Life Insurance

Taxes are on sale right now

Three life insurance sales ideas to help your client take advantage before it is too late

Federal income taxes are on sale right now

2018 Federal income taxes are historically low. Between 1932 and 1986 the top income tax rates were usually above 70%, even spending 15 years above 90%! Rates have been considerably lower for the past three decades. The new tax law (The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) lowered rates yet again.

Why these low rates can’t last

Congress built increases into the new law. Due to the method Congress used to pass the bill, the individual tax cuts fade over time and become net tax increases starting in 2027. Deficits are predicted to top $1 trillion in 2023 and the National Debt is expected to exceed $33 trillion in 2028.

At some point the additional debt caused by the current Congress will need to be paid. Federal revenue will need to increase to handle this problem. If your clients were hoping for a lower tax bracket in retirement, they might want to rethink that strategy.

How can life insurance help clients take advantage of this low tax window?

It makes sense to pay taxes now and not in the future when they will likely rise. Your clients need a retirement plan that can help them do that. They only have a few choices available, including life insurance, Roth IRA’s and Roth 401(k)’s. The Roth options include limitations not found with life insurance products. Life insurance is unique in that money inside a policy is not subject to current or future taxation is structured and distributed correctly. The Federal government places no age restrictions on access to this money.

Sales Ideas for Young Professionals

Your clients should place their retirement contributions into an index universal life policy to take advantage of the tax treatment listed above. This age group likely does not need extra deductions today as they qualify for several already (mortgage interest, student loans, deductions credits for children). Additionally, due to the arbitrage power of variable loans, index life insurance contracts should out-perform traditional options. The index accounts shield money from downside market risk while allowing for upside growth.

Sales Idea for Pre-Retirees

Most of your clients 10-15 years away from retirement did the popular thing and placed their retirement money into Qualified plans. Since they must pay taxes on this money at some point, why not begin paying taxes on some of this money now? If they delay, both the accounts and tax liability will increase. These clients can cap their taxes today and still enjoy growth. If they are already over 59 ½ they can begin withdrawals from their qualified plans immediately. Withdrawals should be staggered over several years to lessen the annual income tax. If they are below 59 ½ they will need to follow 72(t) rules and take no more than a calculated amount each year to avoid the 10% penalty tax.

Sales Idea for Established Retirees

Some of your retired clients have money they will not spend during their lifetimes. These dollars are earmarked for future generations but are not in the most effective vehicles for that purpose. The money is probably in bank savings accounts, CD’s or even annuities earning low rates of return. You could move the dollars into a wealth transfer index life policy for greater leverage. Your retired clients do not have the life expectancy to grow the asset to an amount equal to the death benefit after taxes. If the vehicle is tax-deferred or tax-qualified, why not pay the taxes at today’s low rates? They could save their heirs unnecessary taxes. When these clients pass away qualified assets will likely pass to adult children during their peak income earning years. They should lock in this tax expense at a low rate today and enjoy a 100% tax-free benefit in the future. An index product eliminates downside risk while allowing for growth as cash values increase.