Life & Health Insurance/Life Insurance


QUESTION: I wanted your opinion on life insurance.I have no kids am in my 40s and so was thinking about getting some and putting either my mom or brother as the beneficiaries because one never know sometimes i travel a lot .I also here aboutpeople taking money back from a policy can you explain that and tell me what would be the best way to go for my purpose?

ANSWER: We have a different view of life insurance as we use it as a tax free retirement program with free "living benefits" meaning if you come down with a serious illness, the company gives you a big check--you should explore a good solid universal life policy and talk to an agent that knows how to work them for the maximum tax free benefits.   I would avoid a variable life policy as that's an investment into the stock market.  Instead look for a fixed, indexed policy that's tied to the stock market gains but not investing in it;  so if the market tanks you're not out anything.

Good luck!


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QUESTION: So a universal policy is the way to go So i can put anyone i want as a.beneficiary? Also any recommendations? And does this cover death by natural causes? Accidental death etc.? Still a little unclear about it.Thanks so much

A little history might help.  Universal life was invented by E.F.Hutton (remember their ads on tv?  when ef hutton speaks, everyone listens);   well they had said for years that the ins co's were missing a huge market in the tax free growth arena and they blew EFH off. So EFH set up its own insurance company and the universal life policy.

Originally you could deposit any amount of money, say $1 million, and the premium would be taken out for the life insurance, say you had $10,000 of coverage and your annual premium was $200;  the unused portion would grow tax free.

IRS took exception to this, sued EFH, lost, and the law then changed that you have to have a certain amount of coverage per dollar deposited -- not a biggie.

Different companies have different setups;  our agency represents several different ones as we're independent.

With a regular policy, you die whether by accidental means or natural causes, and your beneficiary gets the death benefit -- tax free.

However, the living benefit helps you if you become ill on a scale of moderate to terminal and they will advance you money on the policy depending on how severe your illness is.  No charge for that.

In the normal course of business, we design a plan for you such that when you retire, you can withdraw from the policy, pay no taxes, and still have life coverage in force.   It's a long term program, not one where you put in/take out like a checking account.

Beneficiary:  as you're the owner of the policy, you can designate anyone you want;  and I recommend a first choice and a second choice (contingent) in case you out live your first choice and don't change the policy, the second bene gets the benefit.

If you can tell me what state you're in and if you want more information with no obligation and of course no cost, I can have an agent of mine e-mail you for particular info on your situation.  My direct email is steinway at rocketmail dot com.  

Thanks for your inquiry.


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Lee Horner


Questions invited on "hard to insure" life cases; also universal life with living benefits, term with "money back" premium refund feature, and using universal life for retirement planning.


Estate Planning Attorney since 1985; practicing in California and Arizona, and independent life insurance agent since 1975 specializing in "interesting" or "hard to insure" life insurance cases and also tax free retirement planning.

AHEPA, Freedom Equity Group and the Farm Bureau.

BBA in Business Management from Univ of New Mexico; Juris Doctorate in Law, Lincoln Law School of Sacramento, CA.

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