While term life insurance is the most common type of life insurance out there, sometimes a whole life insurance policy can be a better option. Why–you might ask–well, that’s because there can be many tax benefits of whole life insurance!
A whole life insurance policy guarantees a death benefit payout after your loved ones passes.
The benefits of whole life insurance policies extend beyond just financial protection and most policies even offer a built-in cash value component which means your savings can grow over time. The exciting thing about that is that the growth of the cash-value is tax deferred. You can take out a loan against the policy and loans against life insurance are typically tax-free! This can be valuable after retirement for traveling, paying off medical bills, or even as a large monetary gift for your children and grandchildren! You can easily take out a loan off your policy that you never have to pay back during your lifetime.
So, let’s take a further look into how these tax advantages can be implemented into your financial goals!
Understanding the Tax Benefits of Whole Life Insurance
When you first sign up for a whole life insurance policy you will pay premiums just like you would for a term life policy, however; one of the downsides to a term life policy is when the end of the term approaches, if there is no death, there will be no payout.
Whole life will require premiums to keep the policy active. If you default on the premiums, your policy will lapse and you will have no coverage. Unlike term life, the whole life premiums you pay start to accumulate interest and a cash-value. You can think of it as a “bank”. Overall, it may not be much–but it’s something!
Also, the cash value that grows off your premium payments is tax-deferred. As you pay your premiums, year after year, that cash value will grow and grow.
If down the road you decide you need some extra cash to pay expenses like medical bills, or want money to travel–you can freely withdraw from the policy. We like to phrase it as “taking a loan out,” and that “loan” is typically tax free. When it’s time to do your taxes, this added income from the withdrawal won’t affect your income taxes.
You do not have to repay this “loan” during your lifetime. After your death, the life insurance company will subtract this “loan” from the policy amount and pay the rest to your beneficiary! So while you technically pay back the loan, it doesn’t require any money to be sent back to the company/policy.
Again, it’s simply subtracted from your policy death payout after your death.
Tax-free Growth of Cash Value
Another attractive feature of whole life insurance is that the cash value is credited with either interest or dividends from the company which grow tax deferred. As a reminder, cash-value encapsulates the premiums you have paid year and year, growing with interest. Often our clients will be in retirement and need some money to help cover their standard of living, cover medical bills or just desire to travel more.
Withdrawals from the cash value of a whole life insurance policy are generally considered to be a return of your own-funds first, which is the total amount of premiums you have paid into the policy. As a result, these withdrawals are not subject to income taxes. However, it’s important to note that any withdrawals in excess of your premium payments/growth may be subject to taxes.
It is important to note that taking too much money out of a policy can put the policy in jeopardy of lapsing.
Tax-Free Death Benefit
In addition to the tax advantages associated with the cash value component, whole life insurance also offers a tax-free death benefit. When you pass away, the death benefit is paid out to your beneficiaries. This provides them with financial security during a difficult time. The best part is this death benefit is typically tax-free.
Unlike any other forms that may be subject to estate taxes or income taxes, the death benefit from a whole life insurance policy is generally received by your beneficiaries tax-free! This can be a significant advantage, as it allows your loved ones to receive the full benefit amount without any tax obligations.
Utilizing Whole Life Insurance for Retirement Planning
When you begin thinking about retirement planning, your goals often shift from wealth accumulation to income preservation. A whole life insurance policy can provide you with tax-free income during your golden years.
Having paid your premiums each year and properly accumulated cash value into your whole life policy, you are free to take withdrawals/loans. You can think of this as a safety-net during retirement. It can provide you a financial cushion during your retirement if unexpected life events come up, and you’ll have access to money that helps you through.
Estate Planning & Tax Benefits of Whole Life Insurance
Thinking beyond retirement, whole life insurance can be a powerful tool during estate planning. While it can be hard to think that far ahead into the future–having a successful financial future becomes an important necessity. It would be unfortunate to work hard all your life, only to have your wealth squandered with taxes from the government when you would much rather it go to your loved ones.
Whole life insurance allows the transfer of wealth to your beneficiaries in a tax-efficient manner. When you pass away, your loved ones may face various expenses such as funeral costs, estate taxes, and outstanding debts. The death benefit you set up will help cover all these potential expenses so your family can focus on grieving and healing–rather than on the stress of estate bills.
It’s crucial to work with a qualified estate planning professional to assess your individual circumstances and develop a strategy to minimize potential tax liabilities for your beneficiaries. By utilizing proper estate planning techniques, such as establishing a trust or gifting strategies, you can potentially reduce or eliminate estate taxes for your loved ones.
Tax Considerations for Beneficiaries
When considering the tax-advantages of whole life insurance, it’s essential to compare it to other alternatives. While whole life insurance offers unique tax benefits, it may not be suitable for everyone’s financial goals and risk tolerance.
Ultimately, the decision to utilize whole life insurance should be based on your individual financial goals, risk tolerance, and tax planning needs. It’s important to consult with a financial advisor or insurance professional who can assess your unique circumstances and guide you towards the most suitable investment strategy.
Looking for Tax Benefits of Whole Life Insurance? Call Us Today!
There are many tax benefits of whole life insurance. A whole life insurance policy guarantees the death benefit payout because you have this type of policy your whole life. Over the years as you pay your premiums, this money will grow tax-deferred. Later down the road, say after retirement, if you suddenly need help supplementing your income you can take a loan out against your life insurance policy–you’ve got it–tax free!
At Arlington Greene Agency, we can help you decide what works best. Feel free to ask your insurance agent for more information and policies. We prefer to review all the options possible, and never pressure you into one policy over the other. If you have any questions about purchasing life insurance policies, please reach out and we will be happy to help!
Coming to a decision about life insurance can be so much to consider. With so many different policies, it can be hard to determine what you need all on your own. At Arlington Greene Agency, we have experts in the life insurance field who are ready to help. Arlington Greene Agency offers all the same policies that you would find going directly through a specific insurance company. We can also help you find the right coverage at the best rates by comparing all side-by-side. Our team can help you decide on whatever plan is best for your situation. We can curate a plan just for you—guiding your family into securing your financial future!