The 5-Step College Funding Combo Plan

Authored by Brian Leising

You may have heard about using life insurance as a component of college planning.  You may even incorporate college planning with your client reviews.  Do you explore all the options available with your clients?  These five ideas can lead to writing not one, but several policies per household.  All designed to maximize the use of life insurance in college planning.

Step 1  Register to use the Smart Track Tool Kit college planning system through our website.  The Smart Track Toolkit can help your clients learn how to rearrange their assets to optimize money available for college.  It could also assist them with important test preparation, the confusing admissions process, and even choosing the right school.  Combined with the Leads on Demand system, you can place yourself in front of prospects with a great sense of urgency. 

Step 2  One or both parents should purchase a life insurance policy with Foresters.  Policyholders become members of the Foresters fraternal organization.  Children of members are eligible to apply for one of 350 competitive scholarships they offer annually.  These scholarships are worth $2000 per year.  Foresters offers a life policy to fit almost any budget, often without a paramedical exam.

Step 3  Establish a cash value or return of premium (ROP) term life insurance policy on a parent.  Both offer death benefit protection if the parent dies prior to the child starting college or a lump sum available to pay tuition when due.  For guaranteed cash, ROP term offers a fixed amount on a specified date.  If they wish to grow their money while still providing safety, several carriers offer traditional fixed and fixed index universal life policies.  Many of these include an early cash value option, which enhances the cash available in the early years of the policy.

Step 4  Ask grandparents to rearrange their assets in a more tax-efficient manner.  Many grandparents have IRA’s and qualified plans with benefits larger than they will need for retirement income.  Most individuals take their minimum distributions and simply re-invest them only to pay more taxes on that income.  By taking this money and placing it into a life policy, they shelter the money so the income is not included on their tax return, provides tax free loans from the policy and produces a legacy at death.

Step 5  Utilize a fact finder that takes college funding into account.  Both ING and Mutual of Omaha have software tools to help you plan the future costs of a college education.  They offer examples of current tuition rates at major universities and estimate future costs based on education inflation.  You can add this estimate into your client’s total needs analysis.

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