Our investment portfolios have dropped significantly in 2022, and for many of us, our confidence in the financial markets remains uncertain. We know historically that “markets” have performed and provided us with a stable way to systematically invest, with assurance that over time that our assets will grow.
Hopefully, we are also reallocating our investments to reflect our risk tolerance as well as our need for liquidity as we age and consider retirement.
There seems to be a renewed interest in certainty, in products like annuities and insurance, things that provide guarantees to families and retirement incomes, especially should the markets not return to some level of stability. Investors have returned to annuities and T-bills for certain investment returns, trading volatility for certainty—strategies not seen since the 2008 financial crisis. In short, people want to sleep at night!
Interest in life insurance has also suddenly skyrocketed, with people understanding that a reduction in their assets means fewer assets for heirs should they die prematurely.
Makes sense … with all of the news reporting war, global and weather-related disasters, shootings and random killings, escalating crime, and even with the era of COVID potentially in our rearview mirror, we have all suddenly come face to face with events that make us face our mortality. As Jim Morrison said, “No one here gets out alive.”
When was the last time you actually reviewed and contemplated the economic needs of your family or business, if you died tomorrow? What plans would you want to have in place if your ability to buy life insurance changed tomorrow?
Most people buy a term policy, “set and forget it.” Maybe a million dollars isn’t what it was years ago. Surely it doesn’t last as long as it once did. In fact, I’ll argue that most of us are under insured. By a LOT.
There are assets, and then there is liquidity. Life insurance brings liquidity to situations at exactly the right time. It brings money to families who may have lots of assets, but don’t have liquidity. Most people buy term insurance, but the problem with term insurance policies is that they are most likely to expire way before you do. Policies don’t get updated or refinanced. Then WHAM, you’re too old to requalify. Or it’s too costly.
If you haven’t revisited your life insurance policies in the last several years, this is the right time. Term life insurance rates are at an all time low. Then there are the new types of term policies that “spring to life” and can pay for things like long-term care if you need money while you’re alive. Your current policy likely doesn’t do that.
Life insurance can be a tool to transfer wealth, preserve assets, and make sure that special events—like weddings, home purchases, retirements, and grandchildren—get something special and create legacies. With the current low cost of life insurance and underwriters seeking year-end revenue, this is an extremely good time to revisit your life insurance portfolio.
People who plan are always more successful than those who fail to plan. What’s your plan?
Martin Levy, CLU/RHU is founder of Corporate Strategies Inc. (CorpStrat), located in Woodland Hills, Calif. A 30-year insurance industry veteran and lifetime member of the Million Dollar Round Table, Levy is an expert in long-term care planning strategies. You can reach him at (818) 468-0862 or [email protected]