In many circumstances, a life insurance policy is an important investment that can benefit those left behind when a loved one dies. Many financial advocates would recommend life insurance to a client, but those same advisors understand that the efficacy of life insurance often runs its course. What alternatives exist for older policy holders who are still paying premiums despite the fact that their needs have changed and they don’t really need the policy anymore? It is possible that those individuals can sell their life insurance policy for cash value through a life settlement, in which a third party buys an unwanted insurance policy in exchange for cash. Here are some facts about the life settlement option:
The History Behind The Life Settlement Industry
The origin of life settlements dates all the way back to a 1911 Supreme Court case called Grigsby v. Russell. In the 1980s sellling an unneeded life insurance policy for cash became a way for people with diminished health to obtain funds for medical and living expenses. In the years since, legislation and tax laws have created a more favorable climate for consumers looking for options when an insurance policy is no longer needed. Statutes passed in the last five years now mean that 90 percent of Americans are protected by comprehensive life settlement legislation.
What Are The Benefits Of Selling My Life Insurance Policy?
The retirement years are costlier than ever, both because of the rising price of health care and the uncertainty of government resources like social security. A life insurance policy is an asset that can outlive its usefulness; the original beneficiary might not need the proceeds anymore, or the premiums have become burdensome. Under these circumstances, it is worthwhile for a senior to explore an option that can free up cash in the sale of that unwanted policy. Besides the obvious cash windfall, a life settlement also eliminates the premium payments that have depleted even more of a retiree’s limited resources.
Do I Qualify?
Two key variables dictate whether an individual would benefit from a life settlement: the policy holder’s level of health impairment and the cost structure of the policy. The two factors are related, where a policy issued with a higher rating combined with a poor health prognosis can result in a promising settlement offer. For example, if a universal life policy was issued at preferred-plus and the policy holder becomes significantly more impaired than predicted, a life settlement would provide a payout higher than the stated cash surrender value. Some policies are not a good fit for a settlement, and the owner may be better off to either surrender their life insurance policy for cash value, borrow against the policy’s value, or negotiate another option with their carrier. To find out whether a life settlement might be a good fit for you, visit Magna Life Settlement’s simple calculator.
What Are The Steps To Sell My Life Insurance Policy?
Because a life settlement can provide a significant cash payout to help pay for retirement expenses, no one should miss that opportunity simply because they don’t understand the life settlement process. As the word gets out about the potential upside of life settlements, seniors who are likely to benefit from these transactions need guidance about how it works and how to start the process. Here are the basic steps of a life settlement:
1. Determine your eligibility. Using Magna’s calculator, first determine whether your medical status and the specifics of your policy make you a good fit for a settlement.
2. Submit an in-force illustration. With the help of a Magna case administrator, you will request an illustration from your life insurance carrier that spells out what the minimum premium costs would be if you kept the policy until it matures – typically at age 100 – and if the net policy account value at maturity was $1,000. This allows us at Magna to determine how much your policy may be worth.
3. Submit additional healthcare data. At this point, you will fill out a HIPAA form protecting your privacy and submit your health data. This also helps us to determine how much your policy may be worth.
5. Wait for Magna review and informal offer. Then, your Magna representative will calculate the value of your policy and decide whether or not to make you an informal offer, pending the next steps of information gathering.
6. Magna obtains medical records and life expectancy report. These reports verify your policy value so that Magna can calculate an offer that pays out the maximum amount for your policy.
7. If your policy qualifies, Magna extends a formal offer. If you accept the offer, you will receive cash in exchange for the sale of your policy after the sale is complete. This closing process takes some time. Similar to buying a house, a life settlement involves signing contracts.
8. Magna takes over the policy. After the settlement transaction closes, Magna is responsible for paying all future premiums and receives the death benefit once the policy matures.
If you are interested in receiving a personalized life settlement estimate or have questions about the process, contact a Magna representative today.
*Comments provided in this post are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or tax advice, recommendations or solicitations. Please consult your financial, legal or tax professional with questions related to the information presented, or for advice as to whether a life settlement is right for you.
May 09, 2019Magna Life Settlements
Sell a Life Insurance Policy For Cash?
With the promise of the insurer passing over a pre-determined amount of cash to your beneficiaries upon your demise, you are expected to pay monthly or quarterly premiums to the insurer. But what happens when you are unable to pay or feel like you don’t want to continue with the life insurance policy? Can you sell life insurance policy to a third party and how much can you expect as the settlement? Most importantly, when is the best time to sell the policy to a third party?
So the question is can you sell your Life Insurance Policy?
It is within your rights to sell a life insurancepolicy that you no longer need to a third party under the life settlement clause. Ideally, the sale involves transferring your claim over the expected payout to a third party investor in exchange for cash. In effect, the investor offers immediate cash payment (also known as a buyout) and continues paying the premiums up to the time of your passing when they can then claim the full settlement from the insurer. Life Settlement companies like Magna, help you sell your life insurance policy form the comfort of your own home, or over the phone.
How much cash can you expect from the sale?
How much you receive from the life insurance sale depends on a host of factors set out by the third party investor. In most cases, the investor considers such factors as the value of the policy, your current health condition, and age.
The average settlement ranges from 20 to 25 percent of the value of your policy. The subject is nonetheless open to negotiations, and this has seen the settlement value shoot to as high as 50 percent of the policy size. You should, however, note that not every subscribed life insurance qualifies for settlement.
Eligibility for life insurance policy sale
Almost every third-party life insurance investor has eligibility criteria that they use to screen individuals seeking to sell their life insurance. Nonetheless, some of the standard procedures followed by most investors include the fact that you must be above 70 years of age and have a policy value of more than $50 thousand. Most companies also prefer universal, whole, and convertible term life policies.
The regulations are, however, not set in stone. Plus, the stiff competition has forced some companies to accept policies for individuals aged 65 years. Most investors will also overlook the age limit, especially if the insured is terminally ill with a life expectancy of less than two years.
When does settling a life insurance policy make sense?
Non-payments of premiums
Insurance companies may decline to honor a life insurance claim if you stopped or have been inconsistent with paying premiums. Therefore, in the event financial constraints make it impossible to honor the regular premiums, remember that you have the option to sell the policy in a life settlement rather than allowing the insurance company keep the money.
Medical expenses and emergencies
When pressed by large medical expenses that need to be paid up front, you can always count on the proceeds of the settlement. Though saddening, health complications may in actual sense raise the settlement value of the policy where the investors project a lower life expectancy.
How to maximize the settlement amounts that get to your bank
Life policy settlement is taxable under income and capital gains. With the government taxing the settlement, the last thing you need is a broker or insurance agent seeking to dig further into the little left. Maximize the amount of the settlement that gets to your bank account by working with inexpensive agencies, and, if possible, reach out to the investor directly.
Contact Magna Life Settlements to get a free estimate on how much cash you can get from your life insurance policy!
May 07, 2019Bethany Bradsher
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Lapsing Your Policy
For a host of reasons, insurance policies that seemed like a good idea during an individual’s middle-aged years can become a burden as that person ages. There are undoubtedly good reasons for a policyholder to shed such an unwanted policy, but what many people don’t understand is that there are other options to lapsing a policy.
If premiums have become unwieldy, or the original beneficiary of the policy no longer needs the funds because of altered circumstances, the first reaction is often to let the policy lapse. What does lapsation entail, and why should seniors consider alternatives that could result in a better financial result? Here are three key questions policyholders who are considering doing away with their life insurance policies should ask themselves:
1. Do You Need The Policy?
The first step, for an individual considering getting rid of an insurance policy, is to consider the cost and future benefit and make a thorough determination of whether that policy is still necessary. Significant changes in income or family structure, in particular, may diminish the efficacy of a policy, especially if the intended beneficiary no longer needs the payout.
2. How Are The Premiums Affecting You?
For seniors, particularly those on fixed incomes with rising health care costs, continuing to budget for insurance premiums might not be the best use of limited resources. Additionally, depending on the structure of the policy premiums can get more expensive as the years go on. Seniors who are discouraged by this burden are often tempted to just stop paying and let the policy lapse rather than considering a more profitable alternative.
3. What Are My Other Options?
Even if policy holders are convinced that they would be better off without a particular insurance policy, they could explore the option to sell their policy before letting it lapse. Lapsation removes the premium burden, but it doesn’t compensate the individual for the money paid out in premiums over the years. Rather than let a policy lapse, more and more seniors are investigating life settlements, which allow for the sale of a policy for cash. Not everyone qualifies for a life settlement, but for those who do qualify, it provides a way of unloading a policy that has become a liability. Find out if you can turn your life insurance policy into asset today by scheduling a call with a Magna life settlement specialist or trying our simple life settlement calculator.
*Comments provided in this blog post are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or tax advice, recommendations or solicitations. Please consult your financial, legal or tax professional with questions related to the information presented, or for advice as to whether a life settlement is right for you.
February 24, 2019Magna Life Settlements
The Top 8 Cities for Retirement in the U.S. in 2019
Once you reach retirement age, it’s important that you are able to manage your finances properly. Stretching the dollars you’ve saved may mean you’ll want an inexpensive place to live out your retirement. If you’re looking for U.S. cities with a low cost-of-living, check out our list below.
Where to retire in the United States in 2019?
8. Cleveland, OH
Cleveland’s annual living expenditures total around $36,000. This figure factors in important items such as your housing, healthcare and transportation costs. Frugal spenders who have managed to save a modest amount each year throughout their working lives will have no trouble managing their expenses in this city.
7. Augusta, GA
You can expect to spend $35,781 on an annual basis should you retire in Augusta. In addition to low costs for your basic needs such as food, housing, medical and transportation expenses, there are other reasons to choose this city in Georgia. Relatively warm summer temperatures are a major draw and many current residents report a high happiness index.
6. Brownsville, TX
There are several cities in the state of Texas that make excellent choices for retirement living. Brownsville is one such city, boasting a low cost of living of only $35,461 each year. Because it’s Texas, you’ll also enjoy warm or moderate temperatures all year round. If you want to experience other cultures, you’ll find a large Spanish-speaking community in Brownsville that is eager to welcome newcomers.
5. Toledo, OH
We’re back to Ohio, where you’ll only have to spend about $35,095 annually to enjoy a relaxing retirement lifestyle in Toledo. Groceries for an entire year will only cost you $3,375 and even the highest estimated expense – transportation – comes in at an annual total of $6,814. Current residents report high happiness across various age groups and enjoy access to many of the city’s amenities.
4. Memphis, TN
Memphis offers you warm temperatures and friendly greetings for just $33,859 in annual costs. The city combines a laid-back atmosphere that is perfect for easy-going retirees along with the amenities and upscale venues one might expect from a major metropolitan area. If you’re looking for a slower pace as you enter retirement, but don’t want to sacrifice the modern conveniences of a major urban area, you should definitely consider Memphis as your retirement destination.
3. Jackson, MS
A move to Jackson might be perfect for you if you enjoy distinctive culture coupled with a low cost of living. Annually, you’ll only need to spend $33,676 to enjoy a pleasant lifestyle in Jackson. This, combined with the area’s Southern charm and culture make it an appealing option. Jackson is also currently undergoing revitalization, so you’ll be able to see the old merge with the new during this transformation.
2. Detroit, MI
Detroit is another place where you’ll see history and culture come together with modern innovation. Retiring to this city will only cost you $33,356 each year, which includes everything from housing to transportation. The metro area borders Canada, so you can experience the unique influence of the early French settlers. While parts of the city are sparse, the city is still a modern metropolis with plenty to offer to keep you entertained during retirement.
1. Birmingham, AL
Birmingham tops our list because we’ve found that it’s one of the least expensive cities to live in across all categories. Housing costs are a little higher on average than some other cities we’ve cited here, but Birmingham makes up for that with much lower costs in most other areas. Average healthcare costs for this city are comparatively low, as are the transportation costs. Birmingham capitalizes on this by offering modern, urban areas and attractions at more affordable prices than some bigger cities. Even as you stretch your dollars, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for entertainment or new experiences here.
This list showcases our top eight picks for affordable retirement choices in the U.S. While we’ve given you the best overall annual average costs, keep in mind that these can vary somewhat depending on things like your specific transportation needs (public or private) and your grocery budget. Your personal finance plan may be able to reduce these costs even more.
November 26, 2018Magna Life Settlements
How To Pay For A Senior Living Community With Your Life Insurance Policy
It’s a common refrain: seniors who have always thought they would want to stay in their home as long as possible have a change of heart when they realize how convenient and enjoyable a senior living community might be. Oftentimes, however, there is a high, one-time entrance fee that can range from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. These entrance fees are used for future long-term care costs. Additionally, monthly prices for such facilities can range from $1,500 to $6,000.
Seniors may be drawn to retirement communities for different reasons—the availability social connections and arts and enrichment activities, the convenience of meals and other services, or the understanding that the regular upkeep of a house has become too burdensome. But since studies show that only about 3 percent of Americans buy long-term care insurance, the desire to move into an all-inclusive community can also bring plenty of financial uncertainty. Even those who have engaged in careful retirement planning are often unprepared for the mounting expenses, and long-term care becomes more expensive every year.
Enter the life settlement, an option for seniors who are holding onto life insurance policies they no longer want or need. By selling an unwanted policy for a payout larger than the surrender value, people over 65 can use the funds to help pay for the entrance fee and/or monthly costs of a retirement community. Life settlements can be the answer for those who find that their monthly income is insufficient to pay for the living situation that best suits their needs in their golden years. A life settlement serves seniors financially two ways: 1. by providing a sum of money to help meet expenses and 2. by removing the burden of paying regular insurance premiums.
It’s easier than ever for seniors to research life settlements and, if they qualify for a favorable sale, to walk through that process with a life settlement company like Magna. The first step is to use Magna’s simple life settlement calculator tool to determine initial eligibility, and from there an individual can schedule a phone call with one of Magna’s settlement specialists to learn more about the settlement offer and the steps to convert life insurance into a windfall.
If your senior living situation is less than optimal and the lack of resources has become a barrier to moving into that retirement community you have been researching, find out today if a life settlement might be the answer. Every day more seniors are learning that their old life insurance policy has hidden value that can improve their lives now.
November 26, 2018Magna Life Settlements
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.
October 15, 2018Magna Life Settlements
Life Settlements are like Reverse Mortgages
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.
October 09, 2018Magna Life Settlements
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.
October 09, 2018Magna Life Settlements
How A Life Settlement Can Enable A Housing Upgrade
Housing can present a good news-bad news scenario for seniors; many have been in their homes long enough to see them paid off, but limited retirement income makes it difficult for them to keep up with home repairs. A smaller budget, paired with rising costs of healthcare and other late-in-life expenses, make it tempting for seniors to defer maintenance on their house.
Retirees might cut costs by cancelling their lawn care or pest control contract or by putting off repairs that they know need to be tackled. Whether it’s a new roof, more energy efficient windows, wood replacement or plumbing issues, it is common for homeowners over 65 to postpone necessary repairs because of financial worries. The unfortunate result is a home that is deteriorating, losing value and, in some cases, creating a hazard for the seniors living in it.
Some non-profits and ministries have organized programs to provide free home maintenance for seniors, and those groups can be a godsend. But because upkeep of a house is an ongoing task, most seniors need more than occasional nonprofit help to keep an older home in good condition. In many cases, seniors are realizing that a smaller, less time-consuming house would suit their stage of life better, but they don’t have the funds to even think about a move.
A life settlement can be the answer to this housing dilemma. Like an old house, an old life insurance policy can outlive its necessity and actually become a burden. In many cases, that policy can be sold to create an extra source of income, and the cash obtained from the settlement can make a way for seniors to transition to a more favorable living situation.
The profits from a life settlement might be the boost a senior needs to move into a new home, possibly a townhome, a house in a gated neighborhood or an apartment in a retirement community. There are options for seniors that take away many of the standard maintenance concerns and allow individuals over 65 to enjoy their golden years with much less stress over house issues.
Some seniors might not want to move, but a life settlement could provide them with enough money to complete all of those repairs that they have been putting away for years. The end result could be a more efficient, pleasant and attractive version of the home they have loved for years—a place to continue making memories with family or friends. In either case, a life settlement may be the key to unlocking either a new or remodeled home. To find out if you might qualify for a settlement, use Magna’s handy life settlement calculator.
October 03, 2018Magna Life Settlements
Life Settlements: When Do They Work?
Misunderstanding about the life settlement market causes many seniors to disregard what can be an excellent option for an unneeded life insurance policy. Fortunately, the guidelines of life settlements and the variables that affect an individual’s eligibility for a settlement are easy to grasp, and investigating the settlement option can be a difference maker for a senior seeking extra income. This paper explains in detail the two primary factors that determine eligibility for a life settlement.
Among the key subjects covered in this paper include:
The two primary factors that influence a policy’s value and the advisability of a life settlement are the insured’s level of impairment and the cost structure of the policy.
Policyholders with serious health impairments won’t often be able to realize the true value of their policy in a surrender.
A life insurance policy issued at a higher rating is more likely to fetch a high life settlement amount than one that was issued with a less favorable cost structure.
Eligibility for life settlements does vary depending on the structure of the policy and the health of the insured, and this paper details the specifics of those variables. Fill out the form to read the paper in its entirety.
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