When most people think of life insurance , the tax-free policy proceeds that are paid out to the policyholder's beneficiaries when he or she dies are what usually come to mind. However, life insurance can be useful in other ways too, including helping you plan for your retirement years.
Life insurance can be an important part of your retirement plan, offering security and certain guarantees for income during your retirement years. Two popular insurance products that can double as retirement tools include annuities and indexed universal life (IUL) insurance policies.
Annuities have served as common retirement planning vehicles for decades. When you purchase an annuity, you are buying a life insurance product that has two distinct phases. The first phase is known as the "accumulation phase," during which you can either make a lump-sum deposit and watch the assets grow at a guaranteed rate or make periodic deposits over months or years, seeing your annuity balance rise as your retirement date approaches.
During the accumulation phase, your money grows tax-deferred. When you're ready to flip the switch, you can turn to the "annuitization phase" and choose from a variety of payout options. When you annuitize your contract, you'll start getting periodic payouts, creating an income stream to pay you at pre-determined intervals (every month, quarter, or year.)
This can be used to supplement other sources of retirement income like Social Security and pension plan payments, providing you with the extra money you need, so that you can meet your financial obligations and have funds to live the retirement lifestyle you desire.
Another type of insurance product frequently used for retirement planning is indexed universal life insurance. IUL policies provide permanent life insurance coverage as long as the policy is kept in-force (premiums are paid on time). As is true with other permanent life insurance products, IUL policies include a separate cash value component inside the policy, which can be used to accumulate savings.
The "indexed" part of IUL means that policyholders can index or tie their cash value to a financial market index, although the cash value is not invested directly into the stock market. If the underlying financial market is going up, the policy's cash value will rise proportionately. IUL policyholders also have some downside protection, with a guaranteed minimum interest rate. This means you don't have to worry about losing your entire cash value fund if markets take a prolonged downturn. IUL policies still have a guaranteed face amount of death benefits that will be paid to the policyholder's named beneficiary at the time of death of the insured.
There are a lot of options when it comes to setting aside money for your retirement years. Life insurance should not be considered a replacement for 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plans; however, it can be a great way to supplement your traditional retirement plan accounts.
One of the reasons people choose annuities or IUL policies as part of their retirement plans is to take advantage of the peace of mind these tools provide. The guarantees that come with insurance products combined with attractive contract or policy features can mean you have both the potential for growth with downside protection.
To explore whether an annuity is right for you or to see if you qualify for an IUL policy, talk to your Symmetry Financial Group licensed insurance agent. Retirement planning is just one of many strategies involving life insurance; your insurance professional can provide more information about using life insurance for retirement and other insurance planning techniques.
When you choose to work with Symmetry Financial Group, you are making a smart decision. We work with more than 30 of the most well-known and reputable insurance companies in the country. This gives us options and the ability to tailor insurance solutions to your individual needs. To learn more, get a free quote and connect with an agent in your area.
Your agent is available to meet over the phone or through video conference to help you find the best insurance plan for your life.