The Bank On Yourself No-Nonsense Guide to Life Insurance

There is so much that could be written on the subject of life insurance. Many life insurance advisors take class after class, year after year, earning advanced designations, and still they may not know everything there is to know on the subject.

So do we really think we can make you an expert, with a dozen online articles?

Spoiler Alert! We don’t intend to make you an expert. Our goal is to focus on the topics consumers typically find the most important, and to uncover a few strategies and helpful tips most practicing advisors haven’t been taught.

After all, just because you’ve been to chef’s school, doesn’t mean you can make Hungarian Goulash the way your Grandma did. Sometimes Grandmas know a secret or two of their own. And in these articles, we’ll reveal a few of Grandma’s secrets. Literally.

Table of Contents

Financial researcher and New York Times best-selling author Pamela Yellen oversaw the production of this life insurance guide. Allow this expert to introduce the guide to you. This link takes you back to Pamela Yellen’s introduction.

In this quick chapter, you’ll learn a few factoids you can impress your friends with. You’ll discover why we owe a debt to the British and the Ancient Romans for this modern-day financial tool.

If life insurance is complicated, what hope is there for you? Relax! We break it down for you with examples and analogies that make understanding the basics a snap.

Don’t be daunted by this. Yes, there are dozens of varieties of life insurance policies, just like there are hundreds of varieties of flowers. But as long as you know the basic three or four—the way you know roses, carnations, and sunflowers—you’ll have the working knowledge you need to make wise decisions about life insurance.

Whole life insurance is one of the three main types of permanent, as opposed to term, life insurance you need to know about. (The other two are universal life and variable life.) This article explains the whole life variety and introduces you to universal and variable, as well.

Seems like there are advantages and disadvantages to every choice we make, aren’t there? In this chapter, we outline the good and bad about whole life insurance, so you can decide—because what is a good choice for one person may not be a good choice for every person.

Your grandparents and great grandparents knew that life insurance had benefits that went far beyond the death benefit. (This is one of Grandma’s secrets.) Find out what your ancestors knew that no one may have shared with you up until now.

Did you know that if you pass away, your family doesn’t have to pay income tax on the life insurance death benefit they receive. That’s a relief, because a life insurance death benefit is typically thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. But did you know there are other tax advantages to life insurance, as well?

In a way, that’s like asking the proverbial question, “How long is a piece of string?” The answer could be, “How long would you like it to be?” There are a number of factors that affect how much you will pay for coverage, and we review those here.

The short answer is Yes. Read the longer answer for more details and some how-to tips.

There’s a short answer to this question, too, and it’s, “In almost every case, yes.” We give suggestions that range from “Shop around” to “What types of insurance are available, even in the most dire of circumstances.”

There’s nothing more important about a life insurance policy than the answer to the question, “Who gets the money?” Find out what can go horribly wrong—and how to keep it from happening to you—in this helpful article about your contingent beneficiary.

A lot of people think they know the answer, without really thinking through the question. We have some great resources here that can help you arrive at your own conclusions.

In a way, that’s like asking, “Are insurance companies insured?” The answers may surprise you.