When you think about purchasing life insurance, “Cash Value” sounds great. However, you will need to carefully analyze the pros and cons of a cash-value policy.
The term “cash value” refers the savings component of permanent insurance such as universal and whole life insurance.
These policies are priced at a cost that covers lifelong insurance and the funding of a cash-value account.
This is in contrast to term insurance which provides temporary coverage and no cash value. A term life policy cannot be borrowed or cashed in for money. It only pays out if you are unable to live within the term. It’s affordable for both young and old, which is why it’s so popular.
What you can do to make the cash work for you
Insurance agents often emphasize the cash value when selling permanent life insurance. Here are some ways you can use the cash value of a life insurance policy.
- You can withdraw partial amounts. You can withdraw partial amounts if the money isn’t repaid.
- You can borrow against the cash value. You can borrow against the cash value for any purpose you like. To maintain your death benefit, you will have to repay the loans with interest.
- You can withdraw all cash value and cancel the policy. This will cancel your life insurance coverage. In the beginning years, you will have to pay a surrender fee.
- Once the cash value is high enough, you can use it to pay premiums.
The type of permanent life insurance policy that you purchase will determine how the cash value increases.
- A whole-life insurance policy guarantees a fixed return on the cash value.
- indexed universal insurance has cash value growth tied to a stock index such as Standard & Poor’s 500.
- variable universal insurance allows you to invest the cash in a variety of accounts, including stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. This policy is the most lucrative, but it comes with the possibility of losing cash value if investments fail.
Are cash-value life policies right for you?
The amount of risk that you are willing to take and the degree of flexibility you desire will determine whether you choose to purchase a cash-value policy. Because everything is guaranteed and fixed, a whole life policy is the best option. This includes the annual price, death benefit, and return on cash value.
Universal Life Insurance allows you to adjust premiums and the amount of coverage. Different types of universal life have different levels of risk and the potential to make cash.
The process of obtaining cash-value life insurance can be more complex than that of term life. To help you navigate the options, you will need to consult a life insurance agent. A second opinion is a great idea from a fee-only advisor to determine if cash-value life insurance is right to you.
For most young families, term life insurance is sufficient. Unless you have maxed out your contributions to tax-advantaged retirement account, such as IRAs or 401(ks), and can commit to a policy over the long-term, financial planners won’t recommend cash value life insurance. It’s important to carefully consider these policies and ensure you fully understand the terms.