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341: Why Now Is The Perfect Time For High Cash Value Life Insurance Strategies

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As we get closer to the end of the year, I know a number of you are trying to figure out how to deploy capital. We will have some opportunities that are not real estate oriented. 

I also believe that it is a surprisingly good time to consider various life insurance strategies that we have discussed before. I have included the email sent to me on this topic by Rod and Christian and they will be my guest on this week’s Wealth Formula Podcast. Make sure to listen in! 


We frequently receive questions about how the recent increase in interest rates will impact the strategies we teach that utilize the combination of high cash-value life insurance and leverage.


Interest rate reset

First, it’s important to realize that rising interest rates are great for life insurance! Cash value life insurance is designed to outperform general interest rates.  When interest rates go up, it allows life insurance companies to generate higher returns in their general account, that additional return then passes on to the policy holder. In fact, we’re already seeing cap rates on IUL’s begin to climb and adjust to the market. This increase in caps will result in a higher overall return inside the policy! In traditional whole life insurance, higher interest rates means higher dividends! 

It’s also important to understand that life insurance companies primarily invest in bonds and notes, the types of investments that are sensitive to interest rates. However, there’s a significant difference between an individual investor and an institutional investor. Life insurance companies are able to make considerably larger investments and for considerably longer time frames. We’re talking about as long as 40 or 50 years. This advantage allows them to be more selective as to the types of investments they buy and for how long they will lock.

In the context of our strategies, the recent increase in interest rates is actually creating a much healthier and more profitable environment for life insurance companies, which of course also means that dividends and cap rates will rise. 

Interestingly, the effect on loan rates is more short-lived. In many cases, when we run the Wealth Accelerator stress tests for the 1980’s, we actually end up with a higher long-term IRR than when we run our baseline projections using a very conservative 2% spread.

The impact of higher rates on Wealth Formula Banking

If you’re not yet familiar with Wealth Formula Banking, check out our webinar by going to www.wealthformulabanking.com. In a nutshell, we build up our investment opportunity fund inside of an overfunded whole life policy. We then loan against our cash value to invest in real estate, business, etc., our money stays and continues to grow inside of the account. By doing this, we’re able to double dip, and create value in two places at the same time.

This is the perfect time to get involved with WFB, especially if you’re one of the many people who have money sitting on the sideline waiting for the right deal. Why let it sit in a checking account or money market account earning nothing, when we can put it in a WFB policy and generate a long-term 5%+ tax-free return? By the way, that 5%+ return is going up with interest rates! 

Here’s a question I’m often asked: If I’m using a loan, and interest rates are rising, what does that mean for the WFB strategy?

The good news is that for most of our clients there’s a direct relationship between the interest they’re paying on their loan and the interest that’s being credited to the portion of their cash value that is collateralizing the loan. So, if interest rates keep going higher, the interest rate we earn on the collateralized cash value will keep going higher as well.

The Impact of higher rates on the Wealth Accelerator

For anyone who isn’t familiar with the Wealth Accelerator, check out our webinar at www.wealthformulabanking.com. Briefly explained, we’re building an asset using leverage. The individual puts the initial funds into overfunded whole life and/or IUL policies, and then we finance all future contributions to the policy. We’re taking advantage of the spread that can be generated by creating higher growth in the policies than what we’re accumulating in interest on the loan. The goal is to generate double-digit tax-free returns, which then creates massive future tax-free income and/or income-tax-free funds for estate planning.

Many people assume that the rise in interest rates kills the opportunity to create a spread. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As we mentioned above, a rise in interest rates creates a huge opportunity!

The fact is, with interest rates going up, we’re already seeing caps rising within IUL policies. And, although there’s a slight lag time with dividends on whole-life policies, those will rise as well. 

One aspect that I think can help alleviate concern as well is the fact that we carry a healthy cushion in the form of our “Net Equity” value. This represents the amount of extra cash value we have over and above the amount of our loan amount. As mentioned above, our design is built for times like this! In other words, we know there will be times when we will get less than a 2% spread, and even times when we’ll have a negative spread. This net equity serves as our buffer for times like that, so that we’re poised to take advantage of the times when the spread is a lot bigger than 2%. For example, in 2008, we would have cut into our buffer a bit because the market dropped and our IUL wouldn’t have produced a return in that year. However, the next 10 years would have averaged a lot higher than a 2% spread, with interest rates so low and the market growing so much.

As a side note, we’ve also had people express concern about getting into an IUL policy while the market is down. Before we answer that, let’s be clear that due to the long-term nature of the strategy we don’t try to time the market. However, if we can choose, getting started when the market is down makes a lot of sense! We get to start at that lower market value, and ride the wave of the recovery.

Christian Allen joined the financial services industry in 2004. Over the course of his career to date, he has developed a broad-based knowledge and experience set. He began as a traditional advisor, working with local clients in his home state. In that context, he began a movement of successfully partnering with other professionals, including accountants and attorneys, to assist clients in implementing sound financial strategies. He spent more than five years in management with 2 regional planning firms, during which time he assisted new and seasoned professionals in creating efficient systems and methods to build meaningful practices. Over the last several years, he has expanded to working across the country, teaching financial principles, and working with clients across a broad spectrum, including wealth accumulation, retirement distribution planning, as well as innovative, advanced planning strategies for both high-income and high-net-worth individuals and businesses. He’s a member of AALU, and holds the designations of Accredited Asset Management SpecialistSM and Accredited Wealth Management AdvisorSM Christian is married and has two children, and is an avid sports fan.

Rod Zabriskie has been in financial services since 2009. Prior to going into business for himself, he worked in marketing and finance with several small businesses. He had the opportunity to purchase an existing furniture business in 2007, just prior to the Great Recession. The experience of struggling to stay afloat amid difficult economic conditions inspires Rod every day in his efforts to educate and assist his clients in implementing sound financial strategies. He strongly advocates for establishing a firm foundation, utilizing proven strategies and financial tools to create a strong base upon which we can each build our financial house. In addition to focusing on Wealth Formula Banking and Velocity Plus, he has expertise in retirement income planning. Rod has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing Communications, and an MBA with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship. He and his wife Jodi are the proud parents of 7 wonderful children. As a family they thrive on spending time exploring nature, playing games and doing projects together. He enjoys sports, music and reading.


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