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The shift toward life insurance.

Why might the wealthy be directing more money into this middle-class bedrock?

For generations, Americans have thought of life insurance as a midlife purchase of the middle class. Today, that perception is less accurate.

Wealthier Americans seem to be buying more life insurance.Affluent individuals are recognizing what it may help to accomplish for their families and their companies. They see the twofold tax break offered by whole life and universal life policies – the death benefit goes untaxed, and the policy has a chance to accumulate cash value through a tax-deferred savings or investment account.

As tax rates may rise before the end of the decade, cash value life insurance may seem increasingly attractive to those in the top tax brackets.

Here is some recent history to mull over:

  • In 2007, a striking 55% of tax-free investment gains inside universal life and whole life policies belonged to the wealthiest 10% of U.S. families. In fact, 22% of these assets belonged to the richest 1% of American families. (That data comes from the Federal Reserve.)
  • In that same year, the life insurance industry research group LIMRA conducted a survey for the Wall Street Journal. It found that policies for $2 million and more comprised almost 40% of the face value of whole life and universal life policies sold that year. In 1997, large policies made up just 10% of the life insurance market; in 1987, they made up 1% of it.
  • Prudential Financial Inc. says 31% of its life insurance policy sales in 2009 were made to households with investable assets of more than $250,000. In 1999, that demographic accounted for just 19% of its life insurance polices in force.1

When you consider that households with adjusted gross incomes above $250,000 face a 0.9% income tax increase and a new 3.8% investment income tax in 2013, you have yet another factor that may contribute to the trend.2

An option to consider. Whether you see life insurance as an alternative investment or merely a resource to pay estate taxes or facilitate a buy-sell agreement, it may have merit as a complement to your retirement strategy – especially given the volatility of the stock market and the possibility of higher income taxes in the next few years.

This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. If assistance or further information is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. 11739 – 2011/6/1

Citations.

www.online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703435104575421411449555240.html?[10/3/10]
www.online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703890904575297351898565426.html[6/12/10]

This material was prepared by Peter Montoya Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting Representative or the Representative’s Broker/Dealer. This information should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named Representative nor Broker/Dealer gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. Please consult your Financial Advisor for further information. www.petermontoya.com, www.montoyaregistry.com, www.marketinglibrary.net

Make the REST of your life
the BEST of your life.

For more than 14 years our mission at West Financial Group has been to guide our valued clients to financial security. We strive to address all of your concerns, ensure you understand the products we recommend and take pride in knowing you’re comfortable with the direction and strategy we provide you.

Our goal is to provide a “WOW” experience at every client interaction! We want every meeting, phone call and event to be an interaction worth talking about. We want our clients to be able to say, “WOW, what an experience! I can't wait to tell my friends about our financial professional.”

Whether it’s financial, retirement, legacy planning or optimizing your future wealth, our approach includes understanding your unique situation, exploring your goals and discovering the best way to make the REST of your life, the BEST of your life. By getting to know you and your family, we serve as financial guides who keep your best interests in mind throughout the entire process.

Skip West | Financial Planner | West Financial Group

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