Debt reduction strategies abound, like the snowball or domino effect methods, but without will power to execute the plan it is doomed to failure. But a new cash value life insurance strategy has emerged over the last 5 years or so that can bring a practicality to debt reduction and offer significant control over your finances.
Participating whole life insurance is a cash value contract that allows tax deferred accumulation and tax-free distributions.* Participating means that the contract can generate non-guaranteed dividends. Dividends are the return of unused premiums, i.e. contributions that are classified as basis. Collateralized policy loans of gain are borrowed against the existing cash values. The policy loan costs vary from contract to contract anywhere from 2%-4%. So, it’s important to know the policy loan cost that is guaranteed in the contract because it’s your policy and your money. It is conceivable that collateralized policy loans may never require repayment.
Life insurance as an indemnification product has an inherent death benefit, so that strategy can be self-completing if the death of the policy insured were to occur. Another great attribute of cash value life insurance is that withdrawals to basis and collateralized policy loans of gain are not imputed as real income and therefore is not includable in the provisional income test for Social Security. That’s a huge benefit.
In summary, tax benefits, insurance coverage and apprehending control of your money, are important first steps in the right direction towards debt elimination and financial freedom.
*Tax free distributions are comprised of withdrawals to basis and collateralized policy loans of gain in a non-modified endowment design compliant with the TAMRA regulations. The contract must be kept in force for the life of the policy insured. Any termination or lapse of the contract will re-characterize collateralized policy loans to phantom income and consequently be taxed at the ordinary income tax bracket of the policy owner.