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2019 Tax Guide & APP | Brilliant at the Basics


Another ‘brilliant’ idea shot down by the IRS

Intergenerational split dollar is a valid concept for high net worth families to help future generations purchase life insurance for legacy planning reasons.  Split dollar rules and regs are quite clear on how things work but some ‘clever’ advisors went even further to enhance the attractiveness by heavily discounting the value of the split dollar arrangement.  A recent court ruling put an end to this aggressive technique proving it was too good to be true.

Over the years I’ve learned it’s best to be brilliant at the basics and stay ‘basic’ at the brilliant by avoiding concepts that look too good to be true.  Life insurance is already a tax advantaged product, but some find the need to stretch it further.  Experience tells me to take a more conservative stance. This mindset has kept my advisors and their clients compliant with legal and tax laws.


Life insurance reviews – Basic, but important

A life insurance review is about as basic as you can get but many planners overlook them or simply don’t have time to perform them with their clients.  A recent case I worked on with an advisor serves as a great example.  His clients are in their early 50’s and own a number of policies with a decent amount of coverage.  The problem was they ONLY carried group coverage, some from past employers that did allow portability, and their premiums were continuing to increase.

We were able to improve their coverage amount, levelize their premiums for the next 15 years and save them a lot of money over that time period from rising group term rates.  Simply put, we were able to get them more for less.  The advisor and his clients were grateful to have utilized our policy review service.  He has now decided to partner with us for his future insurance audits.  This not only offers his clients a more comprehensive review, it also frees up his time to focus on his specialty of retirement planning.

Universal Life Insurance, a 1980s Sensation, Has Backfired, a recent WSJ article stresses the importance of insurance audits.

Read our Integrated Insights™ to learn more about group v. individual coverage.


People, Process and Product

What is your approach to insurance protection?  Do you have a process in place to analyze this coverage?  I am a big fan of the show The Profit.  Marcus Lemonis consistently stresses three things: People, Process and Product.  For many in the financial services business, their ‘process’ is their product.  If you are not comfortable analyzing insurance protection or do not have a process in place to do so, consider partnering with IIC.

Life insurance is unique in the insurance world because it is the one risk where a claim is guaranteed to happen.  Everyone is going to die, we just don’t know when.  It deserves a different conversation and ‘process’ for discussion.

Launch our Basic Life Insurance Review Kit to learn more about our review process.


End of Life Planning

If you are looking to add even more value to your clients, consider adding end of life planning to your process.  End of life planning goes beyond life insurance protection and is one of the fastest growing areas of estate planning.  A significant reason for this growth is that clients are increasingly aware of these issues and they desire handling these difficult decisions in advance, so their loved ones don’t have to.  End of life planning provides peace of mind by alleviating many of the questions revolved around dying.  It is also financially valuable to the family.

There are services that can help your clients in this area.  One of them is The Final Roadmap.  This is an online vault that helps clients make important end of life decisions.  It allows them to upload financial/legal documents and capture their directives and wishes.  The system allows you to list people to notify and authorize specific people to access information such as your family members, doctors and attorneys.  Most importantly it allows you to upload messages and videos to your loved ones.  If you take the time to help your clients in this area you will improve client retention and referability.

Launch the following video to learn more about this service:  The Final Roadmap.


2019 Tax Guide & APP

Below are the links to our updated tax guide and Columbus Life’s 2019 Tax APPs.  The Tax APP is not just informational, there are calculators on several topics to include:  RMD’s, marginal tax rates, estate tax liabilities and social security benefits.

2019 Tax Guide

2019 Tax APP (android)

2019 Tax APP (iPhone)



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The information contained on this website is provided "as is" and does not constitute legal, accounting or tax advice. We are not acting as your attorney, accountant or tax professional. We encourage you to contact the appropriate professional for legal and tax information pertaining to your specific needs and circumstances.
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