When it comes to financial planning, most people think about their investments. How your investments are managed is a small piece of the pie, but it’s not financial planning.
Proper tax mitigation, proper asset protection, retirement planning, paycheck protection, cash flow, and life insurance need to be integrated correctly into a financial plan, and not simply be a bunch of financial products thrown together in a “junk drawer” with no rhyme or reason.
Tax mitigation is just as important, or more important than your investments. Your return on investments isn’t doing much if you are giving half of it away to the government. We have no idea what taxes will look like when we retire. Most folks are led to believe they are in a lower tax bracket when they retire. This simply is not true. Even if the thought were to be true today, it may not be true tomorrow, next year, or when you retire.
Most folks are taught to put their money into an IRA, 401 (K) or other tax-deferred financial vehicle. At today’s rate, 30-40% of your money in these accounts are an IOU to the IRS. What will happen to your retirement if taxes increase?
- Do you have Insurance on Your Paycheck?
Your income is your biggest asset, yet few people protect this asset. Without it, it would be hard to support yourself and your loved ones financially. Disability is not something we ever think about, but statistically, 1 in 4 people will have a disability in their life.
Disability can cover everything from total disability to rehabilitation from a sickness or injury. Common disabilities include
Accidents, injuries, and poisonings
Cancers and tumors
Cardiovascular and circulatory diseases
Muscle, back, and joint disorders
Spine and nervous system-related disorders
Mental health conditions
Can your family afford to lose your paycheck and/or pay for services needed if you become disabled? What would you do if a spouse had to stop working? We’ve seen it happen, and it’s devastating.
What about life insurance?
Permanent Life insurance has an incredible amount of uses and is one of the most valuable assets you can own.
Most people have been taught there’s only one use for life insurance, and that is for a death benefit. That simply is not true.
There are infinite ways to design a policy. The way a policy is designed depends on the needs of the individual.
We can create a policy this is focused on the death benefit and does not focus on cash accumulation, or we can create a policy that is solely focused on cash accumulation, or we can design a policy that creates a healthy balance of both.
People are living longer than ever before. It’s important to think about how you could get the extra money you might need to take care of yourself if you get a chronic or terminal illness. Many polices offer a chronic illness rider or a long-term care rider.
Permanent life insurance can be used to fund a non-qualified retirement plan, a Defined Benefit plan, a privatized banking system, or to create tax-free cash flow in retirement.
Chronic Illness Rider or Accelerated Death Benefit
This is a feature included in some life insurance policies that allows you to receive a tax-free advance on your life insurance death benefit while you are still alive. Sometimes you must pay an extra premium to add this feature to your life insurance policy. Sometimes the insurance company includes it in the policy for little or no cost. There are different types of ADBs, They each serve a different purpose. Depending on the type of policy you have, you may be able to receive a cash advance on your life insurance policy’s death benefit if::
- You are terminally ill
- You have a life-threatening diagnosis, such as AIDS
- You are incapable of performing Activities of Daily Living (ADL), such as bathing or dressing
Long Term Care Rider
Long-term care insurance is expensive and is typically “use it or lose it.” Many consumers will not buy it because they know they may never use it and don’t want to waste their money. Some insurance companies have attempted to solve this problem by combining life insurance with long-term care insurance.
The amount of money you receive from these types of policies varies, but typically the accelerated benefit payment amount is capped at 50 percent of the death benefit. Other policies allow you to use the full amount of the death benefit. If this is important to you, make sure your insurance advisor understands which companies can meet your needs.
Different companies have various products that work differently. The monthly benefit you can use for nursing home care is typically equal to two percent of the life insurance policy’s face value. The amount available for home care is typically half that amount. This coverage may or may not be available.
- Depending on the policy amount, there may be little or no health screening required. Meaning that if you have a previous health condition, it may exclude you from long-term care insurance eligibility. You can, however, still obtain a long-term care insurance policy through the ADB feature on a life insurance policy.
- ADB policy payouts for long-term care services are often more limited than the benefits you could receive from a typical long-term care insurance policy.
- The face value of your life insurance policy may not be enough to allow ADB payments that are enough to cover your long-term care service needs. The benefit payments may be too low and the duration may be too short to cover your long-term care service expenses.
- ADB riders on life insurance policies may not offer inflation protection. If the policy does not include inflation protection, the ADB payment may not be sufficient to cover your future long-term care service costs.
- If you want to leave an inheritance, you should consider whether using your life insurance death benefit to pay for long-term care services is the right option. If you use the ADB feature for long-term care services, there may be little or no death benefit remaining for your survivors.
- Using the ADB option may affect your eligibility for Medicaid. Check with your state Medicaid agency for more information.
These plans allow you to sell your life insurance policy for its present value to raise cash for any reason. This option is usually only available to women aged 74 and older and to men age 70 and older. Additionally, the proceeds of this transaction may be taxed.
Protect your business, your business partners, and your employees.
As a business owner you have a lot of responsibility to your business, your employees, and your family. If one of your partners or key employees dies or becomes disabled, there needs to be as little impact to your business as possible. You also want to attract and retain top talent.
Permanent life insurance can help with business continuation when a partner or key employee passes away.
It can also help facilitate the exchange of business ownership should you or your partner retire, become disabled, die, or get a divorce.
Some people purchase life insurance with the intention of leaving the death benefit as an inheritance to their loved ones. Life Insurance is an easy way to make sure everyone in the family gets an equal share of the family estate. This is common when there is a family business or family farm.
We currently have a high rate for estate taxes. But that is set to expire in 2025. The Federal estate tax is one of the things that our government frequently likes to change. Click Here to see a history of our estate tax laws.
Depending on state laws, your heirs may need to pay an estate tax upon receiving an inheritance.
Life insurance policies can also be created with your favorite charity as a named beneficiary. This can help ensure your philanthropic goals are met after you pass away.
A good life insurance policy provides you and your family with financial security and protection that would be unavailable from any other source. There are benefits and advantages in a life insurance policy that you won’t find in the stock market, in government-sponsored retirement plans, in a real estate portfolio, or in any other investment or financial vehicle