Are you looking to get started with the infinite banking concept? But you’re wondering what the best type of policy is, whether it’s universal life, index universal life, variable universal life, or whole life insurance? Well, if that sounds like you, stick around to the end of this blog because today we’re going to do a deep dive on what the best type of policy is for you and your situation.
The infinite banking concept uses life insurance as a vehicle to implement the process. But let’s take a step back and think about what exactly is insurance fundamentally.
Life insurance or any insurance, for that matter, is technically a transfer of risk from you to the insurance company. And the cost of doing that is a premium that the insurance company charges.
Now, let’s take a look at the various types of cash value life insurance and the characteristics of each.
Fundamentally, life insurance, or any insurance for that matter, whether it’s homeowners or car insurance, is a transfer of risk from you to the insurance company. Basically, you’re saying, “I have this risk. I don’t choose to accept it. I need to transfer it.” The insurance company raises its hand and says, “Hey, we’ll charge you a premium for that risk.” And they’re working with the law of large numbers. They’re working on thousands of people who are in the same situation that you’re in.
But now let’s look specifically at life insurance. Let’s say you have a $100,000 risk that you don’t want to accept. You transfer it to the insurance company. With a whole life policy, it’s all bundled together. It’s a neat little package, and it’s guaranteed to have more cash value next year than it did this year. That’s because the insurance company is making two promises:
- They’ll pay the death claim whenever you die.
- When you reach the age of maturity, let’s say age 121, they’ll have the face amount of the policy available for you in cash should you want it.
Now, let’s take a look at some other types of policies. There’s universal life, there’s indexed universal life, and there’s variable universal life.
But the chassis is universal life. And what that basically means is: the technical term for universal life is flexible premium adjustable life. If you want to have the flexibility of making various or not making payments, you can do that. Here’s the problem: that variability creates some additional unwanted risk that most insureds don’t understand. Quite frankly, most insurance agents don’t understand it. Now, there are three variables that the insurance company needs to consider as it relates to a life insurance policy.
- Mortality. Are more people going to die than expected?
- The cost of running the company. Is it going to cost more than we anticipated?
- Investment returns. Are we going to earn enough like we anticipated as it relates to this policy?
Now, with a whole life insurance policy, the insurance company assumes all three of those risks. Basically, what they’re saying is: “If more people die sooner than later, we can’t change the deal. If it costs more to run the company due to things like cybersecurity, we can’t change the deal. And if we don’t earn enough interest on our reserves, we can’t change the deal. We own it. You’re off the hook.”
Life insurance policy contracts are unilateral contracts, meaning that the owner of the policy has one responsibility, and that’s to pay the premiums and pay the premiums on time so the policy doesn’t lapse. All of the other risks are completely on the insurance company. They have to deliver on everything else that’s listed in that contract.
Here’s the issue as it relates to universal life, variable universal life, or equity indexed universal life: the insurance company gave itself an escape clause. They allowed themselves to transfer the investment risk back to the insured. The insurer doesn’t know it or realize it, and I guarantee you the agent never explained it to the insured in that way.
But, basically, what it says is: If mortality is greater than expected, if expenses are greater than expected, and if our investment return isn’t what we expected, we reserve the right to change the deal.
How do they do that? How can they do that? Well, it’s real simple. Run an inforce illustration, run a sales projection, and you’ll see that some of these policies start to fall apart in your late sixties or in your seventies. And what does that mean? Basically, it means that the policy expires before you do.
Now, think about it. Life insurance is the fundamental vehicle for infinite banking. And yet some people are recommending a product that won’t be around as long as you may be around. In other words, you have to die to win.
Another thing to consider is if you allow the policy to lapse and there’s a gain on that policy, meaning you don’t want to pay any more premiums because it’s cost prohibitive. What you could end up with is a huge tax bill because there’s so much gain within the policy and all of the gain is taxable as ordinary income.
Here’s the thing with these universal life policies. In your later years, the cost of insurance could get very expensive. And it will. So you’re left with the choice of paying an astronomical amount of premium and then having to pay the premium again at a higher amount the following year, or just allowing the policy to lapse. Now, if you let the policy lapse and you’ve used it for infinite banking purposes, there’s a high probability that you’ll have a taxable gain, and that taxable gain is going to be fully taxable at ordinary income rates.
In Nelson Nash’s bestselling book, Becoming Your Own Banker, on page 39, he clearly expresses his thoughts on universal life. Universal life came into play in the early 1980s. It was created by a company called E.F. Hutton, a stock brokerage firm. And in Nelson’s opinion, they knew nothing about life insurance. For those of you old enough to remember the commercial, you remember when E.F. Hutton spoke. Everybody listened.
Have you heard ‘em lately? They don’t exist.
Universal life is nothing more than one-year term insurance with a side fund. And if you remember, back in the early eighties, interest rates were 15-16%. And those policies didn’t work then. So could you imagine, under today’s interest rate environment, how faulty and how much risk you’re accepting as far as the interest rate is concerned?
Universal life was an attempt to unbundle the savings and the insurance components of life insurance, which, if you understand whole life insurance, it can’t be done. You can’t unbundle the whole life contract. Here’s the thing with the universal life contract, the flexibility you’re getting cannot be duplicated with the whole life policy. However, it can come close and at the end of the day, the risk that the insurance company is pushing back to the owner of the contract is not worth the flexibility.
This takes us to the policy illustration. When you’re choosing insurance companies or you’re choosing insurance policies, generally an agent will show you an illustration or a projection of how the policy might perform. And it is very tempting to look for the highest yielding illustration. But that is such a slippery slope. There are so many variables that the insurance company can manipulate to create that better-looking illustration, and it is not worth the time of day when you look at those illustrations. If you’re judging whether or not you should purchase a policy based on an illustration, stop the process – you’re off the rails.
The issue is how are you going to use that policy? And what Nelson Nash proved to us in his bestselling book, Becoming Your Own Banker, you will have the greatest impact on the performance of that policy. You will have the greatest impact on how that policy serves you.
Some of our clients use these policy loans to get out of debt faster, take advantage of investment opportunities, start their own business, or send their children to college.
The point is: how are you going to utilize this policy to move you toward your financial goals? And what is that worth?
With these policies designed for cash accumulation, you have the opportunity to take advantage of the internal rate of return as well as an external rate of return. So it really comes down to how you are going to move forward using these policies and taking advantage of the continuously compounding interest that happens within your contract. And that’s the importance of the infinite banking concept when you’re trying to regain control of your money.
The key with infinite banking is you are in control, and because you’re in control, you can’t change the deal. Or you can. It’s up to you.
If you’d like to get started with a specially designed, whole life insurance policy designed for the infinite banking concept to help achieve your financial goals. Be sure to visit our website at tier1apital.com to schedule your free strategy session today. Or if you’d like to learn more about how our process works, take a look at our free web course listed right on our homepage.
And remember, it’s not how much money you make, it’s how much money you keep that really matters.