Three Great Benefits of Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent Life Insurance
Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance tends to get some bad press, mainly because it is misunderstood by “experts” who don’t how these policies work. I will be the first to admit that there are some bad performing whole life and universal life policies out there, but the opposite is true as well. That’s the way it is with most products. There are positives and negatives associated with most everything. Since permanent life insurance gets so much negative press, here are three positive features that often get over-looked.

Tax Free Death Benefit

As it stands now, death benefit proceeds payable to beneficiaries are income tax-free. Well, so is term insurance, but only permanent life insurance is guaranteed to be there when you die as long as required premium payments are made. The vast majority of term policies never pay out a death benefit because most people outlive the term. Actuaries know this and so do the insurance companies.

Tax-deferred Growth

The cash value build-up inside a life insurance policy grows on a tax-deferred basis. That means you do not pay taxes each year on the growth of the guaranteed and non-guaranteed cash values.

Living Benefits

A permanent life insurance policy allows you to take out loans or withdrawals from your cash value. Often called Living Benefits, you have easy access to cash which can be used for anything from supplementing retirement income, helping with a down payment for a house or just creating an emergency fund. There are different strategies for accessing the cash value with different implications, but if done correctly, it can be withdrawn tax-free.

The Future

Obviously, everything is subject to change in the tax law, but this is why you should be working with an experienced, licensed agent. If you would like to learn more about the ways permanent life insurance may benefit your financial situation, please give me a call at 360-452-9200.

Want more information? Please visit Matt Elwood - Allstate Insurance to get more information on the Allstate products and services I can offer in Port Angeles, Sequim or anywhere Washington State. 

Eight Tips To Remember Before Your Life Insurance Exam

Your diet and behavior before your life insurance exam may affect the results and ultimately how much you end up paying. The better underwriting class you qualify for, the cheaper your policy will be.

Here are eight tips to remember before your life insurance exam.

1. Schedule your exam for the morning time after a good night’s rest. 2. Avoid drinking coffee or anything with caffeine the day of your exam. 3. Avoid strenuous exercise 12-24 hours before your exam. This will allow your body to fully recover and get your vitals back to normal. 4. When it comes to alcohol, we all know that moderation is best. Just make sure you moderate at least a day before your exam so your liver enzymes don’t go off the chart. 5. Drink lots of water. Not only is it good for you and helps flush your body, but your exam will most likely include a urine test so you will need to be able ‘to go’ when asked. 6. The insurance company is going to want to review your medical records as part of the application. Prepare a list of your health history and doctors including name, address and phone numbers. The more information you can provide, the quicker your application will be processed. 7. Nicotine is stimulant so if you do smoke, hold off until the exam is completed to light up that first drag of the day. 8. Make sure your exam is confirmed. Your agent and examiner should do this as well, but nothing is more frustrating than confusion as to the date and time of the exam. If you live in a gated community, apartment complex or any other area with special access instructions or hard to find roads, notify your agent and/or examiner when making the appointment.

Life Insurance exam
Life Insurance exam


You may also be wondering whether or not you should fast before your exam? I have heard varying opinions, but if it were me, I would fast the night before. If you do feel the need to eat, just make sure it is light and easily digestible.

These tips along, with a healthy lifestyle, will ensure you getting a better outcome with your next life insurance exam. If it has been a while since you reviewed your life insurance or are considering it for the first time, please give me shout.

Want more information? Please visit Matt Elwood - Allstate Insurance to get more information on the Allstate products and services I can offer in Port Angeles, Sequim or anywhere Washington State. 

Does My Life Insurance Policy Still Fit My Needs?

Couple reviewing their life insurance policy
Couple reviewing their life insurance policy

I have been selling life insurance for 10 years and over that time I have worked with hundreds of families. Everyone’s situation is unique, but the common thread is that life is all about change. Change is the one constant that keeps our lives interesting. Friends come and go, families grow and sometimes shrink. We move to different cities or even return back home. We get married and divorced. Our kids grow up and start families of their own.

With this constant change in our lives, it is important to review your life insurance once a year to make sure your policy still fits your needs. Here are a few areas of consideration.

Do I Still Have The Right Amount Of Insurance?

When you initially purchased your life insurance policy, you probably went through exercise with your agent to determine what the right amount of insurance for you and your family at that time. Some factors may have been the age of your children, planning for a possible college fund and also the amount owed on your mortgage or other debt.

So when was the last time your reviewed this amount? Was it 5 years, 10 years ago or even longer? Have your kids now grown up leaving you with less of a need for life insurance? Have you paid off that mortgage and no longer need so much death benefit? It may be that times are now tougher and you have had to take out a 2nd mortgage and need more insurance? Without doing a review with an experienced agent, your policy may not match your current needs

Do My Beneficiaries Need Updating?

This is a huge area of life insurance planning that often gets neglected. First of all, you should never leave life insurance proceeds to a minor child. The primary beneficiary should be your spouse or a responsible adult that will take care of your children and the money on their behalf should something happen to you. You should also meet with a local estate planning attorney to draw up a will and living trust agreement to ensure that things get handled properly and your financial affairs are in order.

Another area where I see beneficiary errors is after a divorce. It may be that you still want your ex as your beneficiary, but I can tell you that not everyone does. Maybe you are remarried and want to update your policy to your new spouse? There are countless scenarios, but you get the point. Just keep in mind, only the owner of a policy can make these changes.

Life Insurance policy
Life Insurance policy

Do I Still Have The Right Type Of Policy?

When you first bought your policy, it may have been that all you could afford was term insurance. Nothing is wrong with that, but most term policies have a provision that within a stated amount of time, you can convert your policy to a permanent type like Universal Life. The great thing is that you can do this usually with no exam if you are within the given time frame stated in the policy.

On the other hand, maybe you bought Universal Life from the beginning, but now you are having a hard time affording it. I have seen a lot of cases where people are stretched too thin and having to borrow against their policy too soon. There is danger in doing this because it will shorten the life of your policy and ultimately you may be just paying for really expensive term insurance. If this sounds like you, you probably do need term insurance without the costs of Universal Life.

September Is Life Insurance Awareness Month - LIAM

September is the perfect time to review your life insurance policy given the national campaign of LIAM. If you would like to set a time to review your policy with me please contact me at 360-452-9200

Want more information? Please visit my official Allstate Agency Website to get more information on the Allstate products and services I can offer in Port Angeles, Sequim or anywhere Washington State.