BigMike wrote:No, I could have misunderstood, but my understanding is that whatever portion of the premium goes to cash value is invested and grows at a minimum of 4.5%. Am I wrong, or is this how whole life policies work?
If you decide to consider going the whole life route, try this experiment. I'm dead serious, I mean it literally. When you go to your agent, write down on a sheet of paper "In the [Exact name of policy being proposed] policy, whatever portion of the premium goes to cash value is invested and grows at a minimum of 4.5%," date it, and ask your agent to initial it.
Or, better yet, ask him to show you the part of the policy that says this and circle it, and you write next to it "This means that whatever portion of the premium goes to cash value is invested and grows at a minimum of 4.5%," date it and ask him to initial it.
This informal "get it in writing" procedure is really worthwhile, and my life experience is that you absolutely cannot tell what the reaction will be. Sometimes the person will say "Yes, that's right" and initial it. Sometimes the person picks up the phone and calls someone higher up for authorization. Sometimes the person realize they aren't sure and need to double- check, then initial it. (I remember this happened once with a $50,000 minicomputer system, when I wrote down "The quoted system includes all necessary cables.")
Be friendly, of course. Life insurance is complex product and that's why agents have to go to school and get letters after their names, so it is very reasonable for a prudent client to want patient answers to questions, and the agent is entitled to their commission by being willing to take the time to provide them. If some detail of a deal is important enough to you that it is influencing your decision, then it is important enough to get in writing.
You need to be prepared for the possibility of hostility and freaking out, however. It's only happened to me once, but it was memorable.
Of course, if the person gives you a sad look, "Why don't you trust people," that's a cue to leave, politely.
My prediction is that if you actually try this, what will actually happen is that the agent will say "Oh, my goodness, is that
what you thought? I'm terribly
sorry, gee, I've been in the business for fifty years and I guess I just tend to assume that people understand what's meant by language like that." And, if honest, actually explain it.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.