What is an IUL?
An IUL is an Index Universal Life Insurance policy.
As you approach retirement, you may hope to grow your savings or at a higher rate for more retirement income. Unfortunately, putting your savings in growth-oriented investments like a variable universal life policy could also put your money at risk.
So, what happens if the stock market plummets just as your retirement date arrives?
The good news is that strategies are available to attain positive market-linked returns without taking a loss when things go south. One method is using indexed universal life insurance or IUL.
Although many people shy away from insurance products, the reality is that IUL can provide you with a great deal of growth and tax-related advantages while at the same time keeping your principal safe in any market environment.
It can also offer you an additional stream of tax-free income in retirement – no matter how high-income tax rates may go in the future. So in a world filled with financial uncertainty, cash value accumulation life insurance could be well worth looking into.
How Indexed Universal Life Insurance Works
Indexed universal life is a type of permanent life insurance coverage that offers both death benefit life insurance protection for survivors and a cash value component that can help you to grow your savings by tracking the stock market indexes.
As with other types of permanent life insurance, the growth inside an IUL cash value account is tax-deferred. This means that no taxes are due on the gains, loans, or the death benefit.
What makes IULs stand apart is how the return on the cash value is credited. In this case, an underlying market index like the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average is tracked. (In some policies, you can track more than one index). There is typically also a fixed interest rate option available.
If the return on the chosen index(es) is positive in a given contract year, a positive return is credited to the IUL’s cash account – usually up to a set maximum, or “cap.” However, if the index performs poorly during a given contract year, a negative return is not credited to the account, which provides financial protection.
Rather, a guaranteed minimum interest rate “floor” (such as 0% or 1% minimum interest rate) is given, which not only protects your contributions and previous gains but also allows the account to build upon these gains in the future without having to first make up for any losses. This is perfect for protecting against the downside risk on market returns affecting your cash accumulations.
So, even though the positive investment return can be capped in an IUL policy’s cash value, your principal will remain safe – even during the recession of 2008 or the more recent COVID-19 crisis (and corresponding stock market downturn).
Unlocking Tax The Benefits: Your Path to Tax-Free Income
No more worries about taxes eating into your retirement savings. With IUL, we’re unlocking a path to a worry-free retirement where your income remains untouched by taxes. Ready to transform your financial landscape? Let’s chat and explore the incredible benefits that IUL brings to the table. Your tax-free income journey can start today by getting your own personal illustration! 🚀💰
Growth with Deferred Taxation (Internal Revenue Code Section 7702):
Beneath the surface of a LIRP, lies the potency of growth with deferred taxation, functioning within the confines of Internal Revenue Code Section 7702. This implies that any interest, dividends, or profits from investments generated within the policy remain unaffected by annual income taxes. As your cash value accumulates over time, the deferred tax nature of a LIRP propels the overall value of your policy.
Withdrawals Free from Taxation (Internal Revenue Code Section 72(e):
A noteworthy accomplishment of a LIRP is its capability to facilitate withdrawals free from taxation. Governed by Internal Revenue Code Section 72(e), this attribute allows you to access the cash value within the policy without incurring any income taxes, provided it’s executed correctly. It’s akin to possessing an income source that genuinely belongs to you, devoid of entanglement with the tax authorities.
Tax-Exempt Death Benefit (Internal Revenue Code Section 101(a):
In the regrettable event of the policyholder’s demise, Internal Revenue Code Section 101(a) comes into effect, guaranteeing that the death benefit paid to beneficiaries remains entirely tax-exempt. This ensures that your loved ones receive the complete financial safeguard furnished by the life insurance component of the LIRP, without any tax-related apprehensions. The tax advantages provided by this policy, through these three fundamental tax codes, establish a financial milieu that is not only effective but also remarkably beneficial. It’s crucial to bear in mind that tax laws can be intricate and subject to modifications, underscoring the importance of the guidance from a financial expert or tax professional. Allow us to assist you in comprehending and leveraging the tax benefits of a LIRP to pave the way for a flourishing and tax-free retirement. Reach out to us to unlock the complete potential of your financial future today.
The Unmatched Advantages of Our IUL
- Insured Rate Lock Advantage: Within our IUL, you get the innovative concept of an insured rate lock, ensuring that you benefit from a secure and guaranteed minimum interest rate. This means you participate in market gains without fearing market downturns, providing a unique blend of potential upside and unparalleled security.
- Zero-Risk, Maximum Gain: Imagine experiencing a remarkable 20% + gain in a single year without any risk. With our IUL, this isn’t just a possibility; it’s a reality. Our policy allows you to capitalize on the upward momentum of the stock market without being susceptible to its fluctuations, ensuring your financial growth remains steady and secure.
- Market Participation with Confidence: Our IUL empowers you to participate in the gains of the stock market with confidence. While traditional investments may expose you to market volatility, our IUL shields you from downturns, letting you enjoy the benefits of market growth without the accompanying risks.
- Stability in Uncertain Times: In a financial landscape that can be unpredictable, our IUL provides a stable haven. Your policy ensures that even during turbulent market conditions, your gains are safeguarded, offering a reliable and risk-free approach to building and preserving wealth.
- Consistent Performance, Zero Worries: The beauty of our IUL lies in its consistent performance. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your financial growth is not contingent on market fluctuations. It’s a unique opportunity to participate in stock market gains without the sleepless nights associated with market volatility.
By choosing our IUL, you embark on a journey where market gains become a source of wealth without the worry of potential losses. Experience the benefits of securing a prosperous financial future without compromising on risk. Complete our IUL questionnaire today to explore how our IUL can redefine your approach to financial growth.
IUL Crediting Methods
Crediting methods refer to the amount of return credited to an indexed universal life policy’s index segment(s). Depending on the insurance company and the policy, some of the more common IUL crediting methods can include the following:
- Annual Point-to-Point – The annual point-to-point method tracks changes in the underlying index from one contract anniversary to another. It will then credit the return based on that annual change.
- Monthly Averaging – This crediting method takes the individual monthly value of the underlying index(es) and totals them. The total is then divided by twelve to determine the monthly average. In this case, the index value at the beginning is subtracted from the average to determine the positive or negative index change amount. This amount will then be divided by the beginning value to determine the percentage of interest that will be credited.
- Monthly Sum – The monthly sum method takes the percentage of the increase (if any) in the underlying market index each month and then sums them up. In this case, the index(es) may rise or fall from one month to another. But as long as the overall percentages throughout the contract year are positive, interest will be credited to the account.
With each crediting method, the change in the value of the index(es), if any, can also be subject to a cap and participation rate.
- Cap – A cap is the maximum rate of interest that will be credited within a given period. For instance, if the cap rate is 5%, and the underlying index has a 7% return in a contract year, then IUL’s cash account will be credited with 5%.
- Participation Rate – The participation rate determines how much of the underlying index’s increase will be used in computing the return. For example, if the participation rate is 80%, and the underlying index returns 10% during a contract year, the account will be credited 8%. (That is because 80% of 10% is 8%). It is important to note, though, that if there is also a cap, the amount of the return credited could be affected.
The value at the end of a given period (usually each contract anniversary date) will become the new starting value for the beginning of the next period. This value is referred to as the annual reset calculation.
It is important to remember that even though there are various limits to the growth within an IUL policy, the credited interest will never be taken away – even if the underlying index(es) perform poorly in the future.
In addition, the account’s value has the benefit of continuing to grow and compound over time without having to make up for any previous losses.
Accessing Tax-Free Income from an IUL Policy
There are different ways that the cash value from an indexed universal life insurance policy may be accessed and used to supplement the policyholder’s retirement income or other financial needs.
You can get to the cash by way of withdrawals or policy loans.
By taking a direct withdrawal, you may take tax-free withdrawals up to your contribution amount or premium payments.
You could also access funds tax-free by taking a loan. The IRS does not consider loans from life insurance cash accounts to be taxable income. Any money loaned out can still participate in the index when you choose a index loan.
Examining Potential Challenges with (IULs)
While IULs offer an enticing avenue for tax-free retirement income, it’s crucial to be cognizant of certain drawbacks, especially in relation to your unique policy objectives. Fortunately, Insurance Geek emerges as your trusted ally, dedicated to addressing these concerns and guaranteeing that your IUL aligns seamlessly with your financial aspirations.
- Optimizing Policy Structure for Enhanced Cash Value Growth: A notable consideration with an IUL involves the potential for suboptimal policy structuring, impacting cash value accumulation. The efficacy of a IUL pivots on the policyholder’s ability to maximize cash value growth. This optimization relies on meticulous structuring, ensuring a significant portion of your premium payments contributes to building your cash value. When a policy lacks this focus, it may result in sluggish growth, potentially limiting retirement benefits. Our experienced advisors at Insurance Geek specialize in navigating these intricacies, ensuring your IUL is structured optimally to sidestep this common pitfall.
- Carrier Performance in Maintaining Competitive Caps and Participation Rates: Another aspect to weigh is the performance of the insurance carrier, influencing features like caps and participation rates integral to IUL growth potential. Some carriers may struggle to sustain competitive rates over time, impacting the overall performance and advantages of your policy. Choosing a reputable carrier with a proven track record of maintaining favorable rates is paramount. Thorough research and expert consultation are vital for identifying carriers known for reliability in this aspect. Insurance Geek, with its wealth of expertise, guides you in making informed carrier selections, ensuring your IUL is poised for enduring success.
The Best IUL Insurance Companies
Many insurance companies offer indexed universal life. But some may be better than others, depending on your health condition and what you are looking for in an IUL policy (such as premium amount and choice of underlying indexes to track).
We offer IULs from over 30 companies, but these are the best IUL companies currently:
- Allianz (the best company, hands down)
- North American
One crucial factor to consider when choosing an indexed universal life policy is the financial strength and stability of the insurer. You can determine this by reviewing the ratings the insurance carrier has received from A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, and/or Moody’s Investor Services.
Working with an independent life insurance agent like an Insurance Geek can help you to narrow down which IUL policy and insurance carrier is right for you. We can also help you to understand how the plan will work so that you know what to expect from your policy.
Is IUL a good investment?
Imagine an investment where you could never lose in the stock market but could still get double digit gains each year the stock market is up? Now image you compound that over your lifetime. IUL insurance policies offer just that. By combining a life insurance policy with dynamic investment strategies, IULs protect your family’s financial future from market risk while enjoying unmatched tax benefits and cash-value growth.
One of the main benefits of IUL policies is the potential for cash value growth linked to an index’s performance, such as the S&P 500. This can allow the cash value to grow at a higher rate than traditional universal life policies or whole life insurance policies, which typically have a guaranteed, but lower rate of return. Additionally, the cash value grows tax-free, income can be taken tax-free, and the death benefit is paid out tax-free.
The cash value growth is usually capped at a certain percentage; however, some insurance companies have uncapped index options, which can vary depending on the policy and the insurance company. Ask us which carriers have uncapped indexes.
Setting Up an IUL Account
1. Complete the IUL Questionnaire:
Start your journey by filling out our quick IUL questionnaire. It’s simple and tailored to gather the details we need to craft a personalized plan that aligns with your financial goals.
2. Run an Illustration Based on Your Goals:
Once the questionnaire is completed, our expert team will utilize the gathered data to generate a personalized illustration. This visual representation will showcase how the IUL policy aligns with your specific financial objectives, offering a clear insight into the potential benefits and growth opportunities.
3. Schedule a Consultation for Review:
To ensure a comprehensive understanding, we’ll arrange a dedicated consultation to review the IUL illustration. This step allows you to ask questions, seek clarification, and discuss any adjustments to the plan. Our agents are committed to providing a transparent and informative session, empowering your client to make well-informed decisions about their financial future.