The older we get, the more we want to make sure that we’re financially set for later in life. I have car insurance and renter’s insurance, but I’ve recently delved more into insurance options and learned all about whole life insurance, which I didn’t even plan to look at! Whole life insurance is a permanent life insurance policy that remains in play for the entire duration of the insured’s lifetime. Once the insured has passed, the policy is guarantees that the insurer will pay death benefits to the policy’s beneficiaries. Turns out, there are so many myths and misinformation out there and they are so well-known that I was buying into them without even realizing it, and I was not getting the whole story.
I did some digging and found some of the most common myths people perpetuate when talking about whole life insurance. Prepare to be debunked!
Myth 1: It’s really only death insurance.
While whole life insurance does pay out to cover burial costs, which can be very expensive, it can also replace the income of the deceased person, meaning that the money paid out in the estate can actually cover missed wages and potential earnings. This can make the grieving process a tiny bit easier because the mourners aren’t worrying about how to pay the mortgage. It can also ensure that a working mother who died unexpectedly left money to cover her kids’ care.
Myth 2: Whole life insurance isn’t an asset.
It’s not just an insurance policy that you can never touch, it is an asset, similar to a place to store liquid cash. Once your policy gets some cash value built up, its annual rate of return is higher than most savings accounts and money market accounts! You can both withdraw money from the policy like a checking account withdrawal, and you can also borrow against it and leave the liquid cash in place.
Myth 3: You can’t borrow against whole life insurance.
You can borrow against it at a significantly lower rate than bank loans and you get a higher return. You also retain your cash value in the policy, because you are not removing liquid cash from the account, but borrowing against it. You can use that money for any reason and are not penalized like you be if you removed money from a 401(k) before being 59 and a half.
Myth 4: You don’t need it if you’re single or have no kids.
Actually, the sooner you start building up your cash value, the better. You may not have beneficiaries now, but you might in the future, and if you started putting $100 per month in your whole life insurance policy 10 years before you had kids, you will already have nearly $12,000 in cash value built up. That money isn’t just for when you die, but can enable you buy a home sooner, borrowing at a lower rate than banks, or allow you to take time off to be with the kid you just had, or other opportunities for you to enjoy your life.
Myth 5: It’s unnecessary and too expensive!
According to recently published Busting the Life Insurance Lies, “One dollar paid into your whole life policy can actually perform seven jobs at once: pay the premium, build up cash value, create a waiver of premium rider, install the initial death benefit, provide the ability to leverage cash value through loans, increase the death benefit, and enable Paid-Up Additions.”
This money is cash value dollars, which allows you to access and use the money as needed with no penalties for early removal, like a 401(k), you get a much lower interest rate and can borrow against it, and you get a higher interest rate on cash than in savings or money market accounts, and it also continues to gain value to pay out your potential earnings and burial costs after death.
There are a lot of myths to be busted and lies floating around about insurance. Keep doing research, make sure to speak to expert advisors, and ask questions. Whole life insurance is specifically made to help you throughout your whole life!