide a resolution that is much preferable to a policy surrender.
One key consideration for a company weighing its options regarding key person insurance is the reason for the employee’s departure. If a key employee leaves for another opportunity while he or she is still relatively young, the business will be better off surrendering the policy. But the situation is markedly different when a key man or woman retires because of advancing age or health issues. Particularly if that person is in poor health, a life settlement might be the best way for the company to recoup some of the costs it paid out in premiums over the years.
Often a company will offer to sign the insurance policy over to the departing employee as part of retirement package. That individual’s decision to accept or decline the policy will be contingent on the costs of the premiums and the level of life insurance that person already carries. The retiring employee might inherit the policy, then opt to investigate a life settlement, or if the company is left holding the policy it can also pursue a sale to a settlement provider.
Another circumstance that could spur the possibility of a life settlement for key man insurance is a significant change in a company, such as a sale or a merger, that shifts that person’s role and makes them less vital to the company’s success. In a cost-benefit analysis, the business leaders might decide that the expense of the premiums is no longer necessary compared to the potential effects of losing that employee.
Several variables dictate whether a settlement is a more profitable option for an unneeded life insurance policy, most notably the health of the insured and the original price structure of the policy. A company holding key person insurance on an employee who no longer works there needs a path of action to get some equity out of the policy, and a life settlement could have a considerably higher yield than a surrender. To determine whether your key man insurance policy is a good fit for a life settlement, consult Magna’s life settlement calculator today.
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