Whole Life Insurance In Massachusetts • Financial Advisor Tim Hayes

Tim Hayes

Tim Hayes

Offices In Boston & S Dartmouth, Massachusetts

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Life insurance is one of the most important but least understood financial products. After the death of a loved one, life insurance can offer enormous financial comfort to your beneficiaries. However, many Americans don’t have enough life insurance because of how it has been sold (high pressure) and the buying process (which can be cumbersome).

There are two types of life insurance policies: term life insurance and permanent. Job one is matching your needs with the right plan. Job two is choosing the insurance company and designing the policy.

Finding a Life Insurance Company

Partial List of Life Insurance Companies I Work With

  • Prudential
  • Jackson National
  • AXA
  • MassMutual
  • Pacific Life

Before coming to Cambridge Investment Research Advisors in 2010, I spent 20 years with MetLife. So, I am well-versed in guaranteed retirement products such as variable and fixed annuities and life insurance.

Owning a Life Insurance Policy

Once a hallmark of middle-class American financial planning, a whole life insurance policy is less of an economic staple today and is more likely purchased by upper-middle-class families or wealthier Americans who have already maxed out their 401k retirement plan contributions looking for insurance protection and tax deferral or, in some cases, tax-free growth of its cash value. Or, it may be purchased by business owners who need to fund a buy-sell agreement or insure the life of a key employee.

Today, the middle class is just as likely to purchase a term life insurance policy or get insured through a workplace group policy. Moreover, interest rates have fallen from 18% in the inflation-ridden late 1970s to 1% or 2% today, making the cash value component of a whole life policy less attractive as returns earned by insurance companies to pay dividends have fallen.

My Professional Designations

Financial advisors who hold the AIF® designation have:

  • Completed the AIF® Designation Training;
  • Passed the AIF® designation exam;
  • Met the designation’s prerequisites and qualification and conduct standards;
  • Accrued a minimum of six hours of continuing professional education, with at least four hours coming from fi360-produced sources;
  • Attested to a code of ethics.

Financial professionals who hold the CRPS® designation have:

  • Completed a course of study encompassing design, installation, maintenance and administration of retirement plans;
  • Passed an end-of-course examination that tests their ability to synthesize complex concepts and to apply theoretical principles to life situations;
  • Pledged adherence to the CRPS® Standards of Professional Conduct, and are subject to a disciplinary process in that regard.

CRPS® designees renew their designation every two years by completing 16 hours of continuing education, reaffirming adherence to the Standards of Professional Conduct, and complying with self-disclosure requirements.

Financial Advisor who hold the AWMA® designation have:

  • Completed a course of study encompassing wealth strategies, equity-based compensation plans, tax-reduction alternatives, and asset-protection alternatives;
  • Passed an end-of-course examination that tests their ability to synthesize complex concepts and apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations;
  • Agreed to adhere to the AWMA® Standards of Professional Conduct, and are subject to a disciplinary process in that regard.

AWMA® designees renew their designation every two years by completing 16 hours of continuing education, reaffirming adherence to the Standards of Professional Conduct, and complying with self-disclosure requirements.

CFS designation is awarded upon passing an examination on mutual funds, ETS, REIT’s, closed-end funds, and similar investments. Advanced studies on topics include:

·       Fund analysis and selection;

·       Asset allocation;

·       Portfolio construction;

·       Sophisticated investment strategies for risk management, taxes, and estate planning.

San Diego, CA, November 13, 2020 – The Institute of Business & Finance (IBF) recently awarded Tim Hayes with the only nationally recognized tax designation, CTS (Certified Tax Specialist). This graduate-level designation is conferred upon candidates who complete an 135+ hour educational program focusing on personal income taxes and methods to reduce tax liability. The combined top state and federal bracket can easily exceed 40%.

San Diego, CA, September 1, 2020 – The Institute of Business & Finance (IBF) recently awarded Tim Hayes with the estate planning designation, CES™ (Certified Estate and Trust Specialist™).

This graduate-level designation is conferred upon candidates who complete a 135+ hour educational program focusing on trusts, wills, probate, retirement benefits, caring for children, and what should be done after the death of a loved one. Over $50 trillion is expected to pass from one generation to another during the next half-century.

The Accredited Portfolio Management AdvisorSM, or APMA® program, is a designation program for financial professionals. The program educates advisors on the finer points of portfolio creation, augmentation, and maintenance. Students will gain hands-on practice in analyzing investment policy statements, building portfolios, and making asset allocation decisions.

San Diego, CA, May 12, 2020 – The Institute of Business & Finance (IBF) recently awarded Timothy Hayes with the only nationally recognized annuity designation, CAS® (Certified Annuity Specialist®).

This graduate-level designation is conferred upon candidates who complete a 135+ hour educational program focusing on fixed-rate and variable annuities. Several trillion dollars are invested in annuities; it is estimated that at least one-third of all annuity contracts are not titled correctly.

Permanent Life Insurance

The life insurance premiums pay for the insurance cost for term life insurance. However, life insurance premiums for a whole life policy pay for more than the insurance cost. This is because it builds up a cash value in the policy. The life insurance premiums remain the same for the policy’s life. In contrast, universal and variable life policies allow for a more flexible premium design.

In contrast to term insurance, permanent insurance, whole life, universal life, or variable life policies are designed to be owned for the policyholder’s entire lifetime and pay out a death benefit to the insured’s beneficiaries.

Term Life Insurance

Today, many people are unwilling to pay the higher cost of whole life insurance. However, those who need coverage tend to buy term insurance, hoping to live a long life and, at some point during that life, no longer need coverage due to the premiums for term insurance becoming very expensive as one ages.

Many people get term insurance quotes on the internet. The user inputs their age, general health, and sex, and the calculator spits out quotes from multiple insurance companies.

Whole Life Insurance and Term Life Insurance

Though no longer a staple of middle-class financial life, whole life insurance still offers many benefits to its buyers. The policy is designed to remain in effect for the policyholder’s entire life, so the beneficiary receives a tax-free death benefit. In addition, the policy’s tax-deferred cash value grows and can be borrowed against tax-free.

However, premiums can be high, so purchasing less than needed and buying a term rider is one way around the expense. The insured can then take the dividends paid by the whole life policy and purchase paid-up additions of whole life insurance.

The insured uses tax-free dividends to buy more insurance and do so without paying any commission on that additional insurance. Hopefully, by the time the term rider runs out, the policyholder has purchased enough paid-up whole life coverage to make up most of the difference.

Buying more insurance is not the only thing you can do with dividends. You can also take them as income or use them to reduce your current premium.

Universal Life Insurance or Variable Life

Universal or variable life insurance premiums are usually less than those for a whole life policy but more than for a term policy. With a universal policy, the premiums for the insurance cost; any additional monies are deposited into a fixed interest account. The plan builds value to help defer the insurance cost in later years.

Variable life is similar to universal life. However, instead of going into a guaranteed account, the monies are invested in stocks and bonds, making variable life more attractive to younger, more aggressive insurance buyers.

A problem with these policies is that if someone doesn’t pay enough money in early premiums, the policy might not have enough value to pay the premiums later. As a result, the policy could lapse or become very expensive.

Life Insurance Needs Analysis

Life Insurance Quote

Some people view term insurance as the ultimate commodity product, considering the policy’s price the most critical selection factor. Besides price, another difference is the conversion option—the ability to exchange, without any additional underwriting, your term plan for a permanent plan.

Whole life is even less of a commodity as the dividends paid by the insurance company can play an essential role during the life of a policy.

Most big insurance companies were once mutual companies owned by the policyholders. Some have subsequently become stock companies owned by shareholders and listed on the various stock exchanges. Some people contend that mutual companies are preferable for providing whole life insurance because they do not have to share the policy dividends with shareholders.

 The four largest mutual life insurance companies are New York Life, MassMutual, State Farm, and Northwestern Life. At the same time, the biggest stock life insurance companies are MetLife, Prudential, and Lincoln.

Because of the nature of the policy, the cash value is invested in stocks and bonds. The performance and fees of the subaccounts are paramount to any purchasing decision.

Insurance

The cost of life insurance depends on your health, age, and the amount of coverage needed. There are formulas to determine how much life insurance you need—one rule of thumb is multiplying your income times a certain number. There is also human life value, which was used after 9/11 to pay victims. This method calculates the financial value someone brings by looking at their current and future income.

Life Insurance Tax Benefits

No matter the policy type, the main benefit of life insurance is that the beneficiary’s proceeds are tax-free. That is an enormous benefit. Also, in permanent plans, the growth of the policy is tax-deferred. If someone cancels or surrenders this policy, the proceeds would only be taxable if the payment was greater than the premiums paid.

Life Insurance at Work

Today, many people get their life insurance at work with an employer- and employee-paid group policy. If you are very healthy, the cost of that group insurance might be higher than a comparable individual policy. On the other hand, if your health is not great, the employer group plan could be less expensive as there is no underwriting on most of those plans.

If you forgo an individual plan, it is good to see if your employer plan is convertible to a personal one without additional underwriting. The one risk of waiting to purchase a separate policy is that your health could change, which could make the premiums higher or, in some cases, you may become uninsurable.

Read More: Financial Planning for Retirees

The Insurance Industry is Adapting

More and more financial products are becoming fee-based, such as variable annuities and life insurance programs. An annuity can be part of a fee-based advisor’s assets when calculating your cost. As a result, the product is stripped of some costs associated with a commission-based product.

Firms are also removing conflicts of interest to align with the new Best Interest Standard used by the DOL in their interpretation of who is a fiduciary advisor under ERISA. When working with an advisor, the investing public benefits from having a similar standard for conduct across the board as Best Interest aligns closely with the fiduciary responsibilities in the 40 Act.

Why I Remain a Dual-Registered Advisor

I remain registered as an investment advisor representative and as a registered representative. I conduct most of my business as a fee-only investment advisor representative, where I charge a client a flat or hourly rate for my advice. I like this arrangement because it is not product-based, and I can get paid to give my clients ongoing advice.

However, I keep my registered representative license because it makes more sense for the client when comparing a commission product. For example, I cannot imagine charging a new client who is 25 years old and wants to purchase a variable life insurance policy a fee for the next forty years.

I also like to use some companies for variable life insurance, so I need a registered representative licensed to provide this option.

Remember, life insurance is regulated at the state level. New York is thought to have the most stringent regulations, so it is a good idea to ensure the company you are buying a policy from is licensed to do business there.

The federal government also regulates variable life insurance because the subaccount stock and bond options make it a security.

Read More: Retirement Income Strategies

Life Insurance Beneficiaries

Most people purchasing life insurance name their spouse or significant other as the beneficiary. The policy owner is the person or entity with the right to designate and change beneficiaries. Most of the time, the policy’s owner and the insured are the same, but not always.

Extra care is required if insurance proceeds are earmarked for minor children, as they cannot directly receive those payments. Instead, if proper planning has not been done, the state makes that appointment.

One way is to make sure you name a guardian or set up a Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) with a custodian who will manage the assets until the child becomes of legal age. You can also name a trust as the beneficiary, allowing for more control of the funds past the child’s legal age. Because this is very important, it is best to seek an attorney when children are part of the life insurance planning process.

Please be sure to speak to your advisor to consider the differences between your company retirement account and investment in an IRA. These factors include but are not limited to, changes to the availability of funds, withdrawals, fund expenses, fees, and IRA-required minimum distributions. Cambridge does not provide tax advice.

Securities Licenses

Passing the exam qualifies candidates as both securities agent and investment advisor representative.

Individuals who pass the Series 7 examination are eligible to trade all securities products: corporate securities, municipal fund securities, options, direct participation programs, investment company products, variable annuities contracts, etc.

The exam measures the degree to which each candidate possesses the knowledge needed to offer the products of investment and insurance companies, including the sales of mutual funds and variable annuities.

The exam qualifies candidates as securities agent within a state. Nearly all states require people to pass the Series 63 for state registration.

I am also licensed to offer life, health, accident, disability and long-term care insurance products, as well as fixed annuities.

Fee-Based Financial Planner, Hourly Rate, or Commission

Most clients pay fee-only or an hourly rate. The size and complexity of the client’s wealth management and financial and retirement planning determine that fee.

Hourly Fee

$ 150 /Hour
  • Fiduciary Advisor
  • Financial Advisor
  • Financial Planning
  • Advisor Financial Planning

Fee-Only

Varies
  • Fiduciary Advisor
  • Fee Based
  • Fee-Only Financial Planning
  • Financial Planning Services

Commission

Varies
  • Financial Professional
  • Best Interest Regulation
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