Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Best Place for Money: The Misunderstanding of Whole Life Policies

FOREWORD: Keep one thing in mind before you read my latest blog post.  Failing to understand the mystery of banking doesn't prevent it from actually working.  A banking system will work whether you "get it" or not.  Even from my own personal experience, the biggest hurdle to IBC is the paradigm shift in thinking.  I completely acknowledge IBC is the opposite of how we are taught to think about money.  Failing to fully understand how IBC works is a reason some people never get started with IBC which is a shame.  I've written this post for those who struggle to "get it".  

My parents raised me with a passport savings account and “cashed in” my Gerber Baby whole life policy surrendering it at age 18 so I’d have some additional spending money when I went away to college.  Most people are handed down the same sad lessons that seem like good common financial sense at the time. 

What we fail to learn about money is that the business of banking is the most essential and eternal business that exists.  There will always be a need for banking.  Unless we solve for our need to bank (access large amounts of capital on our own terms), we must rely on the traditional banking system to handle it for us.  Nelson Nash, creator of Infinite Banking, said we all should be in two businesses:  whatever we do for income and the banking business.  I believe he was right.  Alas, not even 12 years of mandated public schooling or higher education teaches us anything about the essence of banking.  Sad.

It’s rather ironic to me now.  We are taught at an early age to trust the bank with its perceived safety (FDIC is underfunded) and borrow from the bank (we are consumers after all, yet we shop at a bank we don’t own).

At what age do we begin to realize we are just borrowing back our own money – pooled together with other depositors? 

We are also taught we don’t need life insurance except to replace income and the narrative says life insurance is the worst place for money.  In actuality, the life insurance industry is a safer place for money than banks.  It’s telling that banks keep their tier 1 reserve assets in ultra-safe, ultra-liquid Bank Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) policies and turn around to recommend CD’s and mutual funds to us.

Beyond just replacing income in the event of premature death, properly structured whole life policies also provide an immediate and available source of capital which can be used for an “infinite” number of reasons for all of life’s milestones.

No need to ask bank loan officers or 401k administrators permission for a loan.  And IBC is all accomplished while earning a guaranteed and compounding tax-free rate of return.

As Nelson repeated over and over again during his lifetime, "Eliminating traditional banks from one’s life is the most stress-free way of living."

It’s a strange thing that IBC has worked for so long hiding in plain sight and without the layperson actually having to know very much of the inner workings of a Whole Life policy (contractually guaranteed and 170+ year history behind it) but it does require a leap of faith into the unknown.  This was true even for me when I started my 1st IBC policy, a tiny $2300 a year policy because I thought it sounded just a little too good to be true.

I think the worse thing about IBC is that it uses a Whole Life policy as the account of choice.  It’s too easy to get hung up on the life insurance death benefit aspect and not see that a Whole Life policy works better than any other place for money (see chart above).  This is because a Whole Life policy replicates a traditional banking system in the most essential ways.

Sometimes learning requires the use of imagination.  I'm sure you are aware Shakespeare wrote “all the world’s a stage”.  If we are to use our imagination and look upon the business of banking as a play, you’d recognize four characters in the play are the same as with Whole Life:

  1. Depositor (Saver) – someone needs to save the money which is what we call capital.
  2. Debtor (Borrower) – there’s always need for money (cars, college, taxes, medical expenses, investment opportunities)
  3. Admin (someone needs to run the business operation)
  4. Bank Owner (Policy Owner) – someone will profit from a person’s need for capital (might as well be you and me)

We are playing 3 of the 4 characters in this play anyway.  Might as well call a Whole Life policy what it truly is:  a cashflow management system.  

If having a death benefit throws you for a loop, please realize the death benefit of a Whole Life policy merely ensures that the money in the policy is tax-free as it grows, is used, and ultimately tax-free again when it passes on to the next generation.  Congress has made it so.  It is all perfectly legal.  In fact, as mentioned Whole Life policies have been around a longer than the Internal Revenue Code (created in 1913 and expanded ever since).

The employees of the life insurance company (as with a traditional bank) do all the work to make Whole Life function.  No luck, skill, or guess work on our part. 

Time, money, and discipline do the rest.  (and perhaps a little bit of faith in getting started at first!)

If Congress passed legislation calling IBC designed Whole Life a 7702 Account (…that’s the actual IRS tax code about tax-free life insurance cash values) making it as mandatory as owning health insurance, society would be better off. 

Actually, a better name for IBC would be to call it an HSA account because it does what a tax-free HSA account does but better… because IBC has the whole life engine to give cash uninterrupted growth, collateral capacity (ability to take loans and repay on a flexible schedule), and of course a death benefit to pay off any outstanding loans at death.

Banking interests will never allow such a law like this though for good reason.

After all, why would people borrow from a traditional bank if they knew they could borrow all the capital they needed from their own banking system on a tax-free basis while earning a compounded rate of return?  The need for traditional banks would evaporate in short time and so to all the major conflicts in the world...

To understand the essence of banking, watch this Youtube clip from the movie The International:
Entertaining movie, by the way.

Are you ready to be your own Banker now?

To learn more and even get your first IBC policy started, you can find me here:

Thank you,

John Montoya

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