a no nonsense guide to converting term to whole life what is whole life and why do i need it?

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1 a no nonsense guide to converting term to whole life what is whole life and why do i need it? 1

2 I encourage you to speak with your insurance agent or an SBLI representative about how SBLI can help you secure life insurance coverage that is ideally suited to your particular stage in life. Best wishes for a wonderful financial future. Jonathan Pond Jonathan Pond is one of America s most trusted and knowledgeable financial experts and a pioneer in bringing low-cost, personalized money guidance to American households. His work in educating the public on financial matters has been far-reaching and widely recognized. His 16 prime-time public television specials and 21 books have been critically acclaimed for their effectiveness in providing useful and understandable financial guidance to people of all financial circumstances. The comments and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not reflect the assent of SBLI or its officers, agents, or employees. SBLI and The No Nonsense Life Insurance Company are registered trademarks of The Savings Bank Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts. NAIC # The Savings Bank Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts, Woburn, MA. All rights reserved. 2

3 Why Convert From a Term Life Policy to a Whole Life Policy? Converting your term life policy to a whole life policy can be a valuable tool in your retirement planning one with guarantees. Here s why conversion is a strategy worth considering: Permanent whole life insurance offers financial certainty, ensuring a lasting legacy to a surviving spouse or partner or to younger family members. Even if you think your coverage needs will be reduced or eliminated in the near future for example, when your children are out of college there may be circumstances later in life when life insurance benefits will be helpful to your survivors. The certainty of creating a legacy with life insurance for a surviving spouse or partner or your children may empower you to enjoy a more financially comfortable retirement. directly. This guide is meant to provide guidance to those customers who have a term product with conversion privileges. If you don t already have a term life insurance policy or you are unable to convert your particular term policy, you can always acquire a whole life policy that will help meet your future insurance needs. The Important Role of Whole Life Insurance Many people initially purchase term life insurance because the premium costs are relatively low. Later on, many policyholders upgrade their coverage to whole life insurance to help them meet their long-term needs....you gain the comfort of knowing you will have life insurance protection for as long as you continue paying the premiums. The cash value of a whole life policy grows tax-deferred and may prove useful later in life to meet everyday living costs or to fund extras that might otherwise be unaffordable, like a dream vacation. Not all term life insurance products contain conversion privileges to whole life insurance. To determine if your contract has conversion privileges, refer to the specific provisions of your contract or contact your carrier A term life policy provides dependable coverage for a period of time, but doesn t always last a lifetime. Some policies end on a specific date while others continue, but the premiums may increase or the protection may decrease. When your term life insurance expires, you and your loved ones might be vulnerable. 3

4 The premiums on whole life insurance, on the other hand, usually remain the same and provide your loved ones with protection throughout your lifetime. While the premiums required to convert will probably increase, you gain the comfort of knowing you will have life insurance protection for as long as you continue paying the premiums. When you pay your premium for a whole life policy, a portion of the money goes to buying the policy s death benefit but some also goes into the cash value account. The policy may also pay dividends that make the cash value grow as the years go by. You can draw on the cash value to help pay unexpected bills or meet other financial needs. The Process for Converting from Term Life to Whole Life insurance Insurance The following are important facts to consider when converting from term insurance to whole life: Details vary by carrier, but generally you can convert your existing term life insurance to permanent whole life insurance regardless of your occupation or health. No medical exam is required. You don t have to convert all your term life policy to whole life. If you convert a portion of the policy, you may be able to keep the remainder of the term coverage in force, depending on your contract. You should discuss your options with your insurance agent. If you are considering converting from term to whole life, you may save money by converting sooner rather than later: For most term life policies, the premiums increase as you get older. However, once you acquire a whole life policy, the premiums are likely to stay the same for the rest of your life. Part of the process of determining your future life insurance needs is a needs analysis, where you consider your family s financial needs in the event of your death. Equally important is deciding how long these needs will persist. If the need is for the rest of your life or an indeterminate period, you should consider whole life insurance. Online calculators, like SBLI s Coverage Estimator (coverage.sbli.com) can help you determine how much life insurance you need. Your insurance agent can also help you with an analysis of your individual circumstances. 4

5 Case study #1 Marcia and Phil Anderson took out level term life insurance policies when their children were very young, to provide protection until they graduated from college. Marcia explains: When the kids were young, Phil and I followed the common advice at the time to buy low-cost term life insurance that would last until the younger child reached age 21, at which time the family s life insurance needs should diminish. But, as so often happens, their outlook has changed. Phil notes: We weren t out of the woods after the kids got out of college. If either of us died, we wouldn t have enough coverage to provide adequately for the surviving spouse. So it occurred to us to consider converting a portion of our term insurance policies into whole life. That way, the coverage would last throughout our lives and the cash value could come in handy if we need extra money after we retire. Case study #2 An acquaintance mentioned that converting term insurance into whole life insurance could provide them with both security and certainty. Here s John s read of the situation: We never thought of using life insurance as an investment, but even at our ages it makes a lot of sense. We need life insurance protection because of our financial setbacks. We weren t out of the woods after the kids got out of college. If either of us died, we wouldn t have enough coverage to provide adequately for the surviving spouse. While whole life coverage isn t cheap, our policy has a very attractive cash value buildup. Diane and I are also comforted by the certainty associated with whole life insurance. Other kinds of cash value life insurance don t offer that kind of certainty. Call us old-fashioned, but our days of taking a lot of risk with our investments are over. Many families, including the Siegels, have endured financial reversals in the wake of the recession. Diane Siegel sums it up this way: We ve been hit with losses in our retirement accounts at work, low interest rates on our emergency funds, and stagnant salaries. I have concerns about our financial future, and John and I are looking for ways to provide better security and certainty with our investments. 5

6 advantages of whole life insurance with sbli of massachusetts 1. Flexibility: Among its many features, what truly differentiates SBLI s suite of whole life products and riders is the ability to create a customized solution for a variety of insurance needs. With the exception of Single Premium Whole Life, as many as eight riders can be added to SBLI s whole life products. Whether your goal is to build death benefit protection as affordably as possible, or to get the right amount of death benefit protection and maximize cash surrender value accumulation, SBLI provides you the flexibility you need to achieve your goals. 2. Integrity: SBLI has an outstanding actual-versus-projected dividend history. The Company s whole life products are participating products, and while dividends are never guaranteed, SBLI s long-standing track record in issuing dividends speaks for itself. 3. Guarantees: Whole life insurance generally provides more policy guarantees than other permanent insurance options, such as Variable Universal Life, Guaranteed Universal Life, and Indexed Universal Life, with more risk assumed by the insurer. Whole life insurance features guaranteed premiums, guaranteed cash values, and guaranteed death benefits. The guaranteed benefits of whole life insurance are not dependent on the performance of the stock market, nor are they tied to any index. If you want life insurance with these guarantees, whole life insurance is the best choice. A Final Suggestion Whole life insurance has always made good sense as part of a life insurance program. This is doubly the case in times of economic and financial uncertainty. I encourage you to speak with your insurance agent or an SBLI representative about if and how you may be able to convert. You can talk to an SBLI representative at or chat online at SBLI.com. Jonathan Pond NNG-Convert813 6

Jonathan Pond s Quick Guide for SBLI Customers Why it Might be a Smart Move to Convert Your Term Insurance to Whole Life Coverage

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