Senior Life Settlement-Uses and Applications
By Jon Thomas
In a recent article in the National Underwriter (April, 2005) a Senior Life Settlement is depicted as an ingenious financial planning option available to consumers by providing access to secondary life insurance market through life insurance valuation – a new trend, tool in the financial advisory services industry unlocking opportunity for many.
Sound investment practices require diligence and regular appraisal and valuation of assets. To date insurance policies were excluded from said valuations, due to the perceived absence of market for them. However, the landscape, opportunity and choices open to seniors, retirees etc. faced with a life settlement issue has changed significantly and people are taking notice.
The premise and principles seem to be simple and back to basics. Simply put, it means that life settlements offer qualifying life insurance policy owners the opportunity to sell policies that are no longer no longer adequately serving purpose or unnecessary, receiving significantly more than cash value for them in return. An interesting statistic from the context of senior life settlement (Conning & Company), states that as much as twenty percent of all insured over the age of 65 own policies with a market value exceeding surrender value.
A Senior Life Settlement may make sense for a variety of reasons:
• Premiums may be too expensive
• There been a sudden change in your health condition
• Your life insurance policy about to lapse shortly
• You have significantly more life insurance coverage than you need
• You would like to receive substantially more than the policy surrender value
Qualifying Policies Often Include:
• Joint Survivorship
• Whole Life
• Universal Life
• Variable Life
• Group Life
• Term Life
A Senior Life Settlement offers consumers the empowerment to make better financial planning decisions. A case example is quoted here to throw light on how senior life settlement could benefit a life insurance policy holder: Consider the case of a seventy-four year old female with a $10 million term policy. The annual premiums in excess of $300,000 no longer fit her financial plan so she planned to let the policy lapse. A financial advisor suggested an appraisal, which yielded two options: a $660,000 life settlement of a $3.5 million Settlement With A Paid-Up Policy (SWAPP). Instead of surrendering the policy for no value, the client chose the paid-up policy, eliminating her premium payments while addressing her estate planning needs.
In a recently published (March 4, 2005), Bernstein Research Call, an industry-accepted market forecasting tool and indicator to professionals in the financial advisor sector, it is stated that the Senior Life Settlement business, an emerging secondary market for life insurance, will grow more than ten-fold to $160 billion over the next several years.
Jon Thomas has been involved in finance and insurance, specializing in emerging growth markets since 1979. He continues to write articles concerning the public and their pressing financial concerns.