Indexed Life Digest Home Page

  Welcome to

 Indexed Life (IUL) Digest!

 Editor: Brett Anderson

Nationally Renowned Expert on Indexed Life

Author of

Last Chance Retirement


Being Your “Own Banker”
(the only book using IUL)

find both at

This is a Member Fee  Subscriber Site!

March 25, 2016:  An agent made a comment to me last week that “a lot of agents think you are in the pocket of xyz co.”.   So let me be clear about this: I am paid NOTHING by any company to say or not say anything about them.  The SAME calculators are used for all the companies to determine what their past performance was and future performance may be.  Their is NO favoritism.  Caps are what they are and the gain for each year is based on that and the actual Index performance (and other factors like bonus, fixed account and segment requirements, etc.). The calculators that crunch all these variables and numbers are quite elaborate and it is fair to say no one else (or co.) could even begin to duplicate them.  The policy costs are the companies – not mine – and are the only thing taken from the co. illustration to calculate performance.  

  As for the Features and Deal Breakers, again, a co. either has something or they don’t: VLR cap, Bonus; pay Bonus on Loans or they don’t; Bonus is guaranteed or it’s not; they have a minimum guaranty or they don’t.  It is all completely Objective.   Sure, I have my favorites – but they are all based entirely on these objective results.  This is why I started doing this analysis in the first place so that I would know who is the best and worst. If a company is no longer the best (and that has changed a couple times since I started doing this), then I want to know that too.   Because I want my clients to have the best IUL there is, and for them to be able to know why it is.  Hopefully you want the same for yours!   It takes a LOT of hours to keep up on all of these IUL’s and I appreciate your membership which allows me to do it!  Because I am paid nothing by any co. to do this and/or to promote them.  And I would not do it any other way!

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This is the ONLY site on the internet where you will find Apples-Apples Comparisons and Ranking of the IUL’s of ALL of the Major IUL Companies, for both all of their Features as well as 20 Year Cash Value Performance and Year 40 performance with 20 years of loans, based on current Cap for all years and actual historical performance of the Indexes!

Another favorite report is the IUL Deal Breakers
there are 22 and the report lists which companies have each one !
(see below for more detail)

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Retirement BEAR MARKET Risk

June 2016.   What does this have to do with IUL?  Everything!  Stock times are good right now.  We are in year #8 of a Bull Market.  But since WWII there has been a Bear Market every 6 years that lasts 16 months with an average loss of -33% (plus fees).  The net result is a 0% gain 3 of every 6 years.  Someone who retires in a Bear Market will see their Retirement Income reduced drastically for the remainder of their life.  It can NEVER be made up!  If your savings are in Stocks.   The Forbes article below states many who do so will see their savings entirely GONE within 15 years!  This may be the most UNKNOWN and BIGGEST and most UNPREPARED for Financial Risk in our life!  

Thankfully there is an alternative!  Indexed Life!!  It is just that – Life Insurance.  It’s primary purpose is to be used to guarantee a Retirement Fund (or other need) for a spouse (or other beneficiary).  But the cash accumulation chassis can also be used to accumulate a Retirement Savings fund for the living (YOU!) with gains tied to the market WITHOUT the Retirement Bear MARKET Risk!  And with Tax Free Income!!

Once you understand this risk and compare the cash value and income projections with IUL (IF it is with a Top Co. designed the Best Way!), you will NEVER put another penny directly into either the Market or Qualified Plans!  That is just ONE of the Reports available to IULDigest Members ONLY and it is INVALUABLE!  This knowledge can save each of your clients Retirement and hundreds of thousands if not millions of $’s!  You are “trapped” now because you dare not go blindly into the future with your or your clients retirement savings without being aware of and preparing for this risk.  The Solution is so simple – all you have to do is take it!!

“Navigating One Of The Greatest Risks
Of Retirement Income Planning”

Forbes / 20 June 2016

“The Difficulty lies not in the new Ideas, but in escaping from the old ones.”

John Maynard Keynes / Economist / Time Mag. Top 100 People 20th Century

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 10 February 2016 / Gwen W.

Thank you!  I too have had IMOs trying to tell me how great Minnesota is and there was just something in their illustrations that didn’t sit well.  So your article on Minnesota is worth the whole year’s fee and then the rest are huge bonuses.  Your thorough evaluations of the various companies, indexes, etc.  has made a world of difference for me.

I also saw some of your recordings and inflationizing a policy is something I implemented as soon as I saw it.  Never had an IMO show me that!!
Thanks again for the work you do.  (When do you sleep?)

New Member / 29 December 2013

“I want to educate Doctors, CPA’s, Attorneys, & Small Business Owners about IUL and do it with Integrity. I told (my agency (also a member)) I wanted to learn everything I can and know IUL’s inside and out. He then suggested I subscribe to your IUL Digest and said,

“If I can only know 10% of what you know then I’ll be in the top 10% of knowledge!”

September 26, 2013 / Kurtis Barnett

“Brett, I just wanted to say thank you soooo much for doing all the leg work for us as insurance agents and financial reps.   I was ecstatic when I found your site!  I have been planning on doing for years what you have already done, but just never had the time to do it. You have made it incredibly easy for me to give clients information in a compact format. I hardly meet with anyone anymore for multiple meetings. Most of them, I just meet to collect a check. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  Secondly, your customer service is second to none. I can’t believe that you just personally CALLED me on the phone to answer an email that I sent to you about one of your books and a scenario that I had.”

1 November 2012 

  Brett, I have had an annual Platinum membership with IULDigest for over two years and consider it to be a real bargain. I get unbiased information on all IUL policies and an apples to apples comparison on each, plus 40 minutes of free consultation with you each month. Best of all, I can call you when in competition with another agent to compare policy features. You truly provide a great service! Steve Patterson Ballantyne One Charlotte NC


15 August 2011

  Hello Brett, You are, sincerely, a virtual treasure trove of invaluable information. I cannot thank you enough for this astute, erudite, insightful information which, quite frankly, dispels apprehensions for me and my clientele.   Sincerely,
J. Stonehouse / MA

4 January 2012

“I am shocked (this site and  exists) and very pleased with the devine …. that I found you ….by accident.  This (CV Ranking) Chart is INVALUABLEYou have done YEOMAN SERVICE to the financial people selling IUL … I thank you for it!!” Nosh D. / AZ

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Indexed Life is “THE” Insurance and Retirement Plan of Today and the Future
that offers
SAFETY and the Potential for Great Returns for your Clients!

Along with TAX FREE Income!

IUL Digest is the ONE STOP place for the Adviser who is Serious about
how IUL’s work and how to compare them Apples-Apples! 

  • 20 Year Historical Cash Value Charts

On IULDigest is Information on ALL 34 Primary Companies and their Annual Pt.-Pt. IUL Policy’s (and more) AND the ONLY service that Calculates & Ranks their actual past 20 Year (1996-2015) historical NET performance [net of all annual policy costs & today’s Cap for all years]

20 Year Analysis SAMPLE:

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  • Running Gains Report

   You can now show your client both the historical track record of the S&P 500 AND “exactly” what they could earn with their IUL over a lifetime!  This chart shows the GROSS gain for every 1, 5, 10, 20 and 30 year period since 1945 for both the S&P Index and an IUL using an average cap.

 Result: You can “prove” to your clients that the average 20 and 30 year historical gain for the past 71 years when using a “top” IUL is MORE than the actual Index but without the market risk!


20 YR Gains for the Past 71 Years (1945-2016)

 This is the report of the hypothetical NET gains of an IUL for every 20 year period since 1946 (fifty-two of them). This is actually based on 208 twenty year periods and 3 different caps, and gives you an idea of what returns you could “really”expect from an IUL with a top co. designed the ‘best’ way.  There is also a comparison of the actual S&P Index performance with fees of 0%, 1% and 3%.  This is one of the most valuable charts on IULDigest!

The information in this one chart can more than
pay for your IUL Digest membership for the year! 


22 Indexed Life Deal Breakers

Here are 22 Features of Indexed Life policies that if they are missing from an IUL it is an egregious omission and an automatic DEAL BREAKER regardless of how good the rest of the policy may be. If the primary purpose for having an IUL is Retirement Savings and Income the Loan options are the most important after Caps and Expenses. As such, how the money can be taken out of the policy eventually is critical to having it be successful as well as “protecting” the integrity of the policy in a worst case scenario (preventing a Lapse because of loans).  Recently several co.’s have added a bonus in year 11 – but for every co. but one (unlike the top companies) it is NOT paid on loans.   This report lists the Deal Breakers and also the Companies that have them (updated 5/16)



 (non-members can view)

IUL Reports

(Members Only)

  1. Ranking Charts Updated to Include 2017
  2. Index Tables (actual) Updated
  3. Apples-Apples Charts Updated


Cramer explains why bonds could be bad news for your retirement

Simply put, Cramer thinks that if investors load up on bonds in their 20s, 30s or 40s, there will not be enough money generated to retire comfortably.

The Champions of the 401(k) Lament the Revolution They Started

“The great lie is that the 401(k) was capable of replacing the old system of pensions,”

CalPERS takes one costly step back toward reality

(The country’s largest pension fund)  It agreed Wednesday to lower expected investment earnings to 7% (from 7.5%) … But over the last 20 years, the fund has earned less than 7% per year on average.

Hybrid Indexed Annuities

A hybrid indexed is essentially a type of indexed annuity that ties the potential for participation in market gains to more than one index.  

Winging it is no way to plan for retirement

According to a recent survey conducted by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS), more than one-third (37%) of workers don’t have any strategy for their retirement. These people are truly winging it.  The study also found that almost half (47%) of all workers have a strategy, but it’s not written down. Such a plan is better than nothing, but most likely it’ll be incomplete.  Fewer than one in five workers (16%) have a written plan, which is ideal.

5 Retirement Myths — Debunked!

Myth 1: Stocks aren’t good investments for retirees
Myth 3: Your tax bill will disappear in retirement
Myth 5: Social Security will replace my work income

Are Half Of Americans Approaching Retirement With No Savings?

“The non-partisan US Government Accountability Office (GAO) – is here to remind us that we’re woefully unprepared, financially speaking, for retirement…. [T]he truth is that as many as half of all households with Americans 55 and older have no retirement savings at all. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Not a dime.”

But is it true?

For women, retirement can be a serious challenge

45% of American millionaires today are women, and they control $11.2 trillion, or 39%, of the country’s investable assets. There are 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating nearly $1.4 trillion in revenue, and women represent 51% of those in professional and technical operations.  These numbers all point to women’s rising financial clout. Nearly half of women — 44% — are now the primary breadwinners in their households, and 27% of married women say they “take control” of financial and retirement planning.

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3 Pays – Good Strategy or Bad?  BAD!

   This Report can be read by non-members. 

  Starting the summer of 2014 I have received many queries about the 3 YR Premium concept that is being promoted by several agencies currently.  The concept is moving monies from a Qualified Plan (QP) into an IUL as quickly as possible, and borrow from the new IUL the monies needed to pay the taxes on the distribution from the QP.  This is a BAD deal for your clients (actually Agent Malpractice) for 3 reasons :

1)      Requires a LOT more insurance than a 5 pay.

2)      Reducing the insurance in YR 4 incurs a substantial Surrender Charge.

3)      Both of those more than offset any benefit of a loan to pay the taxes, needlessly incurring Loan Interest vs. just paying the deferred taxes.



“10 Reasons Not to Buy IUL”

  This article from 2012 is full of 1/2 truths and outright lies about Indexed Life.  This rebuttal addresses these along with a dozen Cons about Whole Life that it doesn’t tell you about.

This rebuttal can be viewed by members and non-members:



Article by Brett in Agent’s Sales Journal 5 May 2010

A) Why Indexed Life is a Great Alternative to More Popular Retirement Savings Plans 

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* Brett’s Article in Agents’s Sales Journal 7-1-10

“I’ve been in the business even longer than you and pride myself on being one of the better informed
advisers among my peers. HOWEVER, after reading your article, I felt like a rank amateur.
Thank you for your eye opening article … We need people like you, so keep up the good work.”
Jim J., CLU / 8 January 2014

 B) The Misuse Time Bomb of
Indexed Life Variable Loan Rates

   With the right design and company, indexed life may be one of the best retirement savings investments today. But there is one major flaw in the way most agents present projections of future streams of income; consequently, an unwelcome reckoning may be coming.


3) Comparing IUL’s Apples-Apples

Article about this by Brett in Agent’s Sales Journal 1 June 2010

“How to Compare Indexed Life on an Apples-Apples Basis: 2 Mistakes You May be Making” 

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Some of the REPORTS on IULDigest



  According to Morningstar the total annual costs for the “average” domestic mutual fund is 3.03%.   How would you like to be able to show that for a “Top” IUL designed the Optimal way that over a Lifetime the Average IUL Fee % is much less!!

  • Best Way to Design IUL

  There are two primary ways to design a UL policy – most agents don’t even know the second way for maximum cash value performance even exists!  The next step to make it even better is to …


How to Best Design an IUL to stay ahead of Inflation, enhance the
policy Cash Value and IRR performance AND Increase Target 30-40%!


How Often does the Co. move the money into the Index Accounts?  This is something most people would not even think about.  Some co.’s do this with 100% of the premium when they get it.  But … –  Do you know which high profile co’s move it only quarterly? –  Or REQUIRE that one year’s expenses ALWAYS be kept in the Fixed Account?  – Do you know which BIG name co. limits the NEW premium for a policy year that can go into the index accounts to what was paid the year before (so if the premium paid last yr was $0 this year ALL premium MUST go into the Fixed account)?!! 


This is just a SAMPLE of the Invaluable Information on IULDigest!

 “I think the service you provide is incredible!”

Harry P. / Iowa / 2-10-12


   The Beginning … In 2007 I had an idea to write a “Different” book about Index Universal Life, HOW it works and WHY it is a Better Retirement Savings asset with its Tax FREE Income, instead of Tax Deferred Qualified Savings. It ALSO shows how to best DESIGN an IUL and RANKS all the companies from best to worst. This book became “Last  Chance Retirement”  ( ) which is very popular with — and has received rave reviews — from advisors and clients! BUT there is a LOT more specific co. and IUL information than what is in the book that changes throughout the year – you will find that here!

  The caps (and so cash value gains) of the companies continually change, as well as NEW companies being introduced into the marketplace  (Do you know which is the top selling co.? And that its IUL comes in dead last in performance?!).  So it just seemed logical to create and provide this service where you can find up-to-date information on ALL IUL plans what their “Actual” Historical Cash Value and IRR could have been so that you can do a “fair” Apples-Apples comparison of the benefits, features and projected Cash Value of all the different plans:

1) BASIC Information on ALL Primary IUL companies and their IUL(s)

 Financial Information on Co. (Rating, Assets)
Index(s) Available
Current Cap
Participation Rate
Index Method (pt-pt, average, etc.)
Loan Options [Fixed, Variable: can you switch between, how often and is there a cap?] 
Overloan Rider [Deal Breaker for Retirement Savings Plans!]
Accelerated Death Benefit [Great Benefit for Singles too!]
Living Benefits [This could cost your clients $1 million over a lifetime!]
Bonus [Guaranteed or Not?! What co. promotes it but won’t even put it in the policy?!]
Minimum Guaranty (CV &/or SV, Lapse)
  [Which co’s have a 0% CV minimum guaranty – but actually DO a look-back reconciliation at a 3% minimum every 8 years (& have the highest industry caps & among lowest cost?!]
– Crediting Methodology
Index Bucket Requirements and Options
  [Which companies lock you into an index for 5-6 years even with annual crediting?]

2) GENERAL Information on IUL
Bear Market Historical
“Lost Decade”
Company Financials
Cap History
Variable vs. Fixed or Participating Loan
No Market Risk
Tax Free Income

3) IUL COSTS Annual and Lifetime Annual Average
   (Lowest Lifetime Average Cost of any “Investment”)

4) IUL NET “Historical” Gains True Apples-Apples comparison of all IUL’s.
– Adjusted Historical Comparison Illustration Rate to use for each co.
RANKING Chart of all companies for 20 YR Cash Value and YR 40 with 20 Years of Loans
NET Cash Value and IRR Analysis based on Estimated 20 Year Average Cap.

  Here are two of the comments I received about this analysis:

                                LSW Home Office Analyst (January 2009) “Your spreadsheet seems like a logical and fair comparison. Regarding your product analysis I appreciate and respect your due diligence to benchmark and analyze our IUL products and our competitors IUL Products.”

                            Major Company Chief Actuary (January 2009) “Wow. There are some fairly substantial deviations between what you’ve calculated and what the carrier presents. Most of the benchmarking that I’ve seen from advisors, firms or third parties such as the Full Disclosure reporting from Blease Research uses the carrier’s illustration rate based on the carrier’s own lookback calculations. There is no consistency in that approach as you’ve demonstrated. Illustrating each product with the 20 year average rate you’ve compiled for each would provide you with the most comprehensive apples-to-apples comparison that I know of in the indexed life market.”

5) IUL STRATEGIES  Retirement Savings Own Banker / Pension Max / BEST College Savings Plan

6) INDUSTRY Reports – UL, Whole and Variable Life: Actual Historical 20 Year CV and IRR from the Companies! How they really performed vs. how the co. said they would perform 20 years ago!

7) NEWSLETTER (2-3 per month) – Updates on IUL Industry & Co. changes Other Industry News – New IUL Analysis Report by Brett Articles in General related to Retirement Savings (National Debt, LTC, Health Costs, etc.)

(Many agents tell me they are glad they subscribe just for the Newsletter!)


 on “Last Chance Retirment” materials for Gold and Platinum Members:

– Books, Booklets, Power Points, IUL All Co.’s Reference Manual, IUL vs. QP Manual and More! The most comprehensive IUL educational and marketing materials in the Industry including a Consumer Booklet on how an Index Annuity really works and what features to include and avoid; which are the best Co’s!


1) Copper $99 Year

 – Access to Site and ALL its Reports and other Materials
    (NO Discounts on Books, Booklets, Manual and PPTs)

2) Gold $145 Year

– Access to Site and ALL its Reports PLUS Discounts on Last Chance Retirement Materials.

 – Also Includes Free 20 minute Consultation each Month ($50 Value – Case Design, General IUL Questions and/or Specific Product Questions]

3) Platinum $199 Year

 – Access to Site and ALL its Reports PLUS Discounts on Last Chance Retirement Materials.

 – Also Includes Free 40 minute Consultation each Month [$100 Value – Case Design, General IUL Questions and/or Specific Product Questions]






I have received NO remuneration of any kind from any Insurance Co., IMO or Agency for any of the information on this website.

All of the information is believed to be correct but is NOT warranted.

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