Protection Products

Languished to Leveraged


Languishing assets are equivalent to, or possibly worse than, the depreciating assets we own. Take our vehicles for instance. We are at least aware they constantly lose value and eat up a significant portion of our resources through maintenance, wear and tear, leisurely activities and other costs. However, in return we are receiving something valuable: transportation. If our vehicles didn’t offer transportation and just consumed our resources, they’d be useless.

Languishing assets, as I am defining them, are those that offer little flexibility, few features and are easily eroded by inflation and/or fees. Common products that could fit this description are CDs, money market accounts, bonds, imploding universal life policies or even old fixed rate annuities. Why are we allowing our clients to plan with these highly inflexible, languishing assets?

I’m not advocating all of these strategies be abandoned (except an imploding UL – why not rescue the cash value and 1035 exchange it to stop losing value?). However, I am challenging you to rethink how often you might be using them. One specific situation to consider is when you have a client who plans to gift money or assets upon their death. Oftentimes, they have this money set aside in a languishing asset, and they have earmarked it as, “In case I need it” money. While their intention is good, better options are available.

The Estate Maximizer with Liberty Life is a great product that can significantly enhance their gift, offers full liquidity with no loss of principal, and creates an additional pool of money in the event of a chronic illness. This solution can enhance gifts as low as $15,000 and as large as $225,000. On top of that, one of the most compelling reasons to consider it is the 10-minute, instant-approval process. If your client can answer “no” to just four medical questions, then they can be approved within 10 minutes!

There potentially has never been a better time to use this product because most people are expecting rates to increase, but it’s probably going to take a while for that to happen. The opportunity cost is incredibly cheap for the Estate Maximizer because it offers a full refund of principal upon full surrender, even in the first year. You’re basically trading basis points in interest.

Check out this example: A 61-year-old woman can take her $50,000 CD and, in less than 10 minutes, turn it into $101,525 for her beneficiaries. Let’s assume she was earning 0.5 percent in her CD, which equates to $250 annually before taxes. If she finds herself in an, “In case I need it” situation, the Estate Maximizer can give her access to the entire $50,000, and all she has given up is $250 in interest. However, she has gained a significant pool of money for a chronic illness situation, leveraged a larger gift to her children and will see her surrender value eclipse the CD account value by the tenth year.

Put it in Practice: The Estate Maximizer is a great, flexible alternative to the rigid, languishing assets that are commonly utilized. Call us today, and your client you double their legacy in less than 10 minutes!

estate maximizer legacy planning life insurance

Fathers See Things Differently


As we all know, Father’s Day comes every June. While it’s not a major holiday, there is more to it than meets the eye. Trust me. As the father of four kids, I know how much it means to us to be celebrated for all we do … Even if we don’t say how much we appreciate the appreciation. 

Fathers are a proud group. We like to be the providers and protectors of our family. That said, we have a tendency to think we’re invincible. We don’t want to come to terms with our mortality because we think we’ll always be around to care for everyone else.

I must say, our thinking isn’t completely out of line with reality. We are living longer and taking better care of ourselves. We want to be around to see our kids grow up and have their own kids. This is where long-term care planning plays such an important role.

Because men can be difficult, you have to talk to us a different way. You can’t just throw statistics at us and expect us to understand. If you say, “There’s a 70 percent chance you’ll need long-term care,” let me tell you, I will always be the other 30 percent. My wife and kids won’t need to pick me up or help me out because it won’t ever happen to me. This is where the discussion needs to change.

Fathers care about their families, and we want to make sure nothing ever happens to them. So instead of asking about us, ask about THEM. “If” we’re not the lucky 30 percent, what would happen to our families? How would THEIR lives be devastated? 

Now you have our attention. If you can tug on that string, we will at least engage in the conversation. This goes back to my earlier blogs. Long-term care isn’t about trying to sell insurance. It’s about helping families plan for living a long life.

Put it in Practice: Now that we all have a better understanding of how dads think, find yours and let him know how much he means to you. Then, the next time you’re talking with a dad about long-term care, shift the conversation away from his weaknesses and instead focus on what will really matter to him.

fathers long term care family

The Swiss Army Knife of Protection


What’s so great about a Swiss Army knife? Instead of carrying around an entire toolbox, you have just one tool with nearly everything you could need – a knife, screwdriver, corkscrew, saw, bottle opener, scissors and more. It’s convenient, and you’re ready for nearly any occasion. 

Now let me ask you this: What’s so great about life insurance? You and I know it’s great because it helps protect your loved ones … But your clients might be thinking, “Nothing because I have to die to use it.” Well, if that’s their attitude and they buy a policy merely for its death benefits, then they’re sort of correct. 

What if you changed the conversation and told them they could have a life insurance policy with more “tools” – ones they could use while they’re still living? Designed correctly, the right policy can potentially: 

  • Pay its own premiums if they were to get sick or become disabled and lose their income
  • Help cover medical expenses, should they need long-term care
  • Provide extra income in retirement so they’ll have enough money as long as they live
  • STILL give their loved ones a death benefit 

These packaged, self-fulfilling insurance policies are like Swiss Army knives for your clients’ financial futures. The right solution can help protect against early death, disability, retirement income shortage and long-term care needs ... all in one simple, convenient tool. 

Put It In Practice: Don’t let your clients discount life insurance because its main benefit is used after their death. Show them how they can cover many of their financial needs with one versatile product – the Swiss Army knife of protection!


Locking In and Protecting Gains


Whether it is due to the “recovering” economy, the increase in mergers and acquisitions activity, the substantial financial success of a number of different industry sectors (tech, agriculture, health care, etc.), or a combination of all these factors, we are seeing a considerable increase in the number of clients who have a new found abundance of liquid assets. This influx of capital often stems from the sale of a business, an inheritance, cashing in appreciated stock options, or other liquidity events, and clients are exploring the various alternative ways to put the funds to work.    

While there are countless different options, ranging from investment back into their private company to commercial real estate, hedge funds, stocks, commodities, etc., it may be useful to consider the wisdom behind a popular saying: “Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.” Or, “You can’t score while you’re standing on the sidelines, but you also can’t get crushed by a 300-pound lineman.” 

Families in such a cash-rich position may want to consider permanent cash value life insurance, an often-overlooked financial instrument, for a portion of their funds. Advantages of allocating dollars to a life insurance policy include:    

  1. Gains for heirs – Life insurance death benefits lock in your gains and provide a competitive return – typically a tax-equivalent internal rate of return around 7-9% at life expectancy – without added market risk

  2. Deferred taxes – The tax-deferred growth of cash value and the tax-free nature of death benefits are some of the costliest expenditures for the federal government – which means they are the most advantageous for taxpayers

  3. Liquidity for estate taxes (which may end up being capital gains taxes) – Families often struggle to come up with the funds to pay taxes due upon death and are forced to sell off assets, often at a deep discount; death benefits can ease the burden

  4. Flexibility/access to cash – Properly designed, the policy may have cash value that is accessible for loans/withdrawals while the client is still living

  5. Creditor protection – In many states, life insurance is protected from creditors

  6. Potential to avoid probate/privacy – With properly named beneficiaries, your death benefit will pass on to heirs without the risk of a will contest, giving you privacy (everything that goes through probate is public information)

  7. Longevity diversification/hedging – Should you live well past your life expectancy, your investments will benefit from compounding returns; if you pass away prematurely, life insurance can make up for the abbreviated investment time frame

  8. Ease of ownership – Investments such as commercial real estate may provide attractive returns, but they require considerable time and effort on the part of the owner; life insurance is simple to own, requires very little of your time to manage, and does not require a level of expertise to liquidate upon your passing.  


Put It In Practice: For clients who find themselves with a substantial liquidity event, facing a decision as to how to allocate those dollars, a cash value life insurance policy may be an appropriate alternative to explore. Ash Brokerage can help you start the conversation. 


Cash-Value Life Insurance

Making Paycheck Protection Easier


You know your clients’ paychecks are important – for them and their families – and it’s only natural to think of disability insurance as their first line of protection. Don’t forget however, that life insurance can also protect paychecks, providing for your clients’ loved ones should they no longer be here to help.

Principal, one of our top carriers, understands the importance of paycheck protection and makes it easier to obtain coverage with their Accelerated and Simplified underwriting programs. 

Accelerated Underwriting allows qualified clients ages 18-60 to possibly avoid all lab testing and exams for a life insurance benefit of up to $1 million. (Applications will need to fit Super Preferred or Preferred risk class criteria.) With this program, a policy could be issued in as little as 7-10 business days! 

With Principal’s Simplified Disability Income program, clients ages 18-50 can get a monthly benefit of up to $4,000 a month after answering a few additional questions during their telephone interview, which will prescreen the client for Disability coverage. It’s a great way to get coverage faster and without additional hassle.  

Put it in Practice: Using Principal’s quick and easy programs for life and disability insurance underwriting, you can help your clients secure their ability to provide for their loved ones – no matter what happens. 


accelerated underwriting life insurance underwriting Principal