Why You Want to Be Your Own Bank?

I always want to be the “bank”…not in Monopoly… in real life.

Why?

You know how everyone thinks banks are safe places to park their savings?

That’s exactly what the banks want you to think. So you’ll put your life savings with them.

What’s your interest rate in your bank savings account?

Inflation is 3.3% each year…are you making or losing money in savings account?

 

 

The bank borrow money for almost free and lend YOUR MONEY out at 5%, 7%, 10% interest.

Related article: Is Your Money in Your Savings Account Working Hard for You? Or for the Bank?

 

How Be Your Own Bank Works

The cash value life insurance is a little known secret tool for wealth building and investing.

If is actually 2 products in one vehicle – life insurance and a savings account.

The difference between this “savings account” and your bank’s savings account is that the “cash value” savings account grows tax-free and is distributed to your beneficiary as tax-free death benefit.

Let me clarify this a little. Every cash value life insurance policy is different. Most charge interest rate for borrowing…some charge more and some charges less.

The Transamerica Financial Freedom Indexed Universal Life Insurance that I own and represent, charges a net interest rate of 0.75% for first 1-9 years, then 0% after 10 years.

Also a very important point to remember is when you borrow money from your cash value, you are not taking money out from your cash savings account, you’re borrowing money against your cash savings account, which is being used as a collateral for your loan. This is an added bonus, because your cash savings account continues to grow money tax-free while you’re enjoying your extra cash interest-free.

Another bonus with borrowing from a cash value life insurance is that you don’t have to repay your loan it you don’t want to.

How? Good questions!

Remember it is a life insurance policy. So it also has a face value. When you die, the insurance company will pay off your loan from the proceed of the death benefit.

If this is the first time you’ve heard of this life insurance feature, don’t be alarmed. Life insurance has come a long way just like mobile phone has evolved into smart phones.

Related article: Do You Have the Best Life Insurance?

Consolidate high interest debts

Long term care

Critical or terminal illnesses

Invest in real estate

Pay for college tuition

Pay for private school tuition

Start a business (like Walt Disney)

Supplement retirement income

S.M.A.R.T. College Planning for a Debt Free Future

Are you concern about not able to provide for your child’s college education? Are you worry that you may have to take out home equity or personal loan to pay for your child’s college education? Are you worry that your child have to work during college to help pay for college tuition?

Cost of college is certainly a big concern nowadays. Most families do not have proper college planning. Most people focuses on saving for retirement and paying off debts, and only few plan for their children’s future.

College tuition, like everything else, has increased significantly over the years. In fact, cost of college goes up 6-7% every year. Currently in-state public school average $20,000 per year and private college average $40,000 – $60,000 for an undergraduate degree.

Did you know the average student takes 8 years to complete an undergraduate degree, which is usually a 4-year degree? That’s an additional 4 years of college tuition and 4 less years of potential earnings.

Most students change major about 3 times during their college years.

TRUE STORY…

The son of a friend of a friend. I hope we had help this family with college planning. The son of a friend of my friend went to college and graduated from medical school with a medical doctor degree. After all the years and money spent acquiring the medical degree, the son decided he did not want to be a doctor.

You would never figure out what he became…

…a Catholic priest.

The parents did not know if they should feel blessed or angry with their son’s decision.

 

Because of the indecisiveness, many students graduate from college with enormous student loans.

Did you know the average student loan today is $37,172 for an undergraduate degree. Student with a professional degree can easily end up with a $150,000-$200,000 student loan after graduation.

And many college graduates end up in jobs that’s not even related to their course of study because they NEED a job to pay for their living expenses and start repaying their student loans.

That’s what happened to my friend’s daughter who graduated with a fancy but obscure science degree that she cannot find a job for, so she’s now working for some insurance company getting $10 an hour pay, the same pay as my teenager.

Do you want that for your son or daughter? Is that how you want your son or daughter to start their adult life?

In fact, student loans have now surpassed consumer debts in US.

Related article: Student Loan Debt In 2017: A $1.3 Trillion Crisis

 

help you maximize tax-free college savings & minimize cost of attending college

Tax-free money…

529 college savings plan

Coverdell education savings plan

Be your own bank (life insurance)

Free money…

Grants
Scholarships

Last resort money…

How do you plan to pay for college expenses?

College-saving-vs-borrowing

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Are there better ways to navigate the higher education without incurring debts?

The answer is YES!

How about matching your child with a career path that matches your child’s talent and personality? How about matching your child with a college that he or she will excel, which in turn improving his/her job outlook? How about someone to help you navigate through the complicated financial aid application process and matching your child with little-known scholarships available?

These are all possible…

There are expensive ways to get a college degree…and there are also S.M.A.R.T. ways.

Does the idea of your child graduating from college on time with minimal debt appeal to you?

Related article: The High Price of Not Completing College in Four Years

  • help you create a financial plan to maximize growth and tax benefits to maximize reward when applying for financial aid,
  • maximize tax-free college savings accounts, such as 529 plans, Coverdell and cash value life insurance,
  • help your student graduate on-time in a field that he/she enjoys with great job outlook and minimal debts
  • find the right major so your student does not have to change major multiple times to find his or her calling,
  • find the right college that offers degrees in your student’s chosen major, so your student does not have to transfer college later, wasting more time,
  • locate free money in form of scholarships and grants opportunities to minimize out-of-pocket expenses,
  • help navigate the financial aid application process.

 

What You Need to Know About Life Insurance?

What is Life Insurance?

Do you have insurance for your homes? cars? Apple watch? MacBook? iPhone?

Great…

How about your most valuable asset? YOU!

Today, people purchase all kinds of insurance to protect everything from their house, cars, phones and appliances. They even buy travel insurance for their vacation.

Life insurance plays an important part in your financial plan...It protects against income loss due to disability, chronic and critical illnesses and premature death.

Financial Planning Protection

What is Life Insurance?

Who needs life insurance?

Everyone...everyone of us die eventually unless you're immortal.

TERM VS PERMANENT LIFE INSURANCE

TERM LIFE INSURANCE

PERMANENT LIFE INSURANCE

Which Life Insurance is Best for You?

That depends on your financial situation.

Related article: Best Life Insurance

How to Protect Your Home Mortgage with Life Insurance

Are you a homeowner? Are you still paying mortgage on your family home?

If so, I hope you have life insurance.

Why?

While homeowners insurance may protect you from theft and/or damage, but do you know what will happen to your home mortgage if something happens to you, the breadwinner?

Over the years, you've probably invested many hours and lots of hard-earned money to increase your property's value, creating a safe and comfortable home for your family.

But have you done everything you can to safeguard your family and investment?

Related article: Don’t Waste Your Money on Mortgage Life Insurance

A life insurance policy can replace your income in the event of untimely death, disability or illness, so your family can continue to afford the mortgage payment and continue to live in the home you have provided without financial devastation.

The living benefits from your life insurance policy can be used to pay for medical bills in case of critical or terminal illness. Some policies may even provide disability income or fund for long-term care.

All of these living benefits can help ease the burden of losing your income.

And in case of untimely death, your family will be provided for for the rest of their life with the death benefit. They can use the death benefit from your policy to replace your income, pay-off the remaining mortgage balance on your home and pay for any debts and/or expenses.

Related article: Pay Off Your Mortgage in 7 Years

Do you think your family would complain getting a $500,000 or $1,000,000 check when you leave this world?

How much and what kind of life insurance is suitable for you?

Well, that depends on where you are financially.

Or Do You Already Have a Life Insurance?

While you may already have a life insurance policy, does it provide enough coverage to replace your income when you are gone?

Without enough funds, your family may struggle to pay the mortgage and keep up with their current lifestyle, and may be forced to sell your home to make ends meet.

A life insurance needs analysis can help determine the appropriate amount of insurance coverage you need. If you don't currently own life insurance or haven't reviewed your policy in a while, a needs analysis can help you determine what's best for you and your loved ones.

Don't wait until it's too late...protect your family today.

Can You Afford Long Term Care?

Will you need long term care?

Most of you would answer “I don’t know”.

I don’t know either.

If I have a crystal ball that can tell the future, I would give you my honest answer.

Unfortunately, I don’t.

But my best advice for you is “be prepared when the need for long term care does arise in your future”.

And here’s the statistics...

Long Term Care Need

Let’s see what options are available.

Medicare covers only a portion of long-term care costs up to 100 days; 20 days are provided at no cost and the remaining 80 are at a significant co-pay for the insured.

Long-term disability covers your lost income only, but doesn't pay for any LTC needs. Oftentimes, when your job ends, so does your coverage.

Health insurance does not cover long-term care expenses. Medigap policies are health insurance and also do not cover LTC expenses.

Medicaid covers long-term care expenses for individuals with countable assets of $2,000 or less and care could be limited to a nursing home. You can no longer just transfer all your properties to your children to be qualified for Medicaid. They look at your assets in the past 5 years. If you sold a house in the last 5 years, they want you to spend down all that proceed until you’re poor enough to qualify.

If you don’t want to spend down all your asset to qualify for long term care…can you afford to pay out of pocket?

Is this a good option for you?

You can always pay for long term care out of pocket. But how deep is your pocket? Do you have the assets to pay for long-term care, and how long can that asset support your long-term care?

Rising Long Term Care Cost

Can your family members take care of you when you can’t take care of yourself?

Even the most responsible family may not be prepared physically, emotionally or financially to care for their loved one. 53% of Americans caring for a loved one lost income due to the demands of providing that care.

Hidden Cost of Long-Term Care

Long-term care insurance provides funding to cover home healthcare, assisted living, nursing home and even family member who takes care of you.

Long term care insurance premium are a lot more affordable than long term care. Besides, stand-alone long term care insurance policy, many life insurance policies offer long-term care insurance as a rider at very affordable rate.

So, can you afford NOT to have long term care insurance?

Tax-Free Retirement Plan

As a financial advisor, it is my duty to provide my clients with information and strategies on how to accumulate wealth so their money grow safely and be protected from market volatility while maximizing tax benefits.

Impact of Tax and Inflation

I just don’t like sharing my wealth with Uncle Sam, who’s not even my real uncle.

By maximizing your tax benefits, you’re also maximizing your savings. US debt is currently $19 trillion, do you think tax rate will be up or down when you retire. So do you want to pay tax now or later or never?

TAX NOW…

Brokerage account

Certificate of deposit

Checking account

Savings account

TAX LATER…

401k/403b

Annuity

SEP IRA

Traditional IRA

TAX NEVER…

Health Savings Account

Life Insurance

Roth IRA

Roth TSP

 

Max out all tax-free retirement account to reap the biggest tax benefits.

There are many wealth-building vehicles with tax benefits that can be used for personal wealth accumulation, retirement planning, college savings, estate planning, etc. And there are a few that you should pay attention to because of their additional benefits.

The Four Cornerstone Characteristics of a Safe and Sound Investment

4 Cornerstones of Safe & Sound Investment

Let’s see how the common retirement accounts compared with the lesser-known indexed universal life insurance.

IRAs vs IUL

From the table you can see that both Roth IRA and Indexed Universal Life Insurance (IUL) offer great tax-free benefits, which is important when it comes to wealth accumulation.

If you have children planning to go to college, cash accumulation in both life insurance and retirement accounts are excluded as assets when calculating for financial needs.

The IUL insurance, by far, offers the most benefits. Seriously, it is life insurance on steroid. You have all the benefit of a traditional or Roth IRA but none of the restrictions.

You get to accumulate wealth in the cash account protected from loss (no market volatility to worry) with guaranteed growth earning a handsome rate of return up to 15%.

You can also access your money whenever you need during your lifetime tax-free as emergency fund, such as medical expenses, long-term care, vacation, invest in real estate, etc.

Related article: Be Your Own Bank

Not only that, your young family will be taken care of financially if you passes too early. The death benefit pays out to your family tax-free.

It is also the choice for many who has a large asset portfolio and makes too much income to invest in an individual retirement account IRA. An IUL provides excellent asset and wealth protection and there is no limit on your contribution, but certain guidelines do apply.

One drawback of the life insurance is that you need to have good health to qualify. Therefore, start early when you’re still young and healthy.

The Individual retirement account (IRA) is great investment vehicle for retirement savings because of tax benefits.

The Traditional IRA allows you to deduct your contribution on your tax return for the year you made the contribution, reducing your taxable income that year. However, you’ll pay income tax when you withdraw from the account because your contribution is pre-tax money.

Contribution to a Roth IRA, on the other hand, is after-tax money, so you cannot deduct your contribution on your tax return. On the bright side, your money grows tax-free until distribution.

However, there is no guaranteed risk-free growth with the IRAs. Your money is usually invested in stocks, mutual funds or bonds and is exposed to market volatility with no guaranteed growth and requires specialized knowledge in the stock market to make a profitable investment.

Related article: Invest in Real Estate with a Self-Directed IRA

With both IRAs, there is a 10% penalty on early withdrawal before the age of 59 1/2. There are exemptions to the 10% penalty. You can make an early withdrawal if you’re using the money to pay for college tuition, medical bills or down payment for your first home.

Even though you escape the 10% penalty, but the income tax still applies for withdrawal from the Traditional IRA.
There is also contribution limits to the IRAs: $5,500 a year or $6,500 a year if you’re 50 and older.

How do you want to save for your retirement?

Do You Have the Best Life Insurance?

Do you have insurance for your homes? cars? Apple watch? MacBook? iPhone?

Great…

How about your most valuable asset? YOU? Without you, nothing else matters.

Today, people purchase all kinds of insurance to protect everything from their house, cars, phones and appliances. They even buy travel insurance for their vacation.

So who needs life insurance?

Everyone. Everyone dies, unless you're immortal.

I know, I know…life insurance is not a fun topic to discuss…or so you think.

Life insurance has evolved significantly over the years into a fancy gadget. It’s just like communication technology. We went from pagers to flip phones to today’s smart phones.

Today life insurance does more than just protecting your loved ones that you left behind. Life insurance nowadays have living benefits that allows you to have an additional stream of retirement incomes, pay for college tuition, vacation, pay for chronic illnesses, terminal illnesses and even long term care.

So How Does the Best Life Insurance Help Your Financially?

WATCH: The Swiss Army Knife of Life Insurance

GROWTH

Buying a permanent life insurance is like purchasing a new home. It builds equity the moment you own it and continues to growth with each premium payment and market growth.

SAFETY

The equity (or cash value) grows safely each year without exposure to stock market or risk of loss. The equity or cash value growth tracks the particular indexes, such as S&P 500, Euro Stoxx and/or Heng Seng. When the stock market goes up the equity goes up to a certain CAP set by the insurance company. If the stock market goes down, the equity will go down but never lower than the floor of 0% or 1%, set by the life insurance company.

It’s important to remember that avoiding loss can be as crucial to your financial strategy as realizing gains. The best life insurance policy offers limited upside market potential with downside protection. Any increase in the policy’s cash value is locked in so earnings are not lost should the market falls.

TAX-FREE

The equity in the life insurance grows tax-free for the duration of the policy. You can take money out against your equity any time after the surrender period. Because this money is taken out as a loan, you pay no taxes on the gains. When you die, your family will receive the death benefit tax-free less any outstanding loan balance.

PROTECTION

The best life insurance policy also protects against all the what if’s in life. What if you die too young? live too long? become chronically sick or disabled? or become terminally ill?

If you die too young, your family will be protected for the next 10 years.

If you live too long, the equity in your life insurance can supplement your retirement income.

If you become chronically sick or disabled, the equity in your life insurance can be used to pay for long term care and provide supplemental income to you and your family.

If you become terminally ill, you can use the equity in your life insurance or part of the death benefit to pay for your medical expenses.

You see life insurance is not just life insurance...it is a versatile financial tool in any strategic financial plan.