Life Insurance as an Estate Investment

Many people understand that permanent Life Insurance provides guaranteed estate liquidity which can be used to pay immediate last expenses and taxes as well as fund any desirable estate equalization objectives. It is not unusual to see a poorly planned estate suffer significant loss due to income tax liabilities payable at death as well as losses incurred through the forced sale of desirable assets—assets which have to be sold to create the cash needed to pay the liabilities. Permanent life insurance provides the guaranteed cash at the time it is needed—the event (death) that creates the need also creates the solution. And the proceeds of a Life Insurance policy death benefit are Income Tax Free!
But what about permanent Life Insurance as an investment for the estate? Is paying Life Insurance premiums a good investment decision?
A current (August 2012) survey shows us that a healthy couple aged 65 each (assume they are both non smokers) could insure themselves for ‘Joint Last to Die’ permanent Life Insurance at a stand by cost of less than 2% per annum. This cost would be guaranteed for life and the insured amount would also be guaranteed payable at the second death. The Insurance amount would be fully payable whether the second death took place several months later or 30 years (or more) later. Based on an annual stand by fee (premium) of 1.8% the effective rate of return on the premiums after 20 years would be about 9% Tax Free! After 25 years the return would be about 5.7% Tax Free. After 30 years the return would be about 3.7% Tax Free. (This compares to the current Government of Canada 30 year bond yield of about 2.33% –which is not Tax Free).
The numbers speak for themselves. Permanent Life Insurance provides guaranteed estate liquidity protecting estate assets and it also provides an excellent immediate and long term guaranteed investment for the estate.